Hurricane Matthew reminded Lowcountry residents we have much for which to be grateful.

While there was unfortunate storm damage in parts of Bluffton and Hilton Head Island from toppled trees and flooding Oct. 8, luckily there were no reports of serious injuries or fatalities.

And in Matthew’s wake, like the blue skies and sunny days that followed the hurricane, the community shined with generosity and assistance to those in need.

In our gratefulness, we showed both grace and determination to move on and help rebuild.

Now let’s ride the wave into the holiday season. There are all kinds of ways people can spread goodwill and joy during Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah while giving back to the community.

While making your list for being nice – and this goes for both youngsters and elders – remember to put a senior citizen or two on it.

It will be extra nice to reach out to a senior who lives alone and is not nearby to family. To adopt an “elder orphan,” tap a neighbor or get matched up through an acquaintance, church, club or organization or facility catering to seniors.

Here are some gift ideas to get you going. Pick one or get creative.

All that really matters is providing a kind, human touch and showing you care by giving, in person, in some special way.

These ideas can be repurposed across generation lines, so stretch out:

A likeable Facebook post suggests making a “reverse advent calendar” by taking a box or basket and adding one item each day to donate to a food bank on Christmas Eve.

This also could be a fun bundle of gifts for a senior, packed with small goodies going beyond food. Think of it as a Christmas stocking for grownups.

Give an experience, picking an event or fun thing to do, in or out of the home, that fits abilities.

For example, take someone to a movie or play, or get some popcorn and beverages and a DVD or streaming movie and have movie night at home.

Other ideas: Charter a sunset boat ride on Calibogue Sound or the May River. Go on a narrated horse carriage ride in historic Beaufort. Treat someone at a restaurant serving her favorite foods, or get carryout to dine at home.

Help explore his ancestral heritage by arranging a genetic genealogy test through a company like or 23andMe, providing mail-in saliva sample kits for DNA testing.

Odds are some interesting surprises will result.

The possibilities for bringing holiday cheer are as unlimited as your imagination.

Debbie Morris, MA, EDs, is CEO of Home Helpers Home Care and Home Health and certified by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers.;