Not Feeling Festive? Tips for Managing Your First Holiday in a New City
By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
One thing you can do to keep the post-moving blues at bay is to ensure that you get plenty of sunlight and exercise. Take walks if you can and get plenty of exercise indoors if you can't be outside. Research shows that endorphins make us feel better, and exercise floods your body with those little goodies.
Send a Newsletter and Change of Address Cards
If you haven't sent change of address cards to your friends, now's the time--the Post Office won't forward Christmas cards anymore. Take a photo of your family and your new house and include a chatty newsletter about all your "news"--house, city, job, schools. Telling your old friends about your new life will put a smile on your face--it's bittersweet, no doubt, but will help you move forward.
Make sure your kids know that Santa is getting the change of address info, too. Include a copy of your newsletter with their letters to Santa, and when they're older, frame the two as a gift.
There are ample opportunities to get involved with your new community through schools, church, and non-profit organizations, and the holidays are no exception. Check out local social media pages for organizations that appeal to you and your family, and plan a Saturday wrapping gifts or an evening in a soup kitchen.
Many community organizations give families the chance to provide Christmas for disadvantaged children and families, and this is a wonderful way to get your kids involved. Take them shopping with you--ask their advice on colors and styles, toys and games, and let them choose some gifts. Some groups ask that you bring unwrapped gifts. If you're wrapping the gifts, let your kids pick out paper and gift bags. Don't forget to label wrapped gifts with names and sizes.
Without getting too schmaltzy about it, this kind of family activity does wonders towards improving adolescent attitudes--yes, your kids are undoubtedly feeling sorry for themselves, missing their old friends, but helping others goes a long way towards putting things back into perspective.
Take a Holiday Vacation
In England, a holiday is a vacation. If you can't get into the spirit of the season in your new city, and you can't get back to family and friends, take a holiday--blow the whole thing off. This tactic only works if nobody is really expecting Santa (although with overnight delivery practically anywhere, why not), or you're not flying to your vacation—lugging along all the presents translates into hefty checked baggage fees. Here are some ideas for a holiday getaway.
- Local resort--a resort of some sort is within a day's drive of almost anywhere in the country. These options include activities for the kids and grown-ups (supervised for kids, adults not so much), fabulous decorations, great meals, and a nice break from the routine. Look for things like decorating gingerbread houses, Yule log hunts, sleigh rides with hot cocoa, and building sandcastles on the beach--depending on where you go.
- Island getaway--when you consider the aggregate costs of the holiday season, an island vacay might not be as outrageous as you think. Sure, it's a rather grand sum, but when you do the math on trees, gifts, entertaining, new clothes for parties, decorations, and everything else, that's usually a shocking number, too. This is a better choice with older kids, who can entertain themselves while you relax.
- Christmas in the city--if you've watched the Macy's Thanksgiving parade and dreamed of Christmas in New York, make this the year you go. Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and Nashville are other cities that are great for the holidays.
Taking a break from the usual holiday routines will help you through this transitional year. If you're still fighting the blues and can't seem to shake them, get some professional help. Sometimes moving to a new city has more of an impact than you expect, and it takes more than a vacation and a shopping trip to clear your head.
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