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AARP Expert

#1 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Focus on What is Most Meaningful

The holidays are always challenging for family caregivers as we are all overwhelmed and exhausted and often don't have the time or energy or ability to celebrate the way we have in the past. This year, as we all live through the pandemic, the holidays may be even more complicated. So I'm sharing some of my   - hope they will be helpful!


Focus on what is most meaningful


As much as we’d like to create the perfect holiday experience, remember that perfection is not the goal of the holidays — meaning and joy are.


There are many factors we can’t control when it comes to our loved ones’ health and abilities, as well as COVID-19 safety precautions, so adjust your view of a successful holiday. Talk about prioritizing the holiday activities that hold the deepest meaning and are most doable this year. Allow yourself to embrace the "something is better than nothing" mindset. Focus on what feels the most necessary to produce a holiday feeling and create good memories.


  • For some people the most meaningful aspects of the holiday may be family gatherings - so focus on a way to do that safely, whether it's an outdoor gathering with fewer numbers or a video mealtime with loved ones all over the country.
  • If the decorating and preparing for the holidays bring the most joy - go for it - you can still decorate home to the hilt (ordering decorations and craft supplies online is easier than ever) and bake at home!
  • If religious services are the most meaningful, find out how services will be offered and focus on the safest way to participate.
  • While you may not have a traditional shopping trip this year, you can shop online while on video with loved ones, listen to holiday music and bake some cookies while you're at it! 
  • Music is so meaningful to me during holidays, so I will do all I can to watch concerts on TV, sing along to my CDs and with my smart speaker and maybe even go Christmas caroling outdoors this year!

Talk with the loved ones you care for and find out what they find most meaningful and you will find a way to touch their hearts this year too. The bottom line is that most holidays are about love, and even without the usual holiday activities, you can still find a way to spread love and meaning.


Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving


P.S. - below are links to my others Holiday Tips!


#10 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Ask for and Accept Help

#9 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Connect with Other Caregivers

#8 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Keep Up with Self-Care

#7 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Mind Your Holiday Mindset

#6 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Anticipate Holiday Hot Buttons

#5 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Approach Gift-Giving More Efficiently

#4 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Adjust Holiday Meal Plans

#3 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Start NEW Traditions!

#2 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Simplify your Holiday Activities

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