Start New Holiday Traditions After You've Moved

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Holiday CheerRemember when you were a kid and the best day ever was when the Sears Wish Book landed in the mailbox? Okay, if you're too young to have that magical memory, the Wish Book was a Christmas catalog, with a glorious, beautifully lit tree on the cover, and pages and pages of toys, and bicycles, and dollhouses--and matching jammies for the family. That catalog cover was an inspiration for a perfect Christmas for millions of kids who are Amazon-savvy adults now, and admit it, you kind of miss the thrill of opening that Wish Book and seeing that year's Barbie Dream House on the inside cover.

That's the thing about traditions--they eventually phase out, and something new replaces the old. Sometimes they reach a natural and organic conclusion--the matching PJs come to mind--but other times, a tradition ends too abruptly, leaving you stranded in an emotional vacuum. That's a common occurrence when you've moved across the country and are facing that first holiday season in a new place, without your "this is what we always do" safety net to navigate the season. Oh, you never really liked going to your Aunt Myrtle's for dry turkey for Thanksgiving? And those old neighbors whose idea of decorating was a yard (and roof) full of inflatables?? Well, it's time to let go and start some new traditions--ones that you and your family want to do.

Friendsgiving

This is a millennial thing that's caught on across generational divides (some millennials have kids in high school now), as a group that's on the move and so spending the holidays away from home and family. Invite some new friends--neighbors, co-workers, kid's friends families--over for a Friendsgiving meal. You provide the turkey, or tenderloin, or the chopsticks (you're breaking out--feel free to order in Chinese) and everyone brings a side or a dessert. Don't think you have to invite multitudes, as few or as many as you like.

Volunteer

There are many volunteer opportunities during the holidays, and you can go it alone, or as a family. Churches, YMCAs, and coffee shops are a super resource for finding opportunities, which range from helping out in a soup kitchen to providing holiday meals and gifts and wrapping gifts for children.

Attend an Event

Shocking as it may be to comprehend, there is more to holiday entertainment than yet another amateur performance of the Nutcracker. There are holiday concerts, tree lightings, plays, and religious events. Lots of small towns host light extravaganzas--find out if there's one near you. Some cities in the South have outdoor ice-skating rinks during the holidays--sure, you can wear shorts, but do bring gloves since it's a little nippy out there on the ice.

Movie Night

We all grew up with the Grinch, and those awesome Rankin-Bass movies--who could ever forget the Burgermeister Meisterburger? Have a weekly movie night during the holidays and revisit the old Miracle on 34th Street one week, and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation or Christmas With the Kranks the next. 

Take A Vacation

If you're just not feeling the holidays this year, and you can manage it financially, take a vacation. It's not too late to book a trip someplace warm and tropical, but if that's not in the budget go somewhere close by. If you can easily get there, New York is at its best during the holidays--the big tree at Rockefeller Center goes up before Thanksgiving, and the holiday shop windows along Fifth and Madison Avenues are just about worth the trip.

Stay Connected

The internet makes it so easy to stay connected with old friends and family when you've moved a long distance away--it's bittersweet, to be sure, but ultimately more sweet than bitter. You can share your celebrations in real time or scroll through photos more leisurely later. Either way, stay positive--New Year's is only a week away and then it's all over until next year.

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