If you have just moved this year (as I have) or are travelling somewhere new for the holidays, being in a new place can make you feel a bit displaced. I have moved soooooo many times in my life and have had Christmas after Christmas in different homes, states and places. Here are a few things I have done to try to keep that traditional "vibe" all season long, even when everything was different and not traditional at all!
Create an Atmosphere - If you are in your own home, first and foremost try to create an atmosphere that feels similar to where you lived before. Having moved so often--even during the Christmas season, I have kept a lot of similar decorations, so no matter where I am, that part is familiar. I will have certain smells, goodies and things that never change. If you won't even be in your own home (you have a destination holiday coming) then do similar things with your family you would do at home. If you always watch a certain holiday movie, or you all wear matching pajamas--whatever you can keep the same in your destination place, will make it feel comforting to you and your family. Even if you are staying with family and can't even control the TV remote, you CAN take YOUR family out for a drive to look at holiday lights, read the Christmas Story before bed on Christmas Eve or any other tradition usually do on the holiday. Sometimes its the tiniest traditions that really mean the holidays to us and our kids.
Create Special Moments - If you are somewhere so different, create a special moment that is special to where you are. We moved one year from northern (cold, snow) Indiana to the panhandle of Florida! It didn't feel or look like Christmas. So, we did something we loved to do in Florida and that was go to the beach! It wasn't warm enough to swim, but, the bright white sand gave the feeling of "snow" and just seeing the beauty of the Gulf was really a blessing to us. After 25+ years, I still remember that and a new dish I made for one of the meals during that holiday. Even though I missed our family back "home", we still had a special time.
Make or Purchase a Keepsake - If you are travelling for the holiday, make something special with your family as a reminder of your trip. Take special pictures, make some ornaments or buy something special when you are out and about that is unique to where you are. Then, every year you can remember that special Christmas you had away. I wish I had done this when our family went to a cabin for the holiday. I would like to have pictures of how old the kids were and what the cabin looked like now...having a memento or keepsake would be really neat to have. At least I do still have the memory!
Enjoy Whatever You Can - Sometimes something happens over the holidays that we have no control over. Bad weather sometimes can put a real big wrinkle in your holiday plans. Or someone being ill, which puts you in a hospital waiting room, or one year, after travelling home for Christmas, my father passed away. Any of these things can really make us feel like there is nothing to salvage for the holiday. But, even in adversity, you will have memories of that holiday and you will discuss them again with your family who endured it with you. Try to make sure, along with the painful moments, to have some measure of joy as well. If it's just bad weather, decide to do some family fun things while you are stuck wherever. If you are in a hospital, take time to have a meal with those who are anxiously waiting for news and if you lose someone...make sure you take time to remember them with fondness and be sure to tell some great stories about them while you are together.
We aren't guaranteed another holiday season alone or with others. So, we need to make the most of the moments we do have and spread love and joy whenever and where ever we are!
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Managing Broker's Mother