Recommendations for Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas in Nursing Home

12 days of Christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas is a traditional Christmas carol that describes in detail a series of gifts given on each of the twelve days leading up to Christmas. 

The gifts are given by a character known as “my true love,” and they include such things as partridges in pear trees, turtle doves, French hens, and calling birds. The song is thought to have originated in England, and it is a popular holiday song that is still sung by many people today.

“It starts on Christmas Day, December 25, and ends on January 5 of the following year.”

Here are some suggestions to help you celebrate

  1. Host a holiday movie marathon or watch holiday-themed movies and TV shows together.
  2. Decorate the nursing home with holiday decorations and lights.
  3. Host a holiday baking or cooking activity and make festive treats together.
  4. Have a holiday-themed arts and crafts session and make decorations or gifts.
  5. Host a holiday-themed game or trivia night and have residents compete in teams.
  6. Organize a holiday sing-along or musical performance and have residents perform or enjoy the music.
  7. Host a holiday party or dance and play festive music.
  8. Arrange a visit from Santa Claus or have residents dress up as Santa and hand out gifts.
  9. Have a holiday gift exchange and have residents bring in small gifts to exchange.
  10. Organize a holiday book club and have residents read and discuss holiday-themed books.
  11. Have a hot cocoa and cookie decorating party.
  12. Organize a holiday photo booth and have residents take fun holiday-themed photos.

Here’s a link to for party supplies and decorations.


Nursing homes should celebrate Christmas and other holidays, such as Hanukka, because it can bring joy and a sense of community to the residents. Many nursing home residents may be away from their families and friends during the holiday season, so celebrating Christmas can help provide a sense of belonging and togetherness.

Decorating the nursing home and participating in holiday activities can also improve the overall atmosphere and promote a positive mood among residents. The excitement and anticipation of the season can provide a much-needed boost for those who may be feeling lonely or depressed.

Celebrating Christmas in nursing homes can bring joy and a sense of community to the residents, improve the overall atmosphere, and provide opportunities for socialization and engagement. It is important to provide opportunities for seniors to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season.

Reference retrieved on December 10, 2022

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