4 DIY Christmas Decorations to Make with Mom and Dad

Grandmother teaching her granddaughters how to make christmas Nativity crafts - Real family

Creating your own holiday decorations is gratifying, and it can be even more fun if you get mom or dad involved. If your senior parent is in an assisted living community, simple holiday crafts can turn their apartment into a place full of Christmas cheer. Plus, they can also gift their homemade decorations to friends and other family members this holiday season. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are four-holiday decorations you can craft with your senior loved one, suggested by our assisted living community in South Jersey.


#1 – Cinnamon and orange-scented tree decorations 

These simple crafted decorations add a rustic touch to your Christmas tree – not to mention the beautiful smell they create throughout your home! All you need to do is:

  • A few oranges that have been sliced into round discs and dried in the oven on low heat for a few hours
  • Cinnamon sticks around 4 inches in length
  • A thick wool needle
  • Thin twine or golden thread

Poke the needle through the cinnamon stick to make a hole for the thread to pass through. Pass the thread and needle through the cinnamon stick and then the orange slice behind it. Tie off the thread, making a loop that you can use to attach the decoration to the tree. To make it even prettier, you can sprinkle it with gold dust or add a little acorn or berries onto the thread.


 #2 – Photo ornaments

This is a great way to add memories to the tree! Using a polaroid camera or even just your smartphone, take photos of all your loved ones wearing their Christmas gear or playing with Christmas props. Have them developed into 3×3 prints and then create some inexpensive lightweight backing for each picture using thick cardboard or wood. Make sure to put a hole in the center of the top of each piece of backing. Glue on the photos and decorate to your liking with holly, glitter, or other crafting supplies. Thread some gold or red thread through the hole and tie it off so you can hang it on the tree.


#3 – Mason jar candle holders

Mason jars make the most beautiful candle holders! All you need are:

  • Your mason jars
  • Candles to fit (you can use battery-operated candles for additional safety)
  • Crafting glue
  • Holiday decorations of your choice (some examples: pinecones, glitter, and poinsettia flowers)

Some beautiful ideas include making small wreaths of pine boughs around the mason jars, dipping the jar in white glitter and adding a nose and eyes to make a snowman, or creating a wreath of tiny pinecones and poinsettia flowers around the base. Remember not to put any décor inside the jar itself unless you are using a battery-operated candle and never leave a real flame burning unattended.


#4 – Christmas candy containers

For many people, having candy for guests is a Christmas tradition. Rather than using the same containers as you do throughout the year, you can make special Christmas-themed ones. Visit your local craft store with your loved one and buy some basic containers – jars or even solidly constructed cardboard containers – along with craft glue, glitter, and Christmas accessories. You can also use craft paper to cut out your snowflakes or Santas and look around your neighborhood for pinecones and pine boughs.

These holiday crafts for seniors are a fun opportunity to get the whole family together to make some festive containers that show off everyone’s Christmas goodies, including candy canes, chocolates, and more!

The Shores is part of the United Methodist Communities network that provides exceptional care and companionship for seniors in South Jersey. At our assisted living community, residents become like family to us, especially during the holiday season when we gather more often for special events and activities.

If you’d like to learn more about what we have in store this holiday season, or if you have any more questions about assisted living in Cape May County, please visit our website at:


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