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It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

The holidays are swiftly approaching. With that comes the familiar traditions, sights, and sounds. Turkey, lights, snow, snowmen, Santa Claus, family fun. There's also the shopping and traffic chaos, my dad always taking thousands of pictures, and one year, someone’s dog peed right on the tree. It’s my favorite time of year…I think!

Like most of you, my family has a ton of traditions. Putting up the decorations on Black Friday, instead of shopping. Eggnog (with a little bit of brandy), putting the first ornament on the tree (we always start with the baby Jesus I made when I was a little girl). So many memories and so much fun.

This time of year can bring good tidings and joy, but it can also bring stress and loneliness, especially for those with hearing loss. Here are a few tips for you to be sure to include your loved ones with hearing loss.

Communication tips for the holidays with people with hearing loss:

  • Make sure to look at people you are talking with so they can make use of visual cues

  • Don’t have your hands, food or candy canes in or near your mouth while trying to talk

  • Trim Santa’s beard so his lips are more visible (Okay fine, we were just trying to be funny with this one)

  • Turn the Christmas music down at the parties or during the meal, so everyone can participate in the conversation

  • Don’t talk over each other. It is very difficult to follow conversations when everyone is talking at the same time

  • Be patient and include those family members who don’t hear well. Don’t let grandpa sit in a chair in the corner by himself!

This holiday season, hug your loved ones tight and make sure they know you care. You may celebrate Christmas or Hanukah or Kwanza or another holiday. May this holiday season bring you health, happiness and wonderful memories…no matter what holiday you celebrate.

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