8 Movies to Watch for Thanksgiving in Assisted Living

If you’re full from eating your Thanksgiving meal but are ready to continue celebrating the holiday, a festive movie can be just the thing you need.8 Movies to Watch for Thanksgiving in Assisted Living

As part of your Thanksgiving celebration this year, consider picking one of these eight movies to watch that feature the holiday:

1. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

While “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is a movie made with kids in mind as its main audience, it’s still a good Thanksgiving movie for people of all ages. The movie is all about the “Peanuts” characters your residents probably know and love getting together for Thanksgiving dinner with some entertaining conflicts and difficulties thrown in along the way.

2. Dutch

“Dutch” has some plot similarities to “Plains, Trains, and Automobiles,” as it follows a couple of conflicting personality types as they travel home for the holidays. In this case it’s the blue collar Dutch (played by Ed O’Neill) and the wealthy kid (played by Ethan Embry) he volunteers to get across the country for the holidays in an attempt to impress the kid’s mom, Dutch’s girlfriend. The two experience various hi jinks while attempting to get home and spend much of the trip at each other’s throats – but of course, it’s a holiday movie so it ends well.

3. Grumpy Old Men

“Grumpy Old Men” is a comedy starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau that takes places during the holiday season. The movie showcases the comedic acting skills of two great Hollywood veterans your residents are likely familiar with as they fight over the affections of another classic Hollywood talent – Ann Margret. The movie also includes a scene that takes place over Thanksgiving dinner.

4. Home for the Holidays

While holiday travel clearly provides plenty of room for comedy and drama, “Home for the Holidays” focuses on another part of the Thanksgiving experience that offers plenty of comedic fodder: spending time with the clash of personalities often present in families. Holly Hunter stars in a movie about a woman facing the mix of kooky personalities that make up her family when she heads home for Thanksgiving.

5. Miracle on 34th Street

You’ve actually got two choices here: the 1947 movie or the 1994 one. While they’re both more associated with Christmas than Thanksgiving, they start at a Thanksgiving parade. The movies manage to span the two holidays, making either one as good a choice for your assisted living Thanksgiving celebration as it would be for a Christmas one.

6. Plains, Trains and Automobiles

“Plains, Trains and Automobiles” is a (mostly) family friendly John Hughes movie that takes one of the worst parts of the holidays – holiday travel – and finds humor in it. It stars John Candy and Steve Martin and offers a mix of jokes and touching moments that makes it a good fit for a Thanksgiving in assisted living celebration.

7. Scent of a Woman

While you should be warned that “Scent of a Woman” does deal with the difficult subject of suicide, it’s on the whole a touching movie that takes place over Thanksgiving that many of your residents are likely to enjoy. It stars Al Pacino as a blind man who hires a young student played by Chris O’Donnell to help him out over the holidays. The two form a bond and find in each other the help they need to face their distinct challenges.

8. The Gold Rush

While the Thanksgiving dinner portrayed in Charlie Chaplin’s film “The Gold Rush” isn’t the type any of your residents would get excited about (the main course is boiled shoe), it can help everyone appreciate their own celebration this year more. The movie doesn’t focus entirely on Thanksgiving, but the memorable dinner scene makes it a movie worth considering for Thanksgiving viewing this year. 

Enjoying movies together can be a fun addition to your Thanksgiving festivities this year. It’s one more way to get into the spirit of the holiday with your family, friends and residents in assisted living.

Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an ongoing curiousity to learn and explore new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring subjects helpful to seniors and their families for SeniorAdvisor.com.

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