By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Staff
Town was enveloped in a sea of red and green as seniors lined up in holiday sweaters and seasonal attire for lunch at the Dover Legion on Tuesday, December 13.
The venue was decorated with a lit Christmas tree and a crackling fireplace. Smiling faces abounded and the social gathering precipitated a momentous turnout; an afternoon spent with friends old and new was just what seniors needed to feel both holly and jolly for the impending holiday season.
Attendees indulged in helpings of ham, butternut squash, salad, scalloped potatoes, and stuffed mushrooms. Tables quickly filled up, but friends made room for one another, and didn’t allow anyone to be alone for the holidays. Extending their kindness to neighbors, everyone signed a card for a community member in her nineties who was unable to attend.
“Some are lifelong residents, others have come in later in life," explained COA Director Janet Claypoole, considering the diverse seniors and their hospitality. "Some move closer to children. It’s a mixture of people. They’re really welcoming. Somebody will say ‘you're with us today’ and invite them to come back.”
With such a warm crowd on hand, there was no shortage of conversation. Couples planned outings with friends while pals caught up, joking and laughing in between bites of seasonal cuisine. Tables even spontaneously broke out into song; COA Chair Bob Cocks insisted “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” be sung with all the verses. The carols continued, as seniors felt the holiday spirit in their hearts.
As a memento, seniors were able to take decor home and brighten up their homes. Chickering Elementary students decorated small trees with handmade ornaments. Fruit, sweet treats, and animals were some of the adorable themes. The ornaments also had magnets to serve as potential year-round decorations.
The Dover Council on Aging hosts classes, workshops, luncheons, and more throughout the year. Ensuring seniors are safe and happy, the programming is tailored to their interests. There’s always something to look forward to. For further information, stop by in person or visit online at https://www.doverma.gov/182/Council-on-Aging-COA