LIVING LONGER BETTER: Christmas season begins at Spanish Cove

Abby Jackson (left) and Jennifer Nguyen celebrate the Christmas season at Spanish Cove Retirement Village in Yukon. (Photo provided)

The Christmas season began at Spanish Cove with a festive luncheon for all staff and employees in early December.

The luncheon is a yearly event residents plan and provide as a way of showing their appreciation for all those who make living at the retirement center special in so many ways.

The Town Hall, the resident’s association, takes the lead in making preparations for the event and all residents make or provide holiday goodies served at the luncheon.

Employees and their families enjoy a veritable smorgasbord of hot foods, salads and decorated desserts of all kinds. Many enjoy their meal around the enclosed, sunny pool while visiting with friends.

Along with plenty of good food, all employees receive a basket of gifts. Town Hall volunteers assemble Christmas baskets of presents and distribute them at the luncheon.

The children also select gifts from under the Christmas tree. The basket project begins in October with gifts donated by residents.

Shirley Stott prepares a bounty of sweet treats. (Photo provided)

Well over 100 baskets are assembled by volunteers who spend countless hours of time making each one full of a selection of fun and useful presents.

Each basket is decorated with colorful wrappings and bows and filled, the volunteers say, with holiday good wishes along with gifts.

The luncheon guests express their appreciation for the delicious food and gifts – many with hugs and heartfelt notes.

One staff person wrote: “Spanish Cove has the best residents. They go above and beyond to make you feel appreciated on a daily basis and with the Christmas party where residents work together to provide us with amazing food and gifts. It truly is the best place to work!”

Another employee said, “This is such a heart-warming gift. You make my Christmas every year with all the good food and gifts as well as your smiling faces. It is all truly appreciated.”

The party continues about a week later when a full meal and Christmas gift baskets are also donated to residents of the Nina Willingham Senior Housing on Vandament Avenue.

The culinary catering staff of Spanish Cove prepare and serve the holiday meal followed by the distribution of the gifts.

Terry Martin, manager at Nina Willingham Senior Housing, said that residents look forward to this yearly party.

“They enjoy the delicious meal and are delighted to receive a decorated basket of gifts,” Martin said.

Spanish Cove Board of Trustees Member Velta Johnston and CEO Don Blose are members of the Nina Willingham Senior Housing board. They consider this Christmas party one of the most important outreach activities that Spanish Cove provides.

This “Living Longer Better” column is written by special correspondent Esther Winterfeldt at Spanish Cove Retirement Village in Yukon.