One easy way to organize a theme is around a holiday. Whether that holiday is well known (3/17–St. Patrick’s Day), or perhaps a little more obscure (3/25–Greek Independence Day), a holiday theme can be a way to focus a session on something concrete. This can provide a narrow focus for a clinician who may not know where to begin, or broaden a clinician’s view to try something new!
But what about the patients? There are treatment goals that can be met through using a holiday as a theme. For example, reality orientation may be such a goal; holidays typically occur annually and reliably within a certain season or on a specific date. With older populations, holidays provide an opportunity to reminisce on a common experience addressing maintenance of recall. In other populations, it may provide an opportunity to learn about a different culture.
St. Patrick’s Day is this Friday! In the United States, this holiday is typically celebrated by embracing all things Irish. Whether that is superficial (wearing green), or cultural (eating colcannon or champ), see the list below for a handful of songs/ideas for this holiday:
- Danny Boy OR Londonderry Air (traditional)
Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya – Dropkick Murphys [great for lyric substitution!]
- Zombie! – The Cranberries [a protest song]
- Using green instruments or props
Have you ever used a holiday as a theme for a session? Let us know in the comments below!