Keep it light
- Holiday traditions can be onerous at the best of times. Modify or replace them with new ones: For instance, scale back on gift giving and wrapping. Consider fewer items under the tree, perhaps on a simple theme, such as food or handicrafts; the shift may be welcomed by the whole family.
- Large, sit-down, multi-course meals can take days to plan and execute. Consider a buffet-style meal: you can prepare a plate for the AD person and allow others to help themselves. Consider buying some items, to reduce preparation time.
- If children are present, involve them with the AD person. They might take turns sitting and chatting with the person, in a pre-arranged plan. Review some topics they can discuss, to get them started. The conversation will be simple and light-hearted, often what the AD person prefers.
- Position the AD person so they can easily hear and respond to what others are saying. Ask your guests in advance to look and speak directly to the person, one at a time. This will help the person feel connected to the gathering.
- Older memories may be more available to the AD person than recent events. Ask guests to come prepared with a story or two that is likely to remind the AD person of pleasant memories of the past. Be flexible; be sensitive to topics the AD person may raise and take your cue from them.