Cupcake snowman on skis

Our holiday treats for seniors are easy and creative! You’ll see Santas, snowmen, trees, snowflakes, cookie ideas, more… brought together here from all over our web site so you don’t have to hunt around.

The winter holidays are a perfect time for party theme ideas, so we have many treats on this page that are great for snacks, parties, gifts, give-aways, and more!

See how you might modify the basic ideas to fit your group and needs.

Our Holiday Treats for Seniors

Snowman Treats

Along with the cute cupcake snowman on skis shown at the top (you could also turn him into a Santa too), we have a variety of snowmen to make as holiday treats for seniors. Below you will see a coconut snowball snack cake snowman, and one with chocolate covered strawberries. Fun to do with kids too.

Snowman treats

You can make these ideas as simple as you’d like too. For instance, eliminate some of the accessories, arms, or costumes, if desired. You may get your own ideas when viewing the pictures and reading the instructions. Full directions for these snowmen can be found on our snowman crafts page.

Marshmallow snowman

Santa Treats

On our page about Santa crafts, we have a few fun foody craft ideas to make as treats. Below you will see an apple (or red pear) Santa with frosting and coconut beard. And also a marshmallow on a kabob stick, with candy eyes and frosting-coconut beard. So follow the Santa link to find all the details for these holiday treats for seniors.

Santa treats

More Treats…

Hershey Kiss Mouse

Among the very popular holiday treats is the Hershey Kiss mouse. Perfect for hanging on a tree (mine have lasted for years)  or from a wreath, or at place settings.

We have easy directions on our mouse crafts page. And you may get more ideas to modify for the holidays. Mice seem to be a favorite theme at holiday time.

Coconut Haystack Trees

Holiday treats for seniors wouldn’t be complete without a winter evergreen tree. Or two. Making haystacks with melted white chocolate, a couple drops of green food coloring, and coconut is easy.

Just mold them into tree shapes while still warm, and top with a candy and some sprinkles. Perhaps white frosting snow on top too. See more on our food activities page.

Also on the food activities page, you’ll see how simple it is to make decorative chocolate swirls, which can be place on cupcakes or cakes, even hung. Pink is popular at Christmas time, but they can also be done with green food coloring, or just left as white chocolate.

If you want to get fancy, make them in a snowflake shape. Below is a snowflake template that can be printed to your desired size, then placed under wax paper to follow the lines. You can change the basic design as needed.

snowflake template

Burlap Candy Jars

Any kind of red or green jar or vase can be used with various holiday treats for seniors. This one is a masonite jar from a thrift store. Just fill with candies or treats you have made.

Then cut a length of burlap, glue it to the jar, and tie a couple strands of raffia around it. Raffia can also be found in colors at the craft store. You can also insert a twig of greenery, or hang a tiny ornament.

The jar above is filled with chocolate covered pretzels and candies. Learn how to make the pretzels on our creative dipping chocolate page.

All-Natural Gingerbread

It is said that ginger is really good for digestion and the autoimmune system! Both gingerbread cake and cookies are traditional holiday treats. Our gingerbread cake recipe features all-natural ingredients and is sweetened with honey. No sugar.

To make it especially festive, add food coloring to the whipped cream, or top it with a holiday candy and/or sprinkles.

And an excellent beverage with gingerbread (or another favorite treat) is…

Holiday Cookie Tree and Mini Gifts

cookie tree

It’s easy to bake and decorate a batch of star-shaped cookies. Stack them so each cookie is a little off-center from the next one, to create the effect of branches.

Stacking — You can either stack them by applying a dab of frosting between each cookie, as “glue.”
…Or use a stick with stand. Before baking, make a hole in the center of each. The size of the hole will depend on the type of stick you will use… Then either stack them on a kabob skewer, or a narrow wooden dowel.

You will probably also need to make a stand. (Sometimes the stack will stand up by itself, however. Especially if the bottom cookie is a bit larger). Anyone handy with wood can certainly drill a hole in a block of wood and glue in the dowel.

Or insert the entire construction into a nice, large piece of cake, as a base. Push about 2 inches of the bottom of the skewer into the cake, then stack the cookies. The bottom cookie will rest across the piece of cake and stabilize the tree.

Tie a ribbon around the tree to help stabilize and decorate it. Top it with another cookie or large candy (jumbo gumdrops and truffles work well too). These trees make nice centerpieces, gifts, prizes, or give-aways.

The mini gift stacks are just smaller cookies in a stack tied together with a ribbon. They’re fun at place settings or for dessert.

Mulled Wine

This sweet and spicy traditional drink has a rich flavor and can be make with either regular wine or non-alcoholic. There is also a version made with white wine, but red is usually the favorite for winter holidays.

Excellent with many desserts and also chocolates. So learn how to make mulled wine the easy way at our link.

Mom’s Famous Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is another favorite during the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving. My mom had a wonderful all-natural recipe made with pure maple syrup (honey is good too). So again, no refined sugar at all. And the consistency is excellent too.

Dress it up with holiday plates or a colorful candy on top of the whipped cream.

Get the full recipe on our easy pecan pie page.

cookie ornaments

Cookie Ornaments

Ornaments can be creates from a variety of cookie shapes. Making them a little thicker works the best. Make a hole in each before backing. Decorate according to you preference, then tie a ribbon through the holes.

These holiday treats for seniors look wonderful hung on a table-top sized tree in the center of a table. Participants can then each take them as desired. A small tree with cookie ornaments is also popular as a prize or give-away. Even at a silent auction. The entire tree can also be wrapped in plastic wrap, gathered it at the top, and tied with a bow.

And don’t forget the gingerbread folk! (We love to use candy eyes from the craft store).

gingerbread folk

Also see:

December Senior Activities
— We could hardly believe what we found for December besides the holidays! Full of surprises.
Delicious Healthy Dessert Recipes – Our web site stresses natural and healthy too. Many from family recipes. 

to Party Theme Ideas

A wine and chocolates party is very well attended – and quite versatile to fit your needs, including with non-alcoholic selections. It can be either casual yet elegant, or more elaborate.

Whatever way you choose, these parties are popular activities for seniors. And also make great events for the public, including as promotions for your group or campus, or with fund raising.

This party is simple to include within other themes too – such as different holidays like Valentine’s Day, winter holiday traditions, anniversaries and birthdays.

Or just for no particular reason at all! And of course with chocolates, one needn’t feel quite as guilty indulging, since there are actually health benefits of chocolate, as you may have heard. Great for family settings, clubs, or if you’re an activities director, for a group or campus.

Wine and Chocolates Party Ideas

Decorating

Get out your best tablecloths and fancy napkins for a wine and chocolates party — or purchase nice paper goods at a party store.

Also get out your best wine glasses, dishes and platters. (However, if you’re not able to use glass wine glasses, nice plastic types will be fine).

Displaying the chocolates adds decorative ambiance. Perhaps you have special dishes. If you have a tiered serving platter, it’s a striking way to display and serve your chocolate desserts.

Candles always add ambiance – I prefer the flameless battery kind for safety. If you or one of your group have fancy table lamps or candelabras, they can be an added touch.

A fancy chocolate cake can also serve as a centerpiece.

The Wine

At your wine and chocolates party, be sure to offer at least a couple kinds of white and red wines, both dry and sweet, some light and some more heavy bodied. Here are some examples:

  • Light body wines – Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Reisling
  • Medium body – Merlot, Zinfandel, some Chardonnays
  • Heavy body – Port, Cabernet Sauvignon, some Chardonnays
  • Champagne or sparkling wine – There are many to choose from and vary in price. Perfect for holidays too.

Other nice additions are a red port, sweet sherry, sweet Marsala, or framboise (French for raspberry), which is actually a raspberry flavored liqueur or brandy. (One of my favorites!)

Be sure to also offer non-alcoholic juices and sparkling beverages for guests who prefer them.

Consider asking a local liquor store (or winery!) to come out and give a presentation. They may require a guaranteed minimum attendance, and they may also want the option of selling wine at your event.

But it will be very instructional as well as fascinating, and many varieties of wine will be available to taste (and buy).

The Chocolate

You can, of course, buy a variety of candies, cookies, and cakes at the store or bakery to serve with your wine. Chocolate can come in a variety of colors – white, brown, pink. And specialty colors for holidays. Colors will make your tables look very festive.

Another easy option for a wine and chocolates party is to do it pot luck style — just have each guest bring a favorite chocolate concoction and share them.

Offer at least 5 or 6 chocolate desserts. Here are a few favorites: chocolate mousse, truffles, mints, brownies, fudge (including white chocolate), bundt cakes, German chocolate cake, and chocolate-cherry cake.

And chocolate dipped items like strawberries, nuts, and pretzels (see links below for making them). You could also have everyone bring a chocolate recipe along too, then swap!


Want fun food activities?

Learn to make chocolate covered strawberries, or dipping chocolate, (i.e. pretzels and fruits).

See some more delicious chocolate recipes on our web site submitted by our readers:
Brandy Chocolate Custard — An excellent somewhat indulgent dessert!
Rich Chocolate Cheesecake — Cheesecake lovers will certainly love this one; easy to make too.
Fabulous Fudge — This fudge recipe has all kinds of goodies in it.

Don’t forget some sugar-free items too. You can find sugar-free candies and chocolates in most grocery stores and chocolate shops. If you are baking from scratch, be sure to make some items with a substitute sweetener for those who have dietary restrictions. They will really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

To really make a statement for any dessert type party…

Consider renting a chocolate fountain from a party rental service. They’re fabulous, come with full instructions and are easy to use. Or buy one – it will get a lot of use if you have parties. Prices range from about $30 up.

Just about everybody loves wine and chocolate – you might want to consider an RSVP for this party — it will be a popular one!

Our Kindle Books!

And do take a look at our Kindle books — especially “Fun Party Themes for Seniors”! (We even include lots more ideas and detail about a wine and chocolates party).

Be sure to also read:

Fiesta Party Ideas — See our fiesta party ideas and easy recipes, including for some delicious Sangrias and chocolate covered chicken (mole)! Fun projects for party decorations and centerpieces too.
Senior Activity Ideas — Need other activity ideas? A nice variety of senior activities, many easy to modify. Some great to do alone, and some in groups.
Elderly Activities — A wide range of activities for those who may need more assistance. Includes indoors, outdoors, games, food projects, crafts.

to Party Theme Ideas

Food activities and easy recipes are very popular for all ability levels!

And we have a really nice selection of activities with food and easy recipes ideal for the elderly.

They range from chocolate, to whimsical salads, to candy, to special cookies, to gourds, to apples. Ideal for parties, get-togethers, gifts, even centerpieces. And great to do with kids! Our food activities are also easy to modify for those who need extra help.

Special Seasonal Treats…
For specialty seasonal treats (including lots of whimsy), check out:
Halloween Treats for Seniors, and (Winter) Holiday Treats for Seniors !

Try These Food Activities

Chocolate Covered “Worms” – I used to love these as a child, and would tease my friends with them (who of course thought they were really worms).

Warm up a container of dipping chocolate in the microwave according to instructions. Heat it in 15 second spurts and stir, to prevent burning. Then put in a larger mixing bowl for more room. Stir in about 2 cups of chow mein noodles. Mix until coated.

Cover a platter with wax paper. Adding a little coconut is also a good variation. Spoon lumps of the mixture onto the platter. Refrigerate for at least a half an hour, until firm. This no-bake recipe is very easy. Take the out of the fridge about 15 minutes before eating, or they may be hard to bite.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel People — We have a great page on dipping chocolate, including pretzels. (You can also easily dip and decorate any fruit especially apricots, smaller looped pretzels, nuts, pound cake pieces, and cookies).

See how we turn them into Pretzel People using inexpensive candies and other items.  Make them easy or fancy. Use milk chocolate, dark, even white.

These food activities are perfect for party snacks, prizes, desserts, or adding to gifts. For gifts, put a little tag around the neck (make home-made gift tags as a project) that says “From ____” and write in the person’s name.

Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries — This is one of our most food activities and can be adjusted for many abilities. We’ve created a special page just to find out exactly how to make them.

And really fun ways to decorate the strawberries after they’ve been dipped! Create them for yourselves, a get-together, or to give away as special gifts. They’re always a favorite. Also a really good project to do with kids. See our page to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

Chocolate Swirls — Swirls offer a couple of food activities. It’s easy to make these fanciful creations as a “craft” to use as stand-alone candy treats. Or to go along with other food projects as well, such as special occasion concoctions that you might make.

As with dipping chocolate for strawberries, you simply microwave the chocolate chip bits, whether standard brown chocolate, white, or colored by adding food coloring to white. Shown here is white with a drop of red coloring.

You’ll need — White (or brown) chocolate chip morsels, food coloring color of your choice, a plate with wax paper, a spoon and a toothpick, or piece of kabob skewer (which a prefer because it’s a bit chunkier and works well).

Melting — Put about a half cup of white chips into a microwavable bowl. Heat for 20 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir. Heat again 15 seconds, then stir. Then 6 to 10 seconds, as needed. You want to leave a few lumps in the mix and let them melt on their own so as to not overdo it.

Stir until all are melted. Add a drop of food coloring, and mix again. If the mixture is too thick or stiff, add a drop of room-temp water and re-heat for about 5 seconds.

Drizzling — With a spoon, start drizzling onto the wax paper streams of chocolate while it’s still melted and warm. You can help nudge it off the spoon with your stick. Some lines can be thin, because as you can see from the first photo, they stay in tact nicely. Use the stick to move the chocolate around in free-form designs. Drip on more swirls as desired. They can be as simple or fancy.

When you get the look you want, put it in the fridge for at least 10 to 15 minutes. When set and ready to serve, gently slide it off the wax paper with a metal spatula. Use alone or on a dessert (cake and cupcakes are great too) or even a salad. Make different colors for different holiday food activities! See how I used it for a Valentine’s Day apple bowl dessert, below.


Easy Chocolate Cup
— In this picture, besides using a chocolate swirl (in brown chocolate) as described above, there is also a chocolate cup.

You can buy them online or at some grocery stores as well. But for a price.

Or make them yourself! It’s as simple as painting melted chocolate into a baking cup. Yes, with a paint brush. Almost anyone can do it.

These make excellent food activities, and they can be used along with lots of other projects, and for lots of holidays and events. See just what to do on our fresh strawberry desserts page.

Haystacks — Most haystacks call for regular brown chocolate, and you have to toast the coconut. But I don’t. Mine are totally no-bake. And in different colors. Just add a drop of food coloring to melted white chocolate. Use pink for Valentine’s Day, green for St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas, orange for Halloween, etc. I also did one in red, white and blue for the 4th of July, with a mini flag sticking out of the top. See how at summer senior activities.

Hershey Kisses Mice — Mouse crafts made with Hershey Kisses are really popular. Besides making cute ornaments, we have other ideas for gifts and even a centerpiece if you want to get fancy. These mouse food activities involve working with small parts, so extra help may needed for some. Get details at Hershey Kiss Mouse Chocolate Crafts.

Mouse Crafts With Food — We have a whole page just on making different kinds of mouse crafts, and some are food activities too, like the donut hole mouse.

This guy has ears made of gum drop slices, candy eyes and nose, and  the tail can be made from a variety of foods, like a slice of licorice rope. You may get your own ideas too. It sits in a mini party cup, or in a candy paper (the kind you get with chocolates).

Ladybug Salad — (And other whimsical characters at Creative and Simple Fruit Salad Characters). Check out this special food activities page with several projects for a fun simple fruit salad, complete with decorating tips, garnishments, and even a fabulous Carrot Slaw to use on the side, and fruit salad dressing too. These amusing cartoon salads are also very healthy. We have several whimsical fruit salads and how to make them.

These are lots of fun for just a special treat, or to get ready for parties and luncheons. Even to do with kids — they love them and get lots of laughs!


Creative Halloween Treats

Get ghosts, ghouls, pumpkin, magic wands, raven ideas and more. (Some new witch treats coming soon too!)

All of these fun treats are easy to make and will add a little pizzazz to a party, table setting, or give-aways. Excellent to do with kids too. Go to Creative Halloween Treats for Seniors.

(And many of the food activities you see on this main page can be adjusted for Halloween as well).

Gourd Craft Ideas – One of our easiest food activities to make – with those funny lumpy, bumpy gourds (squash). One of my all-time favorite projects. And when you’re done displaying them, you could cook and eat them! We show how to make several whimsical creatures from inexpensive craft materials and items, and many you may have around.

Imagine what else you can do. Although gourds and squash are great for fall, you can find them any time of the year and make characters for almost any holiday, season, or party. Great give-aways too! See Gourd Craft Ideas – Gifts, Ghouls & Grannies.

Gourmet S’mores — Making a good ‘ole Smores (s’mores), the kind we had around the campfire, can bring back some great memories. But go beyond the norm and go gourmet. Did you know marshmallows and chocolate chips (baking chips) come in highly unusual flavors? Some quite spectacular. My son got me started with this. Fancy S’mores make excellent food activities, and a bonfire or grill isn’t necessary. Make them indoors or out. We’ve got lots of ideas, including microwaving at How To Make Smores – The Gourmet Way.

Candy Wreaths— Wreaths are fun and edible food activities – if you make them with frosting “glue”! You will need assorted candies from a dollar store, or from the bulk section of the grocery store; styrofoam rings of the desired size (or cut a ring from heavy cardboard); and frosting in a tub. Or for non-edible wreaths, a glue gun or strong craft glue. And other decorative items for the wreath. Spray paint the ring, if you’d like. We do have two versions here – edible or non-edible.

…Edible – Try using sugar-free candies; many kinds are now available. Use frosting, like “glue,” to attach candies in a variety of colors and sizes to the wreath shape. I get frosting in a tube or tub. Candies can suit your party or holiday (Valentine, Halloween, Christmas, etc).

Edible wreaths are temporary, to be used for a centerpiece, for instance. When the candies and frosting glue have set, put an object in the center hole to complete the centerpiece, such as a holiday decoration, statue, vase of flowers, greens, or a candle.

…Non-edible – These candies will be mounted on the wreath shape with a glue gun or other strong craft glue (use plenty – it dries clear). You can pile or overlap the candies in interesting patterns. Dry the glue well. Decorations such as bows or holiday items can be added. When finished, give it a couple coatings of spray varnish to help preserve it and add shine. These wreaths will be strong enough to hang on a wall, or also use in a centerpiece.

Edible Flowers — Have you ever made something with edible flowers? Yes, many flower petals can indeed be eaten and offer a delicate taste and fragrance to foods. They can be found at specialty food stores and upscale grocery stores, as well as online. In this sample, they’ve been placed on top of cupcakes. See our page on edible flower recipes to learn more. These are spectacular for special occasions and parties.

Apple Wreaths — Apple wreaths are an old-fashioned tradition. Check out our easy-to-make spicy aroma apple wreaths. If you bake and dry the apples yourself, these food activities smell heavenly. Add other items to decorate them, like pine cones, ginger chunks, cranberries, candy, ribbon, even even small ornaments.

The wreaths can be used alone or with a centerpiece or candle. These are great ideas for many seasons, and we explain both the easy version and the more traditional way of making them. See our page on Really Easy Apple Craft Ideas.

Painted Apples — On the same apple crafts page (the link above), we also show how to paint on apples. These can range from very simple, like the daisies shown here, to much more fancy. Change the design for other holidays – holly sprigs or snowflakes in the winter.

Painted apples are excellent food activities. They can be made either as non-edible decorative items (painted with white opaque marker), or edible (painted with white frosting in a tube). For those who may have difficulty drawing, even loose free-form flowers or squiggles and stars are fun. Plus, add a little blue (i.e. candies) and you have something patriotic. So just follow the link above to find out more.

Party FoodDo you need more party ideas (and party food activities to go with them)? Then see our page all about party theme ideas. We’ve got topics ranging from pickle tasting, to a great luau, to all-out details on how to do a gone-fishing party suitable for any age, or a full-fledged fiesta, including for the elderly. Even if you think you’ve tried just about every party there is, there just may be something new for you here.

Strawberry Bouquet — We use strawberries in a lot of our food activities. These strawberry desserts have a choice of toppings and are fabulous bouquet gifts you can make.

Do it the easy way or make chocolate covered strawberries.

Put them in a vase full of candy, nuts or other snacks; and tie a pretty ribbon around it. Or make a parfait bouquet (which you eat right away).

See our page for explanations at Bouquet Strawberry Desserts. These are elegant for parties, Mother’s Day, birthdays, gifts any time of year. We have many different ideas!


Also see:

Our Craft Book!

Easy Crafts and Gifts — Why hunt all over our site? Get lots of NEW ideas, and some of our other favorites from here.

Over 120 activities, plus a FREE booklet of templates and patterns you can use for a variety of projects. So you get Two for One! Get a sneak peek.

Kindle Book!

Want more party ideas, activities, decorating, crafts and special recipes (many exclusively from my Dad’s own recipe box)? Then don’t miss this thorough Kindle book – at a bargain price. Especially if you don’t just have the time to go hunting down party possibilities and all that goes with them. The book includes lots of new ideas, and also some from our web site, brought together in one easy place (and with lots more detail). See it at Kindle:

Senior Activity Ideas — For seniors who have a higher ability level; many can be modified for those who need extra help.

Senior Activities – By the Month (and the 4 Seasons)!


to Elderly Activities

No doubt your December senior activities will include festivities for the holidays. But what about the rest of the month? Get easy arts and crafts with inexpensive craft supplies, food fun, games, recipes, gift ideas, plus special interests like music, history, literature, making a difference, and lots more.

December Themes – Evergreen branches and trees, pine cones, gingerbread characters, cardinals,  star, snowflakes, mittens and stocking caps, snowmen, ornaments, holly, poinsettias, red bows, gifts boxes, white bunnies, bells, candy canes.

If you’re looking for craft ideas, our page on winter holiday activities for seniors gives lots more ideas for any holiday traditions too. Plus, we have a creative selection of simple Christmas crafts. Including food fun.

Our December Senior Activities

Commemorations for December


Community Service Month -  Even for those who can’t go out, there are possibilities to help. Make something special, or collect donations for children’s hospitals, animal shelters, senior citizens, coat drives, hat and mitten drives, Toys for Tots, and making cards, making fleece blankets,  or gift baskets for service men and women and others who may be in need, lonely or ill. Sharing through your December senior activities helps these months pass quickly.

Random Acts of Kindness Month – Create a designated week for your group or family to focus on special kindnesses during this time, as part of your December senior activities. Be sure to include little unexpected things. You could also draw names and keep it secret until the end.

Hi Neighbor Month – This could also go along with random acts of kindness. And because it’s a month of holiday cheer, it’s especially easy to be neighborly and friendly. Use this month to make an extra effort to include and get to know those who may be new or a bit withdrawn. Get-togethers or special visits during December senior activities are always more fun with food! Perhaps share recipes.

Read a New Book Month – December is a great month to read a new book, especially on a topic you may not usually choose. Maybe even about starting a new hobby or re-igniting interest in an old one. It’s also an ideal month to start a book club. You can also read aloud to those who no longer can. See ideas at senior reading activities.

Write to a Friend Month – Remember the days of writing traditional letters? So many people use e-mail now or just don’t write letters anymore. Use this month to write to someone special, and not just in a holiday card. You might include a photo or a favorite poem or quote. Write a letter to someone in need, someone who was ill or in the hospital, or a service man or woman especially who is overseas. These are all excellent December senior activities for a group.

Special Celebrations:
Christmas
Hanukkah
Winter Solstice – either December 21 or 22 – The shortest day of the year.
Kwanzaa – African-American, December 26 two January 1. Celebrates the principles of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

Dates for December

December 1 – Eat a Red Apple Day – And you can get fancy with apples too! See our delicious and easy apple recipes. Or make something as a group activity. Another option, if your group is able, is to make and share apple treats potluck style, along with a little apple cider of course!

December 1 – National Pie Day – Any kind! You may have favorites, and you can certainly get opinions. Since it’s also a day for apples, apple pie is homey and nostalgic. We have an excellent all-natural family recipe sweetened with pure maple syrup (or honey). See our easy apple pie recipe

December 4 – National Cookie Day – An excellent time to share cookie recipes or try something new from a different country or culture. Make a party of it – you can’t have enough of those in your December senior activities! Maybe have a cookie potluck where members bring in their favorites if able, or a recipe to share.

December 5 – Walt Disney’s Birthday – Who doesn’t love Disney cartoons, movies and programs. Have a theme cake or cookies, maybe a theme balloon or two, and watch a few Disney cartoons or even a movie (you can get them from the library too). For those interested, you might have someone talk about the life of Walt Disney. He was an inspiration. (Kids would love to participate in this day).

December 6 – Mitten Tree Day – There may be those in your group who knit or know someone who does. A great community service project is to create a mitten tree for those in need, especially children. Evergreens, whether real or artificial are often used. Have a group activity knitting mittens and/or hanging them on the tree, ready to be donated to charity when ready. Folks can also of course purchase mittens to hang as well.

….Craft Idea – Mittens also make easy decorative crafts for your December senior activities! Stuff them with tissue or cotton, then decorate with old jewelry, bows, ribbons, artificial flowers, etc. Attach a ribbon to hang, and you’re done. 

December 6 – St. Nicholas Day – An interesting tradition in many Christian churches. We celebrated and loved this when I was growing up. More festive winter senor activities to look forward to! St. Nicholas was born in Greece in the 300s, and is particularly celebrated throughout Europe. He was known for secret gift giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of the needy. We would each put a shoe out by the door the evening before, and in the morning it would be filled with little treats and gifts. You can improvise to find ways of giving treats on this day.

December 7 – Pearl Harbor Day – Many seniors know those who served in World War II and remember this day. You can do something patriotic, like decorating tables with red white and blue and serving a special dessert. For those interested, there are several good documentaries and a movie available also.

December 7 – National Cotton Candy Day – On a lighter note, this day is also a celebration for cotton candy! In December! If you’re able, consider renting a cotton candy machine and serve a special treat on this day. You can also invite families and/or children too.

December 8 – The first Christmas card was produced – A good time to make a homemade Christmas card and give it to someone special or collect them to send to those who may be in need, or need uplifting.

December 10 – Emily Dickinson’s birthday, 1835 – For those interested, your December senior activities can also include a little literary fun. Dickinson was an American poet from Massachusetts. She wrote over 800 poems, and most of them were not discovered until after her death. You can get books of her poems from the library and have a reading along with refreshments. Or try a little poetry writing yourselves.

December 10 – The first Nobel Peace Prize awarded – Some in your group may be interested in history and social concerns. A wonderful topic to explore. The first Peace Prize was awarded in 1901 to Frederic Passy (Co-founder of the Inter-Parliamentary Union),  and Henry Dunant (founder of the Red Cross). It is fascinating to see who over the years won this prize, and for what.

December 11 – Apollo 17 lands on the moon, 1972 – For those who are astronaut buffs, this was the last lunar landing mission. Have someone give a presentation to your interested group, or even have a guest speaker come in, such as from a local college or university.

December 11 – The Pilgrims land on Plymouth Rock, 1620 – Although the accuracy of this event is debated, it’s still a colorful part of history. The Rock itself has its own history, just a granite boulder engraved with “1620,” yet has become an icon. But the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower, and learning the reality is quite interesting. There are several realistic documentaries about this, mostly likely at your library.

December 12 – The first poinsettia plant – Was brought to the US from Mexico by Joel Roberts Poinsett in 1825, who was the first US minister to Mexico. Ideas include putting real or artificial poinsettias at your tables, and even having a lunch or dinner with poinsettia themed paper plates, cups, napkins. If possible, serve cupcakes or a cake decorated with poinsettias. And here is a template you can use too.

December 12 – Gingerbread House Day – If you’ve never made a gingerbread house before, this is the day! It’s also ideal for December senior activities with a group. There are loads of kits you can get, then decorate it to the hilt. Another easy way is to use an inexpensive wooden bird house as a base (dollar store), cover it with graham cracker sections, or cookies. Then lots of candies. Use a tub or squirt tube of frosting as “glue.” Members can bring a little candy if possible. Get lots of decorating ideas online.

December 13 – National Cocoa Day – Most of us have heard about the health benefits of chocolate. It’s fund to list them on a table card. The origins of cacao / coco are quite interesting as well. Serve hot coco today, and make a recipe with coco or chocolate of any kind. On our easy food activities page we have some creative ideas with chocolate!

December 15 – Edison patented the first phonograph, 1877 – Remember these? Does anyone in your group have a traditional phonograph? If you can get hold of one, especially one that works, include some nostalgic music with your December senior activities, and learn about this invention. A fun presentation topic.

December 16 –The Boston Tea Party, 1773 – For history enthusiasts, celebrate this precursor to the American Revolution, when the Sons of Liberty sneaked aboard the British ships in Boston Harbor and threw all the tea into the sea. You may find a documentary about it… serve a cup of tea while you’re at it.

December 16 – National Chocolate Covered Anything Day – A person could go nuts with this one! If you want ideas for chocolate (in many colors) food activities, see our pages on dipping chocolate, and also how to make chocolate covered strawberries. Ideas for holidays too.

December 17 – Beethoven’s birthday (baptism) 1770 – For those interested in music, this German composer and pianist is one of the most famous of all time, especially since he was deaf in the end and still kept composing. Music is always a favorite in our December senior activities. So play a little background Beethoven music at your lunch or dinner. Or, you may have a pianist in your group or someone you can call upon to play some Beethoven live. There is also a very good movie about his life called “Immortal Beloved.”

December 17 – National Maple Syrup Day – Of course, pure maple syrup is the best! On this day perhaps serve pancakes with syrup for breakfast; or maple syrup candy at coffee time, or bake a special treat using maple syrup as a sweetener instead of sugar. We give a few ideas on our delicious healthy dessert recipe page.

December 18 – Bake Cookies Day – December senior activities just must include some cookie baking, an activity for all ages. Do this as a group holiday experience (with snacking allowed, of course), and try some new decorating techniques too. And try new recipes; again, perhaps from other traditions.

Plus create cookie gift baskets to give away or use as prizes.

December 19 – Oatmeal Muffin Day – December does have a lot of food days, and this is particularly nostalgic. And oats are good for us! Make them as a group, or serve for breakfast or snack time.

December 20 – Games Day – Some organizations have designated this day for games. Sounds good to us! If you need some ideas, see our page for elderly games to use in your December senior activities. Many can be modified to have a holiday or December theme.

December 21 – Don’t Be A Scrooge Day – (a.k.a. Bah Humbug Day). For looking on the bright side, sharing and extending ourselves to others. This can be part of Random Acts of Kindness Month, or Community Service Month. If you were going to watch a “Christmas Carol” Scrooge movie as part of your December senior activities, this is the perfect day.

December 24 – National Eggnog Day – Another holiday tradition, along with special treats, maybe a few games, and perhaps watching a holiday movie or program. Make your own eggnog (with or without the brandy or rum, depending on your group), or buy it at the grocery.

December 25 – Christmas Day – For those who celebrate, no doubt you do have ideas already in place.

December 25 – National Pumpkin Pie Day – Which is not just a Thanksgiving dessert! If you’d like a delicious all-natural recipe (our family sweetens with maple syrup), see our spicy easy pumpkin pie recipe.

December 28 – National Card Playing Day – Many senior groups enjoy playing cards, so why not designate this as a special day. You might include door prizes, contests, and special refreshments. Offer a variety of card games that anyone could enjoy.

December 30 – Rudyard Kipling was born, 1865 – For those interested in literature, this famous writer during the time of British Imperialism, was known for such classics as “Jungle Book,” (also a movie) “Kim,” (also a movie with Errol Flynn from 1951), and the poem “Gunga Din.” (also a movie from 1939). He was one of the most popular writers in England. In 1907 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. You can get his work at the library, and many are short enough to read aloud. Other movies are “The Man Who Would be King,” “Elephant Boy” and “Captains Courageous.”

December 31 – New Year’s Eve – You may already have plans to have a New Year’s Eve party. And you may be thinking about new ideas, so check out our perfect party theme ideas page to get some.

Our Books!

Easy Crafts and Gifts

Find many more December senior activities in our comprehensive craft book – over 120! (Get a sneak peek)! Plus, a booklet of FREE templates.  So why hunt all over our web site. Get a collection of our favorites, AND lots of new crafts never seen before. TWO books for one!

Also see:
Senior Activity Ideas — Our page of General activities for all year long.
Fun Elderly Activities — For those who may need more help.

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Almost everyone knows how to make Smores (aka s’mores) – we have sincewe were little, around the campfire… roasting the marshmallow on a stick, andputting it between two graham crackers along with a square of chocolate, whichthen melts.

But what if you don’t have a campfire? What if it’s off-season? Andwhat if you want something nostalgic, yes, but also a little more…gourmet? Here are some fun marshmallow recipes for gourmet Smores.

My family (especially my grown boys) has been trying Smore combinationsfor years now, and this page is based on some of our favorites. Plus, you don’tneed a campfire or grill – they can be done in the microwave. So these arereally easy as elderly activities too, for those who may have some limitations.They’re fun to put together, and fun to eat. And someone can help with themicrowaving, as necessary.

The three main ingredients for Smores are marshmallows, chocolate, andgraham crackers. But with a few interesting modifications, you can soonsee how to make Smores gourmet style.

How To Make Smores – Gourmet Style

Marshmallow Flavors

You may or may not know that marshmallows come in all sorts of flavorsnowadays. They’re excellent in experimenting with how to make Smores in a freshway. You can find them in specialty grocery stores, gourmet shops, or get themonline.

There are a couple of brands which are all-natural lines, even usinghoney and fresh juices, which and make many flavored marshmallows. (Sincebrands come and go and are different in various countries, I won’t go into thathere).

Some of my son’s favorites are German chocolate, pina colada(!), mint andstrawberry (also perfect to use in fresh strawberry desserts) . We’ve found marshmallows in such flavors as mocha, coconut, maplepecan, cherry, pumpkin spice, key lime, vanilla, sour lemon, and caramel. Even kindsmade with liquor like coffee liqueur or bourbon.

If you can’t find flavored marshmallows in your area, or if the onesyou can find are pricey, then fake it!

Just add a little flavoring of your own on the marshmallow before melting it… likeraspberry syrup or jam, real raspberries or other fruit, caramel syrup, cinnamon, or a tadof liqueur. (One of the fun foodactivities for any season is making your own home-made marshmallows, and flavoringthem yourself – just look up a recipe online).

The sample shown here uses freshraspberries with raspberry chocolate. If I’d had a little raspberry syrup, I would have drizzled some on as well.

Chocolate Flavors

We needn’t just use good ole’ Hershey’s chocolate squares for Smores. Thereare loads of chocolate bars out there with extravagant flavors such as toffee,mocha, spicy, raspberry, caramel, mint, orange, coconut, chipoltle and salt, amoretto, pumpkin, lavender, chocolates with liqueur, and/orwith a variety of nuts. All in either milk chocolate or dark. And then there’s bacon flavored chocolate. And don’t forget white chocolate — delicious in Smores. These flavors are a must to try when learning how to make Smoresgourmet style.

Chocolate chips flavors (aka baking chips or chocolate drops) include peanut butter, butterscotch, vanilla, green mint, pink raspberry, cherry, cheesecake, coffee, cinnamon, yogurt, lemon, strawberry, and I’m sure more.

The Cracker

Traditional Smores, of course, are made with graham crackers. You mayhave already tried chocolate graham crackers or those with cinnamon. But let’sgo beyond graham. Have you ever tried, for instance, sweet potato crackers?

Howabout if we just skip the cracker concept and think cookie instead. Then youhave endless fancy possibilities of how to make Smores. I enjoy anything thinand delicate.

There is a particular type if thin biscotti with a ginger flavorthat is excellent for these. Or perhaps a lemon cookie, or caramel, mocha,cinnamon, chocolate chip, coconut – you can get a theme going with your threetypes of ingredients.

This one is made with ginger biscotti, dark chocolate with caramel, andcinnamon flavored marshmallow.

Healthy Smores?

Is there such a thing? Well, healthier.

If you got some of the natural marshmallows made with honey, sugar-free cookies or natural grahamcrackers, and sugar-free chocolate, you’ve got a good start. If sugar-freechocolates do not come as a flat bar, you can always melt any kind of chocolate pieces instead. Altogether, thesewill then make somewhat healthy desserts. (And I emphasize the somewhat).

Microwaving

Making Smores around a fire or grill is most ideal, but microwaving isa creative secondary option… you can control what happens a little more. I havetried it several different ways.

The first thing I learned is that a standard marshmallow melts in about10 seconds. It puffs way up and looks like it will explode (kids love this) and then settles down when you take it out. Hereare some microwaving variations:

  • You can put the bottom cracker or cookie on theplate first, then the chocolate and marshmallow, and heat it all together. Takeit out and put on the top cracker.
  • Or put the chocolate on later after you take themarshmallow out, and let it slightly melt by proximity.
  • Or you can just melt the marshmallow alone ifyou’re going to add in a bit of liqueur or flavoring, then spread it on thecracker and chocolate afterwards.
  • If you are using flavored marshmallows, natural kinds which can be denser, or the mini size, they may take longer than 10 seconds to melt. I was surprised that mini mallows took longer.

Microwaves vary. I suggest heating mallows in increments of 10 to 15 seconds.

My son showed me how to make Smores by putting a cookie in a smalldish, topped with a marshmallow and bits of chocolate (flavored chocolate chipswork well), melting, swirling it together, and then topping it with crumbledcookie and a little traditional graham cracker. Eaten with a spoon. He’s alsoput a spoonful of ice cream on top.

Party Smores

An easy way of how to make Smores for parties is to use small cookies, and use a flavor or color theme with the cookies, chocolate and marshmallows.

The sample shown above includesstrawberry flavored marshmallows, and a slice of strawberry in the inside aswell. I used white chocolate and butter cookies instead ofgraham crackers. You can sometimes get strawberry-flavored white chocolate chips, usually around Valentine’s Day. This would also be great for Valentine’s day or a party.

Once we got the knack of how to make Smores into special treats, wefound all kinds of ways to make them throughout the year, whether summer orwinter. Whether you have a campfire, fireplace, grill, table-top hibachi ormicrowave, there’s no doubt Smores can become a delicious and imaginative activityfor all ages.

Autumn Smores

This open face smore has a few drops of orange food coloring swirled through the melted marshmallow with a toothpick. Then scatter some sprinkles over the top. Then insert a toothpick or short kabob skewer with a black candy on top.

Be sure to also read:

Fresh Strawberry Desserts Festive enough for special holidays and parties, or any time of the year. From pie, to a hollowed apple bowl with berries, to a towering kabob, they’re delicious!

Perfect Party Theme Ideas — Who doesn’t love a party? We’ve got party ideas that are sure to add sparkle and life to your life. Plus crafts and décor activities to go along with them.

Delicious Healthy Dessert Recipes — Loads of variety (special family recipes too), and most are all natural!

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