Write Your Own Holiday Song – A Dementia-Friendly Activity
December 4, 2023
dementia-friendly holiday activity iconic

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… Jack Frost nipping at your nose… Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? That’s because these are the opening lines to one of the most popular songs of the holiday season, “The Christmas Song.”

Penned in 1945 by iconic musical duo Mel Tormé and Bob Wells, “The Christmas Song” highlights some of our favorite things about the winter season. Ironically, Performing Songwriter notes that Wells and Tormé actually wrote this song in the middle of July during one of the hottest summer days California had seen that year. 

Why? Because Wells had said that, “It’s so hot… I thought I’d write something to cool myself off… All I could think of was Christmas and cold weather.” In his autobiography, Tormé further explains that, after snowballing a few ideas back and forth, “The Christmas Song” was completed after about 45 minutes and was eventually released to the public in the late fall of 1946.

Now, “The Christmas Song” stands as one of the biggest and most popular Christmas songs of our time. Truly a timeless classic, this holiday anthem has well-earned its place at the top of the charts because it perfectly curates a lyrical image of what the holiday season looks like to each and every one of us. So much so, we believe “The Christmas Song” offers the perfect template to bring seasonal joy to your home with a special holiday-themed dementia-friendly activity: writing your own Christmas song!

Write Your Own Holiday Song: A Dementia-Friendly Activity

Get ready to bring some holiday magic to life! For this dementia-friendly holiday-themed activity, all you and your loved one have to do is create a list of some of your favorite things that come to mind when thinking of Christmas time, such as snowflakes falling or brewing a warm cup of hot cocoa. 

If you need a little help getting started, visit this website for a quick run-down on the lyrics to “The Christmas Song,” or, better yet, visit this YouTube page to listen to the actual song together! In fact, we strongly encourage you and your loved one to listen to this song a handful of times to get a feel for some of the themes that Wells and Tormé use to describe the holiday season (and remember: they wrote this song in the middle of summer!). Feel free to pause the song as often as needed, taking time between verses to talk about how this song makes you feel and any fond memories that might be brought to light.

Remember, this Christmas song is all yours! That means there is no right or wrong way to string your verses together. You and your loved one with dementia can make this song as long or as short as you want it to be. You can even mimic the outline of “The Christmas Song” or completely freestyle it and create something entirely different! The important part is being together, enjoying one of history’s greatest Christmas songs, and sharing heartfelt moments while reflecting on some of your favorite holiday themes.

Did You Know?

Oakwood Creative Care is bringing back the JOY in aging! We believe a diagnosis should not have to define your life. Instead, we have devoted our mission to reigniting hope for caregivers and older adults with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other age-related challenges. Click the button below to learn more about how we do this through our research-based, cutting-edge, creative care model found at each of our Day Clubs.

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We're a nonprofit organization based in Mesa, Arizona with three senior day club locations (and a fourth on the way) which serve older adults with Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, and various other physical or cognitive challenges. Life does not end with a diagnosis. Our members continue to learn new skills, enjoy new discoveries, make friends, laugh, and live a joy-filled life. Our team of dementia experts lead support groups, events, classes, and private sessions with caregivers and families, guiding them on the best methods to care for their loved ones while also caring for themselves.

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