June 10, 2021

It’s that time of year, and most of us are gearing up for the season: decorating the house, choosing gifts, planning events with friends and family, and setting the holiday table. For some of us, however, the holidays may mean a move to another city, or another state or country. If you need to relocate during the holidays, we have a few suggestions that can help keep your spirits bright.

Plan Well in Advance

Moving companies may be stretched thin during the holiday season as their employees schedule time off. Lock in your preferred moving date as soon as possible. Time your move for midweek, not on the holiday or the day before or after. Confirm everything a few days before the movers arrive.

Be sure you understand your contract details, develop contingencies in case of inclement weather, and amass all essential documents into a single binder, including school records, utility contracts and banking information.

If you are relocating to a more wintery climate, ensure you have the proper clothing for the new location before you move—stores don’t usually restock winter apparel in January.

Consider mailing your gifts to the place you will spend the actual holiday.

Make the Days Before the Move Special

Plan a special dinner out at your favorite restaurant. Invite some extended family members and/or friends. Go to some holiday activities, concerts and plays. Take breaks from packing to stroll your neighborhood and enjoy the sights. Make sure your children have time with their friends.

Pack Some Decorations, Keep the Music Flowing and Hide a Few Gifts

Take some of your family’s holiday decorations with you, things you can easily bring with you on moving day. You can put them up while you are enroute and then in your new place. The sight of familiar seasonal treasures will put everyone in the holiday mood throughout the transition.

Play seasonal music throughout your move. Make move-in day a gift hunt, stashing small, wrapped presents in your new bedrooms, kitchen cupboards and bathrooms. Give your kids (and yourselves) a special gift commemorating your move.

Keep the Mood Upbeat During the Transition

If your move is over several days, find hotels and restaurants that are abundantly decorated for the season. If you can stay with friends or relatives, even better! Look for local holiday events to raise your spirits and try some new holiday foods to celebrate the change in your lives.

Pack winter treats that speak to comfort and silliness as you travel: marshmallows to add to a gas station’s hot chocolate, outrageous hats and holiday-themed travel games, music and movies.

Explore the Events and Festivities in Your New Location

You’ve arrived, and the worst is over. When you’ve unpacked the box of decorations you brought with you and made up the beds, take a little time to explore your new area. Most towns and cities have annual festivities to celebrate the holidays. Research what’s available and nearby, and then make sure you attend a few events.

Keep in Touch

Be sure you keep in touch with your friends and family—they will appreciate knowing where you are. Celebrations are about connections with the people you care about, and everyone’s spirits will lift at the sound and sight of loved ones.

Don’t Allow Nostalgia to Overtake You

Embracing the holiday spirit in a new house, city or region can feel challenging. Try to find a balance between keeping your old traditions alive and being open to new experiences. Your new location will offer opportunities and sights that will inspire your sense of adventure and lessen your feelings of loss and nostalgia.

A move during the holiday season is a trying and emotional event, but if you make each part of the transition an opportunity to widen your horizons and maintain some beloved traditions, you’ll have a lot of good memories and goodwill to see you through.