Do you remember the Holiday dinners of your youth?

“If you are of a certain age you will probably remember receiving some nuts, a few candies, and an orange or apple in the Christmas stocking you hung on the fireplace or other important spot in your house when you were a young child. My brothers and I were thrilled to get them.” A friend was telling me about her childhood memories. “We hung those stockings on the mantel of our faux fireplace not knowing how Santa could manage it not being a real one, but we just knew he would figure it out.”

Just like in today’s senior living communities, we have to figure out how to still have a wonderful holiday season for all to celebrate though we will have to make many adjustments and rearrangements from your normal planned festivities. “Those were wartime years and while there were fewer trimmings on the Christmas dinner table, we enjoyed all the main ingredients. I remember it well. I don’t remember what presents were under the tree, but I remember all our holiday dinners and the guests who sat with us.” Our Holiday dinners will continue to shine in assisted living and nursing communities even if guests will be absent this year of COVID-19. The main ingredients of caring, sharing, and kindness will be abundant within the community.

Anticipated conversations around the table will not be available to everyone this year. Some will be allowed with social distancing intact. Many will be dining in their own rooms without the chatter of friends and family around them at their favorite time of year and their favorite place for sharing. Residents may be lonely and feeling blue; food servers and staff are overworked and stressed. Everyone is trying to be in a jolly mood even when it is difficult. 

The smooth delivery of meals is more likely to come from a well-trained food serving team. This is what our Kind Dining  philosophy and now our on-line courses, prepare your serving team to do and how to remedy problems that arise unexpectedly. Each course is as unique as each participant.  Even though the curriculum is consistent, students take away beneficial knowledge, skills, and attitudes depending on their age, gender, culture, and individual work experience of each person. Every course brings something new that can be worked into building the great working relationship your community strives for during this holiday season.

The skills of your food serving team shine brighter when under the pressure of a holiday that may be lacking this year.

Our B Kind® Tip: You and your food serving team are crucial to your community’s Christmas holiday success.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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