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(Photo courtesy: Joni & The Jeanies)

San Diego Oasis Offers Magic of the Holidays with Unique Workshops and Festivities

San Diego CA— Social isolation among adults age 55 and over is a growing epidemic, and feelings of loneliness can increase during the holiday season.

San Diego Oasis, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to change the way people experience aging, offers a host of interactive and unique classes, workshops and musical performances designed to beat the holiday blues. “At San Diego Oasis, we like to say that we are the ‘prescription for senior isolation,’ since we’re located in the Grossmont Shopping Center and other public locations throughout San Diego County which allow for community engagement and connection,” says Simona Valanciute, president and CEO, San Diego Oasis. “Other senior centers around the county are tucked away in community parks and recreation centers, but here we are in the center of it all which gives our members and friends in the neighborhood access to quality programming in a fun atmosphere and convenient location. Being around other people and keeping busy are simple ways to re-energize yourself if you are feeling lonely.”

San Diego Oasis 2019 Holiday Event and Workshop Highlights

All classes offered by San Diego Oasis range from free to low-cost. Participants are encouraged to pre-register through their website, www.sandiegooasis.org. For more information, call 619-881-6262 or in North County San Diego call 760-796-6020. Here is just a sample of classes which are being offered in November and December 2019:

Thanksgiving and the Consciousness of Gratitude
  • Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 – 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
  • Class #368. Grossmont Lifelong Learning Center. Cost: $20.

The Thanksgiving holiday is an ideal time to reflect on the meaning and power of gratitude. A traditional harvest festival, Thanksgiving gives us a communal opportunity to consciously shift out of our normal worried mind stuck, as it usually is, on how there’s never enough – never enough money, never enough time, never enough love – and move instead into the awareness that we have everything we need. “Gratitude,” wrote the Roman philosopher Seneca, “is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” In other words, developing the consciousness of gratitude opens the door to the cultivation of all of the virtues – compassion, kindness, courage, serenity, and satisfaction. Is gratitude an endpoint, a state only realized after I get everything I want, or is it a decision I make in the here and now regardless of outer conditions? Join us as we explore this and other questions surrounding the transformative power of the consciousness of gratitude. Instructor: Peter Bolland, MA, Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Southwestern College.

Sharing Holiday Memories with Family and Friends
  • Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Class #919. Escondido Senior Center Maple. Cost: $10; OR
  • Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Class #920. Escondido Senior Center. Cost: $10.

What to do with all those holiday photos and videos? You will learn several different ways to share your memories with family and friends as well as safely storing them. You don’t have to have Facebook, as there are still other apps you can use. Bring your charged up smartphone to class with any passwords you might need. Instructor: Assoc. Prof. Debby Golden, Author & Lecturer.

The First Twelve Christmas Celebrations at Disneyland
  • Monday, Dec. 2, 2019 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • Class #371. Grossmont Lifelong Learning Center. Cost $12; OR
  • Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Class #865. Escondido Senior Center. Cost $10.

Even when Disneyland was less than a year old and celebrating its first Christmas, traditions were established that continue to today.  See how the decor and celebrations evolved in the park’s first dozen holiday seasons. Instructor: James Keeline, Historian & Author.

Joni’s Jukebox Holiday Revue
  • Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 – 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Class #555. Grossmont Lifelong Learning Center. Cost: $15. 

Come get in the holiday spirit with this fun variety show featuring Joni and The Jeanies, The Malt Shop Girls, “Elvis”, and more. You’ll be entertained with holiday music and with 1960s and 70s pop hits. The show includes singers and dancers, with professionally choreographed moves. You’ll be smiling and tapping your toes in no time.

Creative Card Making
  • Monday, Dec. 9, 2019 – 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Class #105. Grossmont Lifelong Learning Center. Cost: $15; OR
  • Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Class #753. Escondido Senior Center. Cost: $10.

Artist Natalie Travis will teach you how to make three different all-occasion/seasonal cards. Send your friends and family cards that were made with love, by you. Students will use rubber stamps, inks, color combinations, and various techniques to develop their artwork. The cards are fun to make and even more fun to share. A material fee of $6 – cash only – is due to the instructor at the beginning of class. Instructor: Natalie Travis

Essential Oil Gifts for the Holidays
  • Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Class #476. Grossmont Lifelong Learning Center. Cost: $28.

Learn a little about doTERRA Essential oils and how they can help your health and happiness. We will be making a few gifts with essential oils for relaxation and holiday cheer! Instructor: Lori Jimenez, Wellness Advocate, Oil Instructor

The True Meanings of Christmas
  • Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Class #383. Grossmont Lifelong Learning Center. Cost: $12.

Richard Lederer, language columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, will share a program of humor and information about Christmas. You’ll learn the origins of holiday words such as Christmas, Santa Claus, and poinsettia. Dr. Lederer’s syndicated column, “Lederer on Language,” appears in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States, including the San Diego Union-Tribune. He has been named International Punster of the Year and Toastmasters International’s Golden Gavel winner. Instructor: Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune Language Columnist

Father Christmas, Santa, St. Nicholas, and other Traditions: A History
  • Monday, Dec. 16, 2019 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Class #390. Grossmont Lifelong Learning Center. Cost: $12.

We’ll look at the many stories surrounding the figure of Santa (and the other men who might be him)—from ancient tradition to the Coca-Cola ads. Along the way you might meet Krampus, Black Peter, and other figures that belong to Christmas traditions. It will be a merry history lesson for the winter season. Instructor: Kim Keeline, Ph. D.

As a nonprofit organization, San Diego Oasis accepts donations to support the mission of the organization to keep older adults healthy, active and engaged in the world.  “We provide a lifeline to aging successfully,” says Valanciute. “During the holiday season, providing a gift to San Diego Oasis will ensure that the older adults in San Diego County are able to find friends, learning and purpose.

To learn more about upcoming workshops or to make a donation, visit www.sandiegooasis.org.

About San Diego Oasis

San Diego Oasis, an award-winning nonprofit organization, is on a mission to change the way people experience aging and pursue vibrant, healthy, productive and meaningful lives through education and community service. The community-based organization hosts over 3,000 workshops annually at over 40 locations to 5,600 active participants throughout San Diego County. The nonprofit’s Intergenerational Literacy Tutoring Program matches an older adult in the life of an at-risk, low-income student in grades K-4. Their flagship center, located in La Mesa’s Grossmont Center, is an exemplary model of engagement for people age 50 and better. Learn more at www.SanDiegoOasis.org, connect on Facebook or call 619-881-6262.