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  • Writer's pictureBy April Sage

Your Holiday List to Inspire Memories and Independence

As a little girl seeing a live, or semi-live, nativity created an emotional experience. It conjured the reason for the season, love. Every year in my hometown they erected a small nativity display across from the post office. The sweet manger scene showcased a donkey, a miniature horse, a lamb, and a few live participants portraying Joseph, Mary, and a hidden swaddled baby. I always experienced awe and wonder as I observed the beautiful scene.

After visiting the live nativity, my mom would take my sister and me to the South Sound Mall to view another nativity display. This one featured an angel that played beautiful music. I would be overcome with a sense of serenity; just me and the scene as I watched the angle sparkle under the starry night sky. The connection of peace and love was felt by anyone who stopped to enjoy the moment. The spirit of the season was presented, and I received it loud and clear.

In honor of my childhood memories, I want to reignite the emotional touch of the holidays. Here are a few places that can bring back the emotion that this special season generates:

  • A drive-through living nativity scene at the Community Center at Norpoint, 4818 Nassau Ave NE Tacoma

  • Christmas Island, a dazzling display steeped in heritage, now on display in Olympia

  • Fantasy Lights in Spanaway. Fun tip: grab a group of friends and tour them in a rented holiday bus!

  • Zoo lights at Point Defiance. It’s weather-dependent, but good family fun!

  • A holiday walkabout at the Grotto located off I5 in Portland. The property is beautiful with light displays and holiday magic. Tickets are online, but the gardens are usually free.

This year’s holiday list is designed to encourage movement for our loved ones who encounter barriers in their daily lives. This list is inspired by many client stories that I have been hearing recently. Stories of adversity and challenges experienced due to events beyond their control. Families who feel sadness and helplessness over a diagnosis of a brain tumor, Parkinson’s, a stroke brought on by cancer, or several combined diagnoses. This across all ages. When the ones we love and care about struggle, we tend to struggle as well.

As we age, the simple use and maintenance of limbs, or our hands and feet, can become complex. Tools to help massage and heat can do wonders for dexterity, not to mention the hopefulness that reduced pain and increased flexibility gives. There are so many tools to give people more independence. Many times, I work with clients who express depressive feelings linked to their inability to be independent and enjoy simple pleasures, even as seemingly simple as reading. There are a lot of resources out there to consider. I encourage you to do your own research, but in the meantime, I have compiled a few items I wish all my clients and their caregivers had.


  • Dext Keywing Key Turner Aid 3 Pack - This handy device makes using keys much easier

  • CINCOM Hand Massager - Cordless Hand Massager with Heat and Compression for Arthritis and Carpal Tunnel

  • Compression Leg Massager - Great for those with feet and limb issues or those confined to a wheelchair

  • DMI Steak Knife, Rocker Knife, Curved Knife

  • PKPKAUT Weighted Parkinson’s Utensils - Don’t get caught up in the description; these tools are great for anyone with arthritis, limited mobility from a stroke, seizures, or other brain-altering occurrences. Check out these Parkinson’s utensils and tools to assist with meal prep and feeding independence

  • Vidatak EZ Board - Patient Communication Board, Picture Symbol Board for those with communication gaps and loss of brain function with regards to simple needs communication.

  • NatraCure Cold Therapy Socks - Great for those with feet and limb issues or those confined to a wheelchair


  • The Holistic Guide to Getting Your Life Back book - Hope After Stroke for Caregivers and Survivors


  • Stroke Recovery Activity Book Large Print - Puzzles Workbook for Traumatic Brain Injury & Aphasia Rehabilitation -

  • The Stroke Artist - Inspiration for someone suffering as a newly diagnosed person or suffering from an unexpected decline or diagnosis to offer hope

  • I Remember That! Captivating Stories, Interesting Facts and Fun Trivia for Seniors. A fun way to share time with your loved one with a game where they can excel

  • TOMSOO 5X Magnifying Glass with Light and Clamp - Great for sight-impaired individuals

May everyone get the gift of being seen this holiday season. Seen for what they need, who they are, and what their purpose is as we evolve through life. I remain grateful and ever so thankful to know and support you all. Your lives are a gift. I am grateful to share this journey with you. From my family to yours, here is to a beautiful holiday season and the most optimistic start to this beautiful New Year.

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