Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

6 Valentine’s Day Ideas for Older Couples

Valentines day greeting card


Valentine’s Day can present a gift-giving conundrum for couples of any age, and for those who’ve been together for many years or decades, it can be even tougher. Perhaps you’ve been together so long that you feel you’re out of ideas, or maybe your partner insists they don’t want or need anything.

Los Angeles-based psychologist Dr. Nancy Irwin notes that a lot of older couples already have enough “stuff” and are attempting to downsize and de-clutter. “To that end, experiences are much more valuable than more stuff,” she says.

And for those whose partners would prefer a more tangible gift to hold onto, there are options that are more meaningful than the age-old flowers and candy combination. We’ve compiled the following guide to help point you in the right direction.


1. A picture is worth 1,000 valentines


Senior African couple looking at photo album


If you and your valentine are like a lot of older couples, you have a stack of photographs documenting your love story. Some of your favorite pictures together can make for a simple yet meaningful gift that your sweetheart is sure to appreciate.

You can get as creative as you want with your photographic memories – consider creating a scrapbook with love notes, ticket stubs and other mementos alongside photos of you and your partner. Or use digital photos to create a calendar filled with memories via an easy-to-use online service like Shutterfly or VistaPrint. Or for those looking for an even simpler last-minute gift, frame a favorite photo of you and your love – bonus points if it’s one you haven’t seen in a while.


2. A gift that’s just the ticket(s)


Audience silhouette and curtain


Maybe you’d rather focus this Valentine’s Day on creating new memories rather than reminiscing over past ones. Irwin suggests tickets to a concert, or to the theater, opera or ballet, among other activities. Plenty of websites, like Ticketmaster, or Vivid Seats are a good bet for tickets to entertainment near you.

For more affordable options, check out what your city or local college have to offer in the way of entertainment, and make sure to ask about senior rates or discounts. You might just find tickets for a date unlike any you and your long-term valentine has experienced.


3. Date night in a box


i have received my postal packet


Don’t feel like going out to celebrate Valentine’s Day? You and your sweetie can enjoy a night in with the help of a date subscription box. Subscription services like Crated with Love and Unbox deliver themed boxes full of ingredients for a successful date night, like  “Tea for Two” from Crated with Love. Each box includes date activities, games or projects designed to spark laughter and bring you and your partner closer.

If you want to stay in for the date night  but don’t feel like cooking, food delivery services like DoorDash, Grubhub and Seamless can bring meals from your favorite eateries to your door.


4. Entertainment blasts from the past


Player record and vinyl vintage


Bring back memories from the days when you and your valentine first got together with the gift of a movie or album from that time period. Recall that movie you two went to on one of your first dates, or that song that reminds you of your wedding or your first date? With the help of sites like Amazon and eBay, hard-to-find  films and records can be yours in a few clicks.

Whether your love story goes back several decades or just a few years, you can also visit an online music store like iTunes to create your own CD mix featuring tunes from your early days as a couple.


5. A monogrammed token of affection


His And Hers Wedding Cups


Monogrammed items are easy yet personal Valentine’s Day gifts. These days, just about anything can be monogrammed via online shops such as Etsy. Think coziness and pampering when considering what to monogram, like fluffy robes and slippers, or a super-soft pair of pajamas. Or, you might opt to put a personal stamp on items that the two of you can share for years to come, like wine glasses or luggage.


6. The gift of relaxation


Spa - Couple Towels With Candles And Orchid


The older you get, the more you could probably use a little TLC. Help your loved one soothe aches and pains and relieve stress with a spa treatment. That could mean a gift certificate to a local spa, or a gift that brings the spa experience to you. One such service is Soothe, which works only with fully background-checked, licensed massage therapists and offers both individual and couples massages.

Or create a DIY spa day for you and your sweetie with relaxation-boosting products like aromatherapy kits and manual massage tools.


Celebrating the Holidays When a Loved One Has Dementia



Celebrating the holidays with a loved one who has dementia can pose a number of unique challenges. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to enjoy a holiday celebration and traditions with this love done. If you’re hoping for a good holiday but are unsure of how to approach things due to your loved one’s dementia, the following tips can help.

Use the Senses to Evoke Memories

The senses, especially taste, smell and hearing, have a powerful effect on memories. Your loved one may not remember a specific event if it’s mentioned in conversation, but a sensory experience associated with the event could help bring the memory back.

When planning your holiday festivities, make your loved one’s favorite dishes and put on familiar tunes that they know well. The tastes, smells and songs may help bring to mind past holidays that are associated with cherished memories.

Share old photos of well-known places

Old photographs are another resource you might use to help your loved one remember past holiday celebrations. Just keep in mind that they may be embarrassed if they don’t remember a family member or dear friend’s name.

Instead of showing your loved one photos of family members and friends and asking them if they recall who’s in the pictures, use a less direct way of sharing photos so they won’t be ashamed if they can’t recall who is pictured. You can:

  • Put up a few photographs when decorating, so people can notice or pass by the pictures as they choose
  • Play a game trying to guess who is in old photos or baby photos, with everyone present guessing
  • Share photos of well-known places, which lets your loved one say they don’t remember the place rather than anyone in the picture

Opt for a simple celebration

Unfamiliar things can be frightening to someone whose memory is failing them, and even simple holiday items can become unfamiliar over a yearlong period. Just because your loved one remembered something last year doesn’t mean that he or she will remember it this year, especially if their condition has significantly worsened

Help your loved one enjoy, rather than be fearful of, all that’s going on by keeping your holiday celebration simple. Depending on what they’re comfortable with, you may want to only put up a few decorations, limit the number of gifts exchanged or even forgo a tree or candles.

Help your loved one act properly

At times, your loved one may not know hot to properly act during your family’s holiday celebration. They may be paralyzed by fear, or they may be confused about everything going on.

If you ever sense that your loved one either isn’t sure what they should do or will make a major faux pas, take the lead and guide them in what they should do. For instance, after they open a gift, you might want to remind them who the present was from and to say thank you.

If they’re having a particularly difficult time, you might even need to say something like “Mom, do you want to say ‘thank you, Jim?’” With such a direct question, your loved one can simply repeat what you say, or can simply say “yes.”

Keep activities calm

Lots of hubbub can make someone with dementia uneasy, and even those who don’t mind the activity can become fatigued after a daylong celebration. Young children, large family gatherings and constant activities can all take a toll.

Help keep your loved one from getting too overwhelmed by all that’s going on. Don’t be afraid to:

  • Have people move to a different room for a while
  • Ask kids to play in a different part of the house (especially if they got loud toys for gifts)
  • Specifically set aside some downtime in the middle of the day
  • Suggest everyone go outside for a while, take a shopping trip or see a movie

Celebrating the holidays with a loved one who’s suffering from dementia takes some forethought, but it isn’t too challenging. Keep these tips in mind, and you, your family and your loved one can all have a great time.


Holiday Gift Guide for Elderly Loved Ones


As the holidays approach, you’re likely starting to think about the perfect gifts for loved ones. Sometimes the older relatives on your list can be trickier to shop for. They may insist they don’t want or need anything, but you still want to get them a thoughtful gift.

We’re here to help take some stress out of your holiday shopping with this roundup of items aimed at enhancing the lives of older adults. To further simplify your holiday to-buy list, the below gifts are organized by price, including options to fit a range of budgets.


Gifts $25 and under


Hickies No-Tie Lacing System




Older adults with arthritis in their hands, fingers and wrists no longer have to struggle with laces on sneakers and walking shoes. The Hickies No-Tie Lacing System provides a sleek alternative to velcro shoes for those who have trouble tying their laces and/or bending down by turning any lace-up shoe into a slip-on.

The modular design allows for a one-size-fits-all approach so you can customize the tightness, comfort, security, and color. Available in four colors, the lacing system works on fabric and leather shoes alike.

Cost: $14.99

To order:






Perfect for the baker or chef in your life, the Staybowlizer kitchen aid acts as a third hand when cooking or baking. Its suction technology locks a bowl to the kitchen counter or table, eliminating the need for sore or arthritic hands to grip the bowl to hold it still. The Staybowlizer can also be used to secure a double boiler and is oven, microwave and dishwasher safe up to 500°F.

Cost: $19.99

To order:


Chipolo Plus



If you have a loved one who’s in the early stages of cognitive decline, the Chipolo Plus can lower everyone’s anxiety when trying to locate misplaced items like keys, medicine bottles and other important belongings. Just attach it to the object and whenever the tracking device is within 200-feet of you, you can enable the device to play a 100db loud melody until you find it.

When misplaced items are out of Bluetooth range, caregivers and loved ones can check the last known location feature on the app for a map that shows where it was last seen. You can also mark your device as lost to allow it to be discovered by the community.

Cost: $24.99

To order:


Gifts $25-$100


Gardening tool gift set by Radius




This set of gardening tools by Radius was especially designed for people with arthritis and hand weakness. The tools are comfortable to use, and their patented design features a natural grip meant to minimize hand and wrist stress. Ideal for the older adult who loves to garden. The gift set includes an aluminum hand cultivator, hand transplanter, hand weeder, and hand trowel that all come with a lifetime guarantee.

Cost: $39.99

To order:


Conscious Step Socks


Socially conscious older adults will love the chance to change the world with a pair of socks. The new Conscious Step Conscious Collection boxes contain socks, which support six of Conscious Step’s amazing partners,, UNAIDS, Action Against Hunger, Room to Read, Trees for the Future, and Global Citizen.

Purchasing these boxes will either provide 18 months of safe water, 2 schoolbooks for children in their native languages, and raise awareness through Global Citizen, OR provide 7 days of HIV therapy for an expectant mother, 6 lifesaving therapeutic food packs, and plant 20 trees.

Available in men’s US shoe size 8-12 and women’s size 9-13, each pair features a seamless 168 needle thread count and reinforced heels and toes for durability and are made from sourced from organic cotton dyed with non-toxic dyes.

Cost: $44.95, single pairs $14.95

To order:


Bella electric ceramic kettle




If you have an older loved one who loves a good cup of tea, the Bella electric ceramic kettle can help lower their worries about forgetting a tea kettle on the stove. The kettle is equipped with dry boil protection that cuts the power if it senses there’s no more water left. The convenient cord storage and concealed heating element provides a space-saving design meant to reduce clutter.

 Cost: $49.99

To order:


MagnaClick dress shirts



MagnaClick dress shirts for men are self-buttoning and feature magnets sewn into the pleats of the shirt eliminating the need to fuss with buttons. The technology was created with people with mobility issues in mind, including adults who suffer from arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The shirts are sold under the Van Heusen brand and are available in 5 colors (white, blue, black, charcoal, and canvas).

Cost: about $64.95 (but prices may vary by store)

To order: Available at Kohl’s, JCPenney, Macy’s and other major retailers.






Help older loved ones reflect on—and preserve—cherished memories that technology may have left behind in boxes and boxes of videotapes. The VIDBOX conversion tool, accompanied with easy step-by-step instructions, provides the ability to convert cherished footage at home at the user’s leisure.

An especially suitable gift for the photography lover or archivist of family milestones, the VIDBOX is available for PC and Mac and is compatible with VHS, Betamax, S-VHS, camcorder, TV, DVD player, game consoles, TiVo, DVR and cable set-top boxes.

Cost: $69.99 to $89.99, depending on platform

To order:






Recording family stories is a wonderful gift for the entire family, but many seniors don’t know where to start. StoryWorth helps older adults record their stories through weekly emails (sent for a year) with questions they might not think to ask.

The weekly emails feature unique questions meant to get your loved one talking about their life, such as,“What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever seen?” or “Have you ever pulled a great prank?”

All stories are securely stored on the family’s private StoryWorth account and can be easily shared with additional family members, if desired. After a year, StoryWorth’s team will create a bound hardcover book containing all of the stories shared within the past year.

Cost: $79

To order:


Reminder Rosie ReminderRosie

Reminder Rosie’s personalized, voice controlled, talking reminder system and alarm clock has a sleek clock interface and is a simple, hands-free solution for older adults to remember medication, appointments, and everyday tasks. Easy to set up, it can be used out of the box without touching any buttons. Reminder Rosie can be heard within a 100-foot radius, and turns off once someone says “reminder off” or pushes down on the big button. It’s a great tool for anyone who takes medication, but especially for those with dementia, memory loss, visual impairment or arthritis or other hand weaknesses, as it’s completely voice-activated.

Cost: $99.99

To order:


Gifts $100 and up


Mosaic Weighted Blankets



Anyone living with medical conditions including Restless LegSyndrome (RLS), Alzheimer’s, Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD), Fibromyalgia, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and general anxiety can have trouble falling — and staying — asleep.

Mosaic Weighted Blankets are designed to mimic the “back in the womb” experience by putting a slight pressure on the body to create the same sensation a person experiences when they receive a hug. The deep pressure created by the blanket causes the release of serotonin in the brain, the “happy, feel-good hormone”.

After an increase in serotonin, melatonin is released, which provides a calming effect as the user gets sleepy. You can custom order Mosaic Weighted Blankets since they come in a variety of fabrics and colors to suit any décor or older person’s favorite color and pattern preferences.

Cost: Prices start at $100

To order:


Simple Music Player



Research has confirmed both the benefits of providing people who have dementia with music they remember, and the need for easy operation that those living with cognitive issue require. The easy-to-use Simple Music Player is a retro music player that should put a smile on users’ faces and transport older adults to another era.

The music box comes preloaded with 40 oldie classics but can also be updated with additional tunes by a caregiver. Once set up, the player is highly intuitive and does not require any prior knowledge or memory to start and stop. The styling is also reminiscent of old radios and should be instantly recognizable as a music player.

Cost: $219.99

To order:


An earlier version of this article first appeared on

7 New Year’s Resolutions Every Family Caregiver Should Make

It’s the time of year when, in the midst of taking care of last-minute holiday preparations, many start thinking about the start of a new year and how they’d like their lives to be different, preferably better, in the coming year. It’s the New Year that inspires people to turn over a new leaf, whether they plan to lose weight, stop smoking or advance their careers. But for family caregivers, those resolutions might look a little different from most. We’ve rounded up a few New Year’s resolutions for family caregivers to help you determine how to improve your life, and the caregiving experience, in 2015.

1. Take time for yourself. Family Caregiver Resolutions

While it’s often difficult to put your elderly loved ones in the care of someone else, taking time to take care of yourself and recharge allows you to be more present when you are caring for your loved ones. Resolve to start taking some time for yourself, if not each day, at least once a week.

2. Reach out and ask for help.

Family caregivers are notorious for never asking for help, even when they’re in desperate need. You’re so used to having everyone else rely on you that the idea of being dependent on someone else is unfathomable to you. But many family caregivers are surprised to learn how many friends and family really do want to help; they just don’t know what to do. Commit to asking for help when you need it in 2015.

3. Get ample rest.

Whether you’re losing sleep because you’re up caring for your elderly loved one in the middle of the night or you’re having trouble sleeping due to stress, resolve to get enough rest in 2015. Lack of sleep can lead to a multitude of problems, including serious health conditions. If you’re not well-rested or you get sick, you won’t be able to provide the care your aging loved one needs.

4. Read a good book.

Many people get so tied up rushing through our day-to-day lives that reading a book seems out of the question. But reading a good book can be tremendously good for the soul. Read an inspirational book, such as Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul, or choose a book from this list of the best books for caregivers.

5. Find more balance.

If you’re a family caregiver and also a member of the Sandwich Generation, you’re painfully aware of the struggles of balancing multi-generational demands. Commit to finding more balance in 2015, dividing your time adequately among your children, elderly loved ones, spouse or partner, and work demands. A more balanced life is a more fulfilled life.

6. Advocate for your aging loved ones.

If your loved one suffers from a disease such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, get involved. Advocate for funding for a cure. Participate in fundraising events and, most importantly, network with other caregivers and families in similar situations. The support these networks can provide when times get tough is priceless.

7. See the value in yourself.

The elderly loved one you care for may or may not be able to tell you how much they appreciate you. Your children, if young, don’t know how to express their gratitude, or maybe they haven’t yet reached that pivotal moment in life when they realize just how much their parents love them and the sacrifices they made on a daily basis to provide for them. But they don’t have to vocalize it; trust us, they’re grateful. Because they can’t always thank you themselves, thank yourself. Be grateful for the opportunities you’ve been given and your amazing ability to be a pillar of support to so many people in your life. And take some time to enjoy it.

We’d love to hear your 2015 New Year’s resolutions. What suggestions do you have for family caregivers to live better, more balanced, more fulfilling lives next year?

Favorite Holiday Traditions from the Team

The holiday season is a joyous time of year filled with fun, laughter, and precious time to spend with family and friends. We asked our team here at to share their favorite holiday traditions (including both Christmas and Hanukkah traditions). Here are some of our favorites.

Christmas Morning Breakfast at Mom’s

Christmas breakfast traditions: waffles with blueberry syrup

“My favorite Christmas tradition is the breakfast on Christmas morning. Waffles with my mom’s home made blueberry syrup, bacon, sausage and my whole family having fun together at my mother’s house.”

Owen, SEM Manager


Decorating the Christmas Tree

Holiday traditions: Family decorating Christmas tree

“My favorite Christmas tradition is decorating the tree. Pulling an old box out of a closet, or the attic and remembering each decoration one by one always puts a smile on my face.”

Sarah, Account Manager


Opening One Special Christmas Eve Gift

Holiday traditions: Opening a special Christmas Eve gift

“Opening one special present on Christmas Eve. Always new Christmas pj’s, and of course matching with all my sisters! It’s a little cheesy, but we still do it. :)”

Deb, Care Advisor


For Our Jewish Readers, a Delicious Latke Recipe

Jewish holiday traditions: Latke

“Bubby’s Traditional Latke’s – Fried food is traditionally eaten on Hanukkah in commemoration of the oil that miraculously burned for eight days when the Maccabees purified and rededicated the holy Temple in Jerusalem.

4- 5 Russet potatoes – shredded ( soak overnight in salt water to extract moisture. Drain & rinse before using)
1 Med size onion also shredded
1/2 C flour blended with the above
1 t salt

In a separate bowl, mix 2 eggs & combine with the potato mixture.

Canola oil for frying.

Carefully drop 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into the hot oil.

Flatten the pancake slightly so the center will cook.
Fry for several minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.
Drain on paper towels

Serve with applesauce & sour cream & sing Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah while dancing around the table!


Robin, Account Executive

Waking Up to Delicious Smells from the Kitchen

Holiday traditions: pull-apart pecan bread

“Waking up to my mom’s pecan pull-apart bread baking in the oven on Christmas morning.”

Natalie, Marketing Specialist

(Image via Get a tasty recipe here!)

Picking Out the Tree and Decorating as a Family

Holiday traditions: Decorating the tree

“Our early tradition was going out with the kids to pick you the tree and decorate together, with our special homemade oraments. Now, with the kids grown, we continue the tradition, but with their special beaus, they also help dad decorate the outside. Then we feast on veggie and non veggie chilli and corn bread!”

Michaela, Bookkeeper

Putting Out Cookies and Milk for Santa (and Some Aspirin!)

Holiday traditions: Leaving cookies and milk for Santa

“One of my favorite memories of Christmas, as a little kid, was Christmas eve listening to Christmas music with my family and having a nice Christmas eve dinner. Also, in getting ready for bed my parents would have my sister and I put out cookies, milk,and Aspirin by the fireplace for Santa, before we went to bed.

They would always say that Santa needs some snacks for his long journey and that he also may like some Aspirin to help with any pain he may experience along the way.

I didn’t think much about the Aspirin until I was a little bit older, but later realized that the Aspirin was more for my parents, from drinking too much on Christmas Eve. That part is funny to me.”

Jon, Account Manager

Magically Appearing Gifts on Christmas Morning

Holiday traditions: Gifts under the tree

“My favorite tradition actually comes on Christmas Eve, which always starts with my Mom cooking a prime rib dinner for our family. Later that night, we’d all get and open one gift — a book, giving us something to read before falling asleep, and before all of the other gifts magically appeared the next morning.”

Rob, Production Manager

Playing Santa

Holiday traditions: Playing Santa

“To me, making new traditions is such a fun experience. I never had any idea how fun it is to play Santa until I had my children, especially now that they’re old enough to really be excited about Christmas. Seeing my sons’ faces light up in delight on Christmas morning is one of the most rewarding things about the whole holiday season!”

Angela, Marketing

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Share your favorite holiday memories and traditions with us in the comments below!

The Last Stop: Christmas is in the Air

Margery's Friends with a Community Christmas TreeEveryone is bustling around at my place, getting ready for the holidays. The day before Thanksgiving, I saw a woman pushing a big cart. I was curious and asked what she was doing. She told me she was getting her Christmas decoration out of her storage locker before the big rush for the carts after Thanksgiving.

As I write this on the Friday after Thanksgiving, I am curious if any of my buddies here braved the crowds and shopped on Black Friday. Read on to know what December is like at this senior residence.

This post was written by Margery Fridstein, an author and retired psychotherapist who lives in a CCRC outside of Denver, CO. She is chronicling her experience in the monthly series, “The Last Stop With Margery Fridstein.”

6 Holiday Travel Tips for Seniors and Caregivers

Traveling over the holiday season is tough for anyone, as the roads and airways are busier than usual. (Layovers and traffic jams aren’t usually anyone’s idea of a good time.) But for seniors and family caregivers, these typical stresses are magnified when it means suddenly changing plans and scrambling to find appropriate accommodations. Joyous occasions can become overshadowed by fear, anxiety, and stress.

It’s particularly troublesome for seniors with cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, as any change to the standard routine can create serious anxiety and even lead to emotional outbursts out of sheer frustration. These tips will help you prepare for the worst and hope for the best as you travel with aging loved ones this holiday season, so that you can make the most out of your time with family and friends no matter what circumstances may arise. Traveling with seniors

1. Plan Ahead to Reduce Travel Stress

Planning is always important when you’re traveling, but it’s even more so when you’re traveling with an aging loved one. Consider health issues and potential hazards, such as portable oxygen and other needs, and always have a backup plan. When you’re prepared for any potential hiccups during travel, you’ll be much less stressed should something go awry.

2. Look Into Special Accommodations

If you’re traveling by air, and your loved one requires assistance with ambulation (such as a walker or wheelchair), check into the accommodations offered by the airline. Airlines typically have special rows designated for disabled travelers to allow ample space for wheelchairs and other equipment. Additionally, there are many restaurants, hotels, and other businesses that offer discounts for senior citizens. Don’t be afraid to ask and take advantage of these offers; there are many ways you can put a few extra dollars to good use over the holidays.

3. Prepare and Make Copies of Essential Documents

It’s a good idea to travel with a list of medications, as well as statements outlining medical conditions from your loved one’s primary care physician or other provider. Should a medical emergency arise while you’re traveling, you can easily provide the hospital or provider with essential health information to streamline treatment.

4. Prepare Medications for Air Travel

Traveling with prescription medications can be tricky for air travel. Be sure to include copies of prescriptions, and keep the medications in the same containers in which the pharmacy provides them. Otherwise, you could run into trouble with airport security. Having all your prescriptions and proper containers assures authorities that the medications are, in fact, prescribed to a traveler and not merely being smuggled for illicit use or street sale. (It sounds crazy, but it happens.)

5. Try to Maintain Familiar Routines

Obviously, keeping the same routine when you’re traveling out of town is easier said than done. But that doesn’t mean you can’t maintain some level of familiarity by following the same types of routines you’d follow at home. If your aging parent always bathes in the evening, for instance, and then unwinds by watching a favorite television show, or eats the same thing for breakfast every day, try to do the same while you’re on the road. Even though the scenery might be different, the familiarity offered by routines can be comforting in otherwise stressful situations.

6. Take Your Time

One of the biggest contributors to stress over the holiday is the feeling of being rushed. Planning ahead can alleviate this to some extent, but you can also build in ample time to your travel plans to ensure you’re not crunched for time. Give yourself plenty of time to drive to your destination, planning for multiple stops and breaks along the way. If you’re traveling by air, choose a flight plan with ample, but not too lengthy, layovers. Build in an extra day or two to your trip to account for last-minute changes in plans so you’re not scrambling to change your travel arrangements at the last moment.

The holidays are meant for joy and laughter, for spending time with friends and family near and far, and for making memories that last a lifetime. Plan ahead, go prepared, and take your time so you can dedicate all your energy to making lasting memories instead of being weighed down by unnecessary stress.

Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes from the Team

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all the things we enjoy in life, be it family, good health, prosperity, good friends, and all the little things to appreciate in our lives. Many families have traditional gatherings where they enjoy a feast prepared by family and friends, and certain dishes become traditions in their own right, evoking pleasant memories from childhood family celebrations.

We asked our team to share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes made by their parents or grandparents. Here’s a sampling of what delights team’s taste buds every Thanksgiving. Here’s what they had to say. Unless otherwise noted, all images are via, and be sure to check out the links for a top-rated recipe for each of these delicious dishes.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce: It is just sugar, water, and fresh cranberries boiled in a pot. But, the warm tangy sweet taste reminds me of my mother at Thanksgiving.” Owen, SEM Manager

Stuffing (made by Grandma, of course)


“Grandma’s stuffing. Because I grew up vegetarian. it was always the favorite part of the meal for me. Savory and moist, it was laden with onions, butter, celery, mushrooms, a heavy dose of sage and a few eggs egg to bind her homemade dried bread together. I could take or leave the rest of the thanksgiving meal (except for the pumpkin and apple pies), but the pan(s) of stuffing were mine.”

Sue, Care Advisor/Production Assistant

Twice-Baked Potatoes

 Twice-Baked Potatoes

“Dad’s Twice Baked Potatoes: Baked potatoes scooped out of the skin, bacon, butter, cheese, chives and a mystery concoction of seasoning all mixed together, put back in the skins and cooked a 2nd time in the oven. A dish so incredibly loaded with fat and deliciousness is best enjoyed with loved ones, and has been an integral part of Thanksgiving tradition for me for as long as I can remember.”

Stuart, Project Manager

Oyster Stuffing

Oyster Stuffing

“My favorite Thanksgiving dish as a kid was Oyster stuffing. This is a twist on the typical Thanksgiving stuffing, by adding a load of oysters. Rich and yummy.”

Chris Rodde, CEO

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

“My favorite dish is sweet potatoes with marshmallows (aka Yams) – My mother is the best cook in the whole world. She uses sweet potatoes, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, a ton of butter, a touch of lemon and of course marshmallows. I look forward to Thanksgiving every year so I can enjoy yams. It is sweet and delicious!”

Mamie, Care Advisor

“Sweet potatoes – baked and peeled, mixed with orange juice and brown sugar, whipped in a casserole dish topped with marshmallows (toasted) on the top! Yum!!!”

Robin, Senior Account Executive

Kolaches – Apricot Prune Filling Wrapped in Pastries


“I am going with My Grandmothers ‘Kolaches‘ an apricot prune filling wrapped in pastry….oohhhh so good!”

Darcy, Care Advisor (image provided by Darcy)

Bourbon Cranberry Compote

Cranberry Compote

Bourbon (or Brandy) Cranberry Compote. Cranberries, sugar, apple juice, with bourbon or brandy. All cooked down. Delicious.”

Madeline, Care Advisor (image via RealSimple)

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Broccoli Cheese Casserole – frozen broccoli, velveeta cheese and white rice. Not only was it delicious on Thanksgiving day, but it was the best leftover as a dip with tortilla chips! My Mom always made an extra batch just for leftovers.”

Sarah Schnierer, Account Manager

Turkey Stuffing (another Grandma favorite)

Turkey Stuffing

“Grandma Rosie’s turkey dressing.”

Michaela, Bookkeeper

Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Garlic Smashed PotatoesGarlic Smashed Potatoes.”

Brett Davis, Care Advisor

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Share with us in the comments!