1. Pack Scrooge Away for Maximum Cheer
You win over the hearts and minds of children when you conquer your own negative feelings about moving during the season. Stress is already high at the end of the year, and a move adds an entirely new level to the heightened tensions. Rather than picking at the children or getting upset over the chaotic moving environment, relax.
Resolve to take each moment one at a time. Expect glitches, tantrums, messes and meltdowns. Remain calm, smile and try to have plenty of diversions on hand. Rather than lamenting the holiday you should be having, pass out coloring books, small games and other goodies to keep children happy.
Your home is full of boxes and packaging material, so it’s not going to be featured in any designer magazines this season. Refuse to worry about the little things as you prepare for your move. Your smallest children will mimic your acceptance, and your older children will realize they can’t rattle your chains.
2. Allow Each Child to Enjoy a Tradition
In many families, holidays are about following customs that are familiar and packed with memories. The season can become more about the expectations of how things must be rather than commemorating the original meanings of the holiday.
When you must move during this special time, the holiday routines are going to be disrupted. Things will simply not be the same as they were last year. Even small children may grow sadly nostalgic when they can’t celebrate with the family’s favorite menorah or tree on display.
You may not be able to accommodate all of the family’s traditions during the relocation, but you can manage a few of them. Make a list of seasonal activities your family enjoys over the holidays. Determine which traditions can be modified to fit in during the relocation.
Here are some ideas for modified traditions that are reasonable and simple:
- Hang stockings for Santa
- Watch a favorite seasonal movie
- Read a beloved holiday book
- Sing carols
- Go sledding
Each kid gets to pick one of the traditions on your list, so they feel a sense of control over the holiday upheaval. Children can indulge their need for routine and feel connected to those traditions that ground them most.
If you and your children always bake and decorate cookies, make the tradition simple. Pick up cookie-decorating and gingerbread-house kits at the grocery store that include blank sugar cookies, frosting and decorations. You can easily keep the cookie tradition alive in a hotel room or your new kitchen with these handy kits.
3. Contact Santa as Early as Possible
When Santa is a big part of the season, schedule the trip to visit the jolly old elf well before your holiday move. Your children may miss the opportunity to give him their wish lists in your new location if you wait too long.
Are you staying with relatives as you move cross-country? This is a great holiday-move strategy, because you can see loved ones you miss as you make your way to your new home. Ask the loved ones hosting you if you can send the children’s gifts to their home.
Some families will wrap the presents for you, so when you and the children arrive, everything is all handled. You can also order gifts to be wrapped before they’re delivered. Either way, you have one less chore to tackle. The children get the joy and security in knowing Santa can always find them.
Alternatively, have gifts shipped to your new home. If you’ll be on a plane or in the car on the actual holiday, pack a gift or two to open on the way. The smallest tots don’t really know it’s a special day, but older children may feel sad if they can’t have at least one present to enjoy.
4. Decorate the Kid, Car and Carry-on
Let children dress up on the holidays if they want to, and let them deck out the car if you’ll be moving the family by vehicle on that day. Put a red bow on the front of the car, or check out the selection of safe holiday decorations available at your auto-parts store.
If you’ll be at the airport or in a plane, wear an ugly holiday sweater or a fun reindeer hat. Let children wear some jingle bells and glittery clothes and decorate their strollers and carry-on bags.
Children may want to wear fancy party outfits or dress like elves during the holidays. Indulge the little ones who want to get in costume. They know how to spread that precious holiday cheer.
Contact Wheaton World Wide Moving to schedule your holiday-season moving van or other relocation services. We can also safely pack your indoor and outdoor holiday decorations for your move.