Although a joyous time of year, for some seniors, the holidays are a time of loneliness. But here’s another point of view—the holidays give us an excellent opportunity to hear their stories, wit and wisdom. Their years of experience have given them so much to talk about—which can make the holidays enjoyable for you and them. Here are a few ideas to help make it a happy holiday for the seniors in your life:

Please include them in your holiday dinners, parties and other events. Make them feel welcome and included. Start the ball rolling—ask them to share stories about their childhood and holidays. What was their favorite holiday tradition as a kid or with their children? Are there any traditions that have been passed down through generations? Any funny holiday stories to share? Of course, make some of their favorite meals or treats. Even ask them ahead of time for the recipe if you need one. Nothing warms the heart better than holiday favorites! Maybe you even involve them in the meal planning

Even if you can’t get together, send them a thoughtful gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just something that shows you’re considering them. For instance, if they love coffee, perhaps gift them a new mug and a pound of ground coffee. If they like crafts, consider a gift card to a craft store. A personal gift does wonders for the heart.

How about starting a new tradition? Get together with your loved one or friend, bake cookies, or watch holiday movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life”! Maybe it’s as simple as sitting by the fire sipping tea or knitting together.

Volunteering at a seniors organization is another way to help seniors during the holiday. AARP offers a “Go-to Guide for Volunteering with Seniors.” It provides excellent ideas for assisting seniors during the holidays and all year round. Not only will you help make them happy, but you’ll also feel a sense of joy in helping to spread good cheer.

There’s no better way to show seniors they’re loved and valued during the holidays—or any time—than to ask them to share their wit and wisdom with us. We can learn a lot from them and create lasting memories that will be cherished for years.