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Arts and Crafts For the Elderly

Arts and Crafts For the Elderly | By Dominic Ferrara

The picture used to be locked in to an antiquated version of crafts for the elderly: they were relegated to cutting out construction paper Christmas tree chains and Valentines, making doilies, and fussing with clay or paints. Maybe crafts for the elderly were thought of as siblings to crafts for the mentally challenged, or maybe crafts for the elderly meant—since the elderly were completing the circle of life and returning to regressed stages—that only that which children were allowed to handle was acceptable for the patients in an elder care facility.

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Guess what? Times have changed along with people, and crafts for the elderly are much more “advanced”…they are, too, as varied in medium and message and skill level as the individuals are. Yes, our elders are still offered the options of pipe cleaners and papier-mâché, but they are also invited to continue what they did when they were younger. Some elders still work as jewelers, making jewelry, for instance, while others still quilt, knit, and crochet. Many enjoy finely detailed needlepoint. Others sew. Elders make clocks, build birdhouses, craft workshop items such as dolls and toys.

And why can’t crafts for the elderly also include arts for the elderly? My mother paints in oils and watercolors; my friend who is retired restores antiques. Other elders I have worked with in memoir-writing workshops have continued to write and make their own books (the hand sewn kind) but have also published their own memoirs with small presses. In addition, some have made planters and plant terrariums, while others have done decoupage and wood-burning projects that have yielded family trees, poems, and images as gifts and honors for their loved ones.

Other possibilities as crafts for the elderly include (but are not limited to) hand-made greeting cards, pictures, and posters; arts and crafts kits; ceramics; weaving; cooking and non-cooking activities; gardening; gift ideas and baskets (from dream catchers to edible bouquets); miniature models and kits (airplanes, cars, trucks); etchings (in brass or on tiles); scrapbooking; science crafts; sand painting; paper dolls; botanical and other 3-d sculpting.

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Granted, those with debilitating conditions or mental deterioration will not be able to nor have interest in gold-flaking the ceiling. But many of our so-called elders are still as active and engaged as they ever were, so they need not be limited to our idea of crafts hour in the rec room. The idea is that the elderly should continue to do what they did, what they love to do, and whatever they can do to keep their minds and souls healthy and happy. If that means rejecting a popsicle stick for a paintbrush, all the better!

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Dec 25, 2009 – Commemoration of Jesus’ birth

In Christianity, Christmas is the festival celebrating the Nativity of Jesus, the Christian belief that the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament’s Messianic prophecies was born to the Virgin Mary. The story of Christmas is based on the biblical accounts given in the Gospel of Matthew, namely Matthew 1:18-Matthew 2:12 and the Gospel of Luke, specifically Luke 1:26-Luke 2:40. According to these accounts, Jesus was born to Mary, assisted by her husband Joseph, in the city of Bethlehem.

According to popular tradition, the birth took place in a stable, surrounded by farm animals, though neither the stable nor the animals are specifically mentioned in the Biblical accounts. However, a manger is mentioned in Luke 2:7 where it states “She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Early iconographic representations of the nativity placed the stable and manger within a cave (located, according to tradition, under the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem).

Shepherds from the fields surrounding Bethlehem were told of the birth by an angel, and were the first to see the child. Many Christians believe that the birth of Jesus fulfilled messianic prophecies from the Old Testament. The gospel of Matthew also describes a visit by several Magi, or astrologers, who bring gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the infant. The visitors were said to be following a mysterious star, commonly known as the Star of Bethlehem, believing it to announce the birth of a king of the Jews.

The commemoration of this visit, the Feast of Epiphany, is the formal end of the Christmas season.

Christians celebrate Christmas in many ways. In addition to this day being one of the most important and popular for the attendance of church services, there are numerous other devotions and popular traditions. Prior to Christmas Day, the Eastern Orthodox Church practices the Nativity Fast in anticipation of the birth of Jesus, while much of the Western Church celebrates Advent. The final preparations for Christmas are made on Christmas Eve.

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Over the Christmas period people decorate their homes and exchange gifts. In some Christian denominations, children perform plays re-telling the events of the Nativity, or sing carols that reference the event. Some Christians also display a small re-creation of the Nativity, known as a Nativity scene or crib, in their homes, using figurines to portray the key characters of the event. Live Nativity scenes and tableaux vivants are also performed, using actors and live animals to portray the event with more realism.

There is a very long tradition of producing painted depictions of the nativity in art. Nativity scenes are traditionally set in a barn or stable and include Mary, Joseph, the child Jesus, angels, shepherds and the Three Wise Men, Balthazar, Melchior, and Caspar, who are said to have followed a star, known as the Star of Bethlehem, and arrive after his birth.

Main articles: Annunciation, Nativity of Jesus, and Child Jesus

In: wikipedia | Suport Wikipedia