Four Tips for Making the Best of a Holiday Move
By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Put Up A Tree. Or Two
Your house is a wreck anyway, so why not put up a tree and hang stockings by the fire and a wreath on the door? If you get a live tree, who cares about dropped needles? You're moving anyway. Get the kids involved with decorating and go all out--leave no branch unadorned. If you haven't shopped yet, wrap empty boxes with last year's leftover paper and take lots of pictures. Make a playlist of everybody's favorite Christmas songs and blast it while you deck the halls.
If you have small children, wrap a couple of their gifts and put them under the early tree as a surprise. Big kids and spouses will appreciate this gesture as well.
Bonus--you'll know which lights work before you get to your new house.
Host a Friendsgiving
If your Thanksgiving looks like an anonymous lunch at a stop on the interstate, have an early celebration. Friendsgiving is a newer trend where you celebrate with friends and neighbors, so what about a farewell feast before you go? Ask a close friend to host for you and prepare the meal together--this is a great chance to share recipes. Don't skip any traditions--play tag football, watch a game (there's always on demand, if necessary) go ice skating, or even go shopping at midnight--there are plenty of 24-hour big box stores to uphold that tradition, and you're less likely to get trampled.
Again, there's a bonus--the silver's already polished.
Make Decorating Your New House A Priority
When you get to your new house, do not pass "Go" with your decorating boxes and bins--have the moving company crew drop them right in the living room where you're putting up your tree. Then, get to it--trim the tree, hang the stockings, and light up the night--you can hang pictures any time. You've already got that playlist, turn it on and sing along--it provides a nice transition from your old home to your new one.
Start New Traditions to Keep the Magic Alive for Kids
Moving is difficult for the entire family, but it can take a toll on kids more than adults. You've had experience with new places, and most kids haven't. It's important to maintain as many traditions as you can, but also to start some new ones. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Take advantage of a new climate--hike, ski, sail, or go to the beach. Show your kids the benefits of their new hometown with some new activities.
- Via social media, find out where the best Santa is, the best light displays, and other local traditions, are and make a night of it
- Also, via social media (Facebook, Niche, etc.), find special events--concerts, plays, live Nativity scenes, parades, and New Year's Eve events. Many towns host family-friendly block parties for New Year's, where the ball drops around 9 and there are lots of activities for the kids.
- Embrace your inner tacky--if you've blown right past the blow-up Santas and Frostys, no matter how hard your kids beg, this may be the year to let it go and get whatever yard art your kids desire. If that means light-up candy canes alongside a snow globe and the Grinch, get out your pump and spotlights and just give up on Martha Stewart this year. Here's a secret--ten years from now you might be sad when those blow-up characters wear out.
Managing a holiday move doesn't have to be the worst thing ever; focus on your family, the season and the celebrations--it's a sure way to help you fake it until you make it.
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