Spreading Holiday Cheer in Fairfax County with Be a Santa to a Senior

November 16, 2012

Be a Santa to a Senior makes sure no one feels left out at Christmas time.Feeling alone is tough any time of the year, but Holiday time can be especially lonesome for our older neighbors. With that in mind, Home Instead Senior Care of Fairfax County is working with other local businesses to make sure no Fairfax/Annandale Senior goes without this Christmas. You can get involved!

“We see older adults who have no one during this festive season and that makes for a difficult and lonely time,” said Jason Sager, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office in Fairfax County serving the Fairfax/Annandale area. “Whether they are in a nursing home or in their own homes, where more are choosing to stay, it’s important to reach out to isolated older adults during this special time of the year.”

According to an article in the Geriatric Times, the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) has estimated that as many as 60 percent of nursing-home residents receive no regular visitors. This lack of attention can be particularly painful during what is supposed to be a festive time of year. Ready to get involved?

Trees are up now through December 14th

Be a Santa to a Senior – How it works:

Be a Santa to a Senior Tree

1. Find a tree. 2. Take an ornament. 3. Return with an unwrapped gift. 4. Know you made a senior’s day!

  • Find a participating Be a Santa to a Senior store – tree locations are listed below.
  • Remove an ornament from the tree – gift ideas are printed on each ornament.
  • Purchase the gift(s) listed.
  • Bring the ornament and gift back to participating store and give to store employee.

It’s that easy!

Wrapping Party:

The coolest part of this whole program is when the community comes together from 5-8pm on Tuesday December 18th at Annandale’s Ossian Hall to wrap all these gifts. We have this process streamlined; each Senior Community has their own set of tables where you come in, grab your unwrapped gift, go to the next table and wrap it/tag it and then down to the next to check it in. Once everything is cataloged and marked as “in” they are then taken by another group of volunteers who distribute them to the residents. Everyone gets to be Santa Claus or an Elf in one way, shape or form!

And let’s not forget the food and entertainment!! We have food donated by Chick-fil-A of Fairfax and Springfield. Dominoes in Annandale will be delivering 10 pizzas every ½ hour for the three hours we are wrapping. Giant Food in Annandale donates gift cards for food/drink, platters of cookies etc., and we’re hoping to get some of Kilroy’s famous wings this year! Also, AC Moore in Fairfax donated 20 rolls of wrapping paper, and Costco in Fairfax and Springfield each donate gift cards for additional paper and/or bags and tissue.  And, to lead us all in the Christmas spirit with music this year is none other than the world famous Lionel Ward Elvis Tribute Artist!! It definitely will NOT be a Blue Christmas with him entertaining us!

Gifts Delivery:

United Van Lines in Springfield has donated the use of a driver and truck to come to our office, load up all the gifts and transport them over to Ossian Hall and unload them. Without their support we would not be able to get all those boxes of gifts over to the hall. This is a HUGE help!!

Tree Locations:

  • Roy Rogers in Alexandria:
    • Manchester Blvd.
    • Belleview
    • Rt. 1/Woodlawn
  • Juke Box Diner in Annandale
  • ReMax at 5501 Backlick Road in Springfield
  • Annandale Women’s Club


You can also participate at these locations (look for the basket and framed flyer):

  • Caribou Coffee
    • KingsPark Shopping Center
    • Lorton
  • Smith and Clarkson Deli in Ravensworth Shopping Center
  • Curves for Women in Lake Barcroft Shopping Center

Who Receives The Gifts?

The recipients of the gifts are seniors living in either subsidized or low income housing. This year we have the residents of Lincolnia Senior Apts., Sleep Hollow Nursing Home, Morris Glen, Commonwealth, and The Mount Vernon House. All in all there will be well over 500 seniors who will be receiving gifts through the Home Instead Be a Santa to Senior program. And the thing is we get SO MUCH support from the community on this that if someone asks for a pair of slippers; they are also going to get a little something extra. If it’s a woman, she’ll get some nice body wash or lotion. If it’s a man, he’ll get some nice aftershave or cologne. We have been so blessed in the past that even after everyone had gotten their “something extra” there was more left, and we were able to donate blankets, much needed toiletries and other things to area shelters. Our extra lap and twin blankets went to Hospice. It just goes on and on – the gifts keep on giving to others in need. It’s an awesome program and we are so happy to be doing it again this year.


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"We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with some of Fairfax County's most special people, our CAREGivers."

7058 Columbia Pike Annandale, VA 22003 703.750.6644