Christmas Cheer

Here are some suggested activities to dip into for a Christmas themed CST Group.

Start the session by pulling a Christmas cracker together and putting on the hats.


Ask members the following questions, to promote discuss and recall.

- Things you most like about Christmas?

- The best or most memorable Christmas you ever had?

- The best Christmas present you ever got?

- The best Christmas present you ever gave?

- Does anyone have any New Year’s resolutions?


Ask members to complete the following phrases ...

Jesus Mary and - JOSEPH

Away in a - MANGER

Three wise - MEN

The holly and the - IVY

Mulled - WINE

Underneath the - MISTLETOE


Rudolf the red nose - REINDEER



Santa - CLAUS

Jack - FROST



Ebenezer - SCROOGE



Nativity - PLAY

Midnight - MASS

Cranberry - SAUCE

Sage and onion - STUFFING

Brussels - SPROUTS

Mince - PIES

Chocolate - LOG

Jingle - BELLS

Fairy - LIGHTS

Wrapping - PAPER

Queen's - SPEECH


Boxing - DAY


Auld Lang - SYNE

We wish you a merry - CHRISTMAS


SONG. Our first song, to get us in the right mood for the festive season is 'It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas', by Michael Buble -


Next, discuss Christmas Past. Ask people to list things which remind them of Christmas. Here's a list to get things going:


- Writing and receiving Christmas cards

- Posting letters to Santa

- Opening the Advent Calendar each day

- Decorating the Christmas tree, with tinsel and baubles

- Placing the angel on top of the tree

- Putting up the crib

- Making paper chain decorations

- Twisting crepe paper trimmings

- Putting up the fairy lights

- Christmas and New Year Radio Times

- Picking holly and ivy

- Making a Blue Peter Advent Lantern

- Carol singers coming to the door

- Nativity Play in school

- Carol Service

- Peeling shallots for pickled onions

- Making a Christmas cake

- Icing the Christmas cake and decorating it

- Baking mince pies


- Putting presents under the tree

- Putting the Christmas stocking at the foot of the bed

- Leaving a glass of milk and a minced pie for Father Christmas, and a carrot for Rudolph

- Carols from Kings

- Stuffing the turkey

- Excitement

- Counting the hours

- Praying for snow

- Not being able to sleep

- Midnight mass


- Early mornings, excited children

- Christmas breakfast

- Bucks fizz

- Opening presents

- Selection box

- Christmas Annual

- Christmas jumper

- Socks from Granny

- Laying the table

- Pulling Christmas crackers

- Turkey, ham hock and beef

- Pigs in blankets

- Lumpy gravy

- Cranberry sauce

- Sprouts, and their after effects

- Flaming Christmas pudding, with a sixpence inside

- Pulling the wishbone

- Queens Speech

- The Christmas film (maybe list some films which people have enjoyed over the holidays * see below)

- Morecombe and Wise Christmas Show

- Mince pies and Christmas cake

- Tangerines

- Nuts in a bowl and a nutcracker, which were always left over

- After Eights or a Chocolate Orange

- Tin of 'Family Circle' biscuits

- Tin of 'Quality Street'

- A cup of Christmas cheer, such as warmed Mulled Wine, Hot Butter Rum or Irish coffee

- Common tipples were Baby Cham, Mateus Rose, Black Tower, Blue Nun, Snowball, a glass of Sherry or Port or Cherry brandy

- Too much alcohol and food and everyone asleep after dinner

- A kiss under the mistletoe


- Christmas sales

- Cold meats and pickles

- Bubble and squeak

- Turkey sandwiches for days afterwards

- Going to see the Christmas Pantomime

- Playing with games

- Resting

- Going to the races


- Counting the seconds down to midnight

- Watching Jools Holland Hootenany

- Watching the fireworks display on The Thames

- Big Ben countdown

- Singing and dancing

- A kiss at midnight

- Champagne

- Auld Langs Syne

- New Years resolutions

- Dry January


By way of celebration, here is a 'Christmas Picture Quiz' to use for a short CST group session, with some music suggestions thrown in. The quiz encourages facial recognition and recall, but mainly promotes reminiscence about Christmases past. Alternatively, you could use it for a family activity after Christmas dinner.

Happy Christmas to subscribers, followers and friends.

Nadolig Llawen

ROUND 1. Classic Christmas TV

1. Name the presenter?

What was the name of the children's TV show?

2. Name the TV show?

What song was associated with their TV show?

3. Name these two characters?

Name the TV drama?

4. Name the four characters?

Where (nearby) was the TV show set?

5. Name the TV show?

Name the characters?

6. Name the TV show?

Name the two characters?

7. Name the TV show?

Name the two characters?

8. SONG. 'Last Christmas', Wham -

Name the two artists?

ROUND 2. TV Chefs at Christmas

9. Name the two 'Great British Bake Off' presenters?

10. Name the TV chef?

Which football club is she ssociated with?

11. Name the TV chef?

What was her politician father's name?

12. Name the TV chef?

What was his first TV show?

13. Name this TV chef?

What was her husband's name?

14. Name these two TV chefs?

15. Name the TV cookery show?

What were their names?

16. SONG. 'Do They Know It's Christmas?', Band Aid -

The charity was set up by which two pop stars?

ROUND 3. Famous Faces At Christmas Time

17. What is his name?

What is his partner's name?

18. What are their names?

Who is taking over from him in January?

19. What are their names?

20. What are the names of these TV presenters?

Which two ITV shows do they host together?

21. What is the name of this 'Classic FM' presenter?

What was his 1985 hit Christmas song?

22. Name these two TV presenters?

What show did they first star in together?

23. What are her three Christian names?

What are the names of her four main residences?

24. SONG. 'All I Want For Christmas Is You', Maria Carey -

True or False, This 1994 song has just gone to Number 1 in the UK charts?

Round 5. Classic Christmas Films

25. Name the 1951 movie?

Name the actor?

26. Name the 1946 movie?

Starring which two actors pictured here?

27. Name the 1990 Christmas movie?

Where did the family go on holiday when they left Kevin at home?

28. Name the 2001 movie?

Name the actor?

29. Name the 2003 movie?

Name the actor?

30. Name the 2003 movie?

Name the two actors?

31. Who played the part of Kris Kingle in the 1994 movie version of 'Miracle On 34th Street?

What are the other names he has?

32. SONG. 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', Judy Garland -

What 1944 movie did this song feature in?

33. SONG. 'White Christmas', Bing Crosby -

The 1942 movie this 1953 remake was based on was called what?

What are the actors' names?


34. Name the TV show?

Name the actor comedian?

35. Name the TV presenter?

What was the TV show he hosted involving red boxes?

36. Name the TV show?

Name the two characters?

37. Name the TV show?

Name the actor and creator?

38. Name the TV drama?

Name the characters?

39. Name the TV show?

Name the Dame?

40. Name the TV show?

Name the four characters?

41. SONG. 'Happy Xmas (War Is Over', John Lennon -

What are the names of the 'Fab Four'?

42. SONG. 'Driving Home For Christmas', Chris Rea -

What was his other 'road' song?

43. LAST SONG. 'Away In A Manger', Christmas Carol With Lyrics -

Who is holding Baby Jesus in this picture?


To continue the tone of good humour and festive spirit, ask members to complete the following 'Top Rated Christmas Cracker Jokes'.

How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizzas?

One that's deep pan, crisp and even!

What did Adam say to his wife on the day before Christmas?

It's Christmas, Eve!

How many letters are in the Christmas alphabet?

25. There’s "no EL"!

What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations?


What does the Queen call her Christmas Broadcast?

The One Show!

How did Mary and Joseph know that Jesus was 7lb 6oz when he was born?

They had a weigh in a manger!

What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?


What do you call a blind reindeer?

No eye deer!

Why was the snowman looking through the carrots?

He was picking his nose

Why did Santa's helper have to see the Psychologist?

Low elf esteem

Why did the scarecrow get a promotion?

He was outstanding in his field

How will Christmas dinner be different after Brexit?

No Brussels

What’s round and bad tempered?

A vicious circle

Why are pirates called pirates?

Because they arrrrrrr!

What goes "Oh, Oh, Oh"?

Santa walking backwards

What do you call a woman who stands between two goal posts?


Who hides in the bakery at Christmas?

A mince spy

Why did no-one bid for Rudolph and Blitzen on eBay?

Because they were two deer

Why couldn’t the skeleton go to the Christmas party?

He had no body to go with

What do you call a train loaded with toffee?

A chew chew train

Why are Christmas trees very bad at knitting?

Because they always drop their needles

Why did the pony have to gargle?

Because it was a little horse

What do snowmen have for breakfast?


What does Miley Cyrus have for her Christmas dinner?


What did Cinderella say when her photos didn’t arrive on time?

One day my prints will come

What did Santa do when he went speed dating?

He pulled a cracker

What do you call a boomerang that does not come back?

A stick

My wife rearranged all the herbs in the cupboard. I asked "how do you find the time?" She said "Next to the sage."

What do you call a line of men waiting for a haircut?

A barberqueue

Who is Santa's favourite singer?

Elfis Presley


If there is any time left and you have access to YouTube on a large screen TV, run the following YouTube Playlist and ask members to choose the 'Best TV Christmas Advert'. Rank them as you go along.

- 2014 Sainsbury ‘Christmas Truce’

- 2016 John Lewis ‘Buster The Boxer’

- 2017 M&S ‘Paddington And The Christmas Visitor’

- 2017 BBC ‘Single Dad’

- 2014 John Lewis ‘Monty The Penguin’

- 2013 John Lewis ‘The Hare And The Bear’

- 2017 Waitrose ‘Christmas Together’

- 2015 Sainsbury 'Mog's Christmas Calamity'

- 2010 Coca Cola ‘Holidays Are Coming’

- 2006 Irn-Bru ‘Snowman’

- 2017 Debenhams ‘You Shall’

- 1992 Quality Street ‘Magic Moments’

- 2003 Yellow Pages 'Mistletoe'

- 2014 Mulberry 'Win Christmas'

- 2016 M&S 'Christmas With Love From Mrs Claus'

- 2017 Audi 'Parking Lot'

- 2018 John Lewis 'Elton John'

- 2019 John Lewis 'Edgar The Dragon'



Buy small Christmas presents, for example selection boxes, and some sellotape and wrapping paper. Wrap presents together, so that everyone takes a gift home with them to give to their loved one.

Make Christmas Cards, purchasing the card, coloured pens, stickers and stamps etc to help people along the way. Hobby Craft or a similar shop is a great resource.

Sing Christmas Carols together. Prepare music sheets.

Refreshments. Make a Mulled Wine (with non alcoholic red wine, sliced oranges, a teaspoon of five spice and some lemonade to sweeten - warm it in a pan) and enjoy a glass of this with a mince pie.

Ice a ready made Christmas cake. Use a coating of apricot jam, a layer of marzipan, ready made icing and cake decorations. Share this later in the session, or have people take a slice home with them.

Make origami snowflakes.

Make Christmas chain decorations and decorate the room.


1. John Noakes 'Blue Peter' 2. 'Morecombe & Wise'

'Bring Me Sunshine'

3. Angie & Den Watts (Played by Anita Dobson & Lesley Grantham)


4. Gavin, Stacey, Nessa & Smithy (Played by Matthew Horne, Joanna Page, Ruth Jones & James Corden)

Barry Island

5. 'The Royale Family'

Jim, Barbara, Denise, Dave, Antony & Nana (Played by Ricky Tomlinson, Sue Johnston, Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash, Ralf Little & Liz Smith)

6. 'Only Fools And Horses'

Del Boy & Rodney (Played by David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst)

7. 'Porridge'

Norman Stanley Fletcher & Lennie Godber (Played by Ronnie Barker & Richard Beckinsale)

8. George Michael & Andrew Ridgeley

9. Mary Berry & Paul Hollywood

10. Delia Smith / Norwich

11. Nigella Lawson & Nigel Lawson (Margaret Thatcher's Chancellor Of The Exchequer)

12. Jamie Oliver

'The Naked Chef'

13. Fanny Craddock & Johnny

14. Gordon Ramsey & Gino Di Campo

15. 'The Two Fat Ladies'

Clarissa Dickson Wright & Jennifer Paterson

16. Bob Geldof & Midge Ure

17. Boris Johnson

Carrie Symonds

18. Donald & Melania Trump

Joe Biden

19. Prince William, Kate Middleton, Megan Markle, Harry Windsor

20. Phillip Schofield & Holly Willoughby

'This Morning' & 'Dancing On Ice'

21. Aled Jones

'Walking In The Air'

22. Anthony McPartlin & Declan Donnelly

' Byker Grove'

23. Elizabeth, Alexandra, Mary Windsor

Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Sandringham & Balmoral The 'Royal Standard' is raised when she is at home.)

24. True

25. 'Scrooge'

Alastair Sim

26. 'It's A Wonderful Life'

James Stewart & Donna Reed

(Clarence was the name of the angel.)

27. 'Home Alone'


(Macaulay Culkin played Kevin McAllister)

28. 'Bridget Jones's Diary '

Rene Zellweger

29. 'Elf'

Will Ferrell

30. 'Love Actually'

Hugh Grant & Martine McCutcheon

31. Richard Attenborough

Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas

32. 'Meet Me In St Louis'

33. 'Holiday Inn'

Bing Crosby, Rosemary Cloony, Vera-Ellen & Danny Kaye

(This song is the best selling Christmas single of all time.)

34. 'Knowing Me, Knowing Yule'

Steve Coogan

35. Noel Edmonds

'Deal Or No Deal' (A 'Brexit reference!)

36. 'The Vicar Of Dibley'

Geraldine Granger & Alice Tinker (Played by Dawn French & Emma Chambers)

37. 'Mrs Brown's Boys'

Brendan O'Carroll

38. 'Coronation Street'

Ken Barlow, Carla Cooner & Liz McDonald

39. 'Downton Abbey'

Dame Maggie Smith (Played the Dowager Countess Of Grantham, Violet Crawley)

40. 'Father Ted'

Fathers Ted, Jack & Douglas & Mrs Doyle

(It was set on the fictional 'Craggy Island'.)

41. George Harrisson, John Lennon, Ringo Starr & Paul McCartney

42. 'Road To Hell' (Not very Christmassy, I know!)

43. Pope Francis (Proper name Jorge Mario Bergoglio)

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About Me

Simon O’Donovan MBE has worked in NHS Wales for most of his adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

He recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service and continues to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.


He has been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive tried and tested activities resources, with the ultimate aim of providing an 'off the shelf' resource library of weekly themed CST sessions which can be used on rotation throughout the year. 


The main aim of this website is to share experience and resources freely, in order that others can dip in and out and use some or all of the materials provided in their own CST work. Thus it is hoped, facilitating and supporting the provision of uplifting and enjoyable sessions that optimise people with dementia's quality of life.

This site is not owned by or affiliated to any organisation. It’s a personal commitment, a not for profit exchange of ideas and a resource library which aims to enable more widespread use of CST approaches for people with dementia. 

To this end, 'Guest Blogs' are VERY welcome, but bearing in mind that no images of clients are to be used without their express written informed consent.

Please note that some images are reproduced on this blog from the internet under the 'fair use copyright' principle, in that they will only be used for educational purposes with disability groups and in no way will be linked to profit making activities.


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