Was your Thanksgiving filled with a bit too much food…and too much family? Has the holiday music made its way onto your favorite radio station? Are your New Year Resolutions on the tip of your tongue? We hope the answers to these questions are an excitable and joyful ‘YES!’…. but we also know the reality of a relaxing holiday season can be a distant dream. For individuals, families or seniors moving during the holidays…the whirlwind of celebrations may be anything but merry and bright. In our continued mission to make every transition easier, here are our T-O-P Move Management tips for handling holiday traditions during transitions.
1. Give up the Grinch. It’s easy to throw your hands up and holler ‘Forget presents this year!’ or ‘No – we are not making cookies this year…’. But giving up every bit of fun or all of your kids’ best loved traditions might ultimately create an even greater sense of disarray and disappointment. Instead, embrace the basics of your holiday happenings with a more flexible approach. You can still decorate – how about some light-up, mobile characters that are easy to pick up and move, instead of stringing lights on the whole house? Bake Santa’s favorite cookies ahead of time, store in a good friend’s freezer and pick up on Christmas Eve. Instead of presents for all 12 cousins, 9 aunts and 3 dogs…how about picking names this year? Keep it simple – but still celebratory!
2. Make holiday dinners flexible. So you might be feeling a bit of pressure if everyone looks forward to your famous five course holiday dinner. But chances are that they look forward to your good company just as much! If you are in any phase of moving during this season, stay far away from the pressure of an award winning spread for your 20 closest friends. You will have plenty of time to host dinner parties, birthdays and barbeques in your new place. Or host an ‘Open House’ in January/February when the holiday rush is over and your unpacking is done. Focus on keeping the familiar faces together, and making mealtime more about the people than the prime rib. Pick a favorite restaurant, consider Door Dash or organize a potluck. As long as you have a chance to toast your loved ones with health & good cheer, no one really cares where, when or how it all came about.
3. Communication is key. Whether your move is near or far, make sure you communicate your new address (or an interim one) to your friends and family. You won’t want to miss out on those holiday cards, annual letters and family pics that pepper your mailbox all season! It’s also a time to communicate your needs and expectations, and even ask for a little help. Ask mom to take the kids for a few hours so you can find and wrap their presents amidst the moving chaos. If you are in the process of transitioning a senior parent to a new living arrangement, talk to them about what will be new and what will be the same this holiday season.
Still feeling like you can’t see the forest from the trees, much less make a memory-filled season? Have a heart to heart with your family; ask your spouse and children to pick one thing they really want to do this year…and one thing they can do without. If your move takes you to a new place…this might be the perfect time to do some exploring and find a new favorite hot cocoa stand. No matter what you decide to do this year – doing it with open communication and honest dialogue will help everyone stay on the same page.
We hope you are going to give yourself a little grace and a lot of flexibility as you manage a move this holiday season. If there is a silver lining to such a large change at the end of the year, let’s hope the result is starting 2016 exactly where you want & need to be!