By the time Thanksgiving rolls around each year, Homestead Village has already begun its transformation into a holiday wonderland complete with decking the halls throughout the Bachman Center, Plow and Pineapple Dining Room, Main Lobby, Chapel, and every other corner throughout our campus.
Twinkling lights appear in outdoor trees, and our neighborhood and apartment residents are encouraged to enter our judged Holiday Home Decorating Contest. Whether you fancy yourself a Clark Griswold (of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation fame) and go all out, or you prefer to create a more elegant and understated display, our contest has numerous categories you could win based on your home’s curbside appeal. Or, in our apartments, you might just win “Best Door.”
When the Homestead decorating committee (comprised completely of Homestead Village residents) met a year ago, they were brainstorming ideas for Christmas 2020. One member suggested a tree of names. “We all loved it,” Kathy, the committee chair, said.
The budget was tight, so the group used nail polish remover to clean old ornaments from Homestead’s 30th anniversary. Then, Kathy collected residents’ first names, eliminating duplicates.
Donna, another resident, used a cutting machine to create the names in vinyl to adhere to each ornament. When they ran out of round ornaments, Kathy got some white board from Lowe’s, and Homestead Woodshop members cut squares for new ones.
The thrifty committee used all scraps. A memorial poster also was created. Donna worked on ornaments until she left in September to help with grandchildren in Virginia. Kathy’s daughter stepped in, using her machine to print the names of new arrivals at Homestead. Kathy made the ribbons.
Virus restrictions may keep some of us from finding our names this year, but perhaps the ornaments will return in a future year.
Holiday gift shopping is a time-honored tradition, and usually, our very own Homestead Village Corner Gift Shoppe offers many chances to discover wonderful surprises for everyone on your list.
The Corner Gift Shoppe is staffed by resident volunteers and benefits the Homestead Village Auxiliary. Unfortunately, the gift shop is temporarily closed, but some small gift items and cards are still available to purchase through the campus receptionist.
A new tradition in 2020, we’ve added an opportunity for our residents to enjoy socially distanced Holiday Wagon Rides Through Homestead Village with Benchfield Farms. There is nothing that can get you into the spirit of the season quite like a horse-drawn wagon ride with carols being played and goodies like hot chocolate, gluhwein, and cookies on offer at the festive destination of our Farmstead clubhouse.
Residents will enjoy the lights, sights, sounds, and decorations throughout the neighborhoods of Homestead Village.
While many of our residents and team members enjoy exchanging holiday gifts with one another, giving to those less fortunate is often a priority in our community.
Homestead Village residents and staff have participated in Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child for the past several years, contributing close to 150 shoeboxes filled with unique gifts for children around the world. We enjoy picking out a variety of things for a special child overseas, including school supplies, hygiene items, toys, and games.
According to Samaritan’s Purse, these shoeboxes are sent to more than 100 countries to bless children with God’s love. And this year, with the pandemic that is affecting all of us worldwide, it’s even more important to send a box of happiness to children in need. Our boxes will go to a distribution center in Baltimore or North Carolina, where hundreds of volunteers prepare them for shipment to specific countries. Added to each box is a booklet in that child’s language with the Christmas story.
After the boxes arrive in the destination country, they are distributed through local churches, hospitals, and orphanages. Even though we are still under a travel ban, these shoeboxes will have no difficulty getting to their destinations. And the joy expressed in the children’s faces is priceless!
Enjoying dinner and a show to celebrate the holidays during 2020 may look a bit different, but we are determined to make the best of these difficult times! Concerts, musical revues, and theme dinners are a typical holiday season highlight here at Homestead Village. While these events have sadly been canceled this year, we look forward to future years when they can be enjoyed safely!
One of our most treasured holiday traditions at Homestead Village is just simply spending time with our friends and “extended family” here on campus and in our neighborhoods. And while this doesn’t always mean that we can actually gather in person this year as much as we would like, many of us have found creative ways to meet up “virtually.”
Come home to Homestead Village and discover what it’s like to THRIVE WHERE YOU ARE® the whole year through. Our Life Plan Community in the heart of Lancaster County, PA, supports a lively population of residents and extended community members who plan for and look forward to the wide range of services—and fun—we offer here at Homestead Village.
Ready to learn more? Get in touch to schedule your virtual tour today!