Launch New Holiday Traditions After You've Moved to Houston

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Holiday Cheer in New HouseRemember when you were a youngster 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, sporting a glorious, delightfully illuminated tree on the cover, and pages and pages of toys, and bikes, and dollhouses--and coordinating pj's for the entire family. That catalog cover was a motivation for a perfect Christmas for scores of youngsters who're Amazon-savvy grownups now, and face it, you sort 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 inevitably phase out, and something new takes the place of the old. Often they arrive at a natural and organic conclusion--the matching PJs come to mind--but other times, a tradition ceases too unexpectedly, leaving you trapped in an emotional vacuum. That's a common happening when you've moved to Houston and are contending with that first holiday season in a new location, without your "this is what we typically do" safety net to traverse the season. Oh, you never genuinely like going to your Aunt Myrtle's for dry turkey for Thanksgiving? And the previous neighbors whose concept of decorating was a lawn (and roof) packed with inflatables?? Well, it's time to let go and initiate some new traditions--ones that you and your household want to do.

Friendsgiving

It's a millennial thing that has caught on over generational splits (some millennials have youngsters in high school now), as a group that's on the move and thus spending the holidays away from their own home and relatives. Invite some new friends--neighbors, co-workers, kid's friends families--over for a Friendsgiving feast. You provide the turkey, or tenderloin, or the chopsticks (you are busting out--feel free to order in Chinese) and everyone brings a side or a dessert. Don't think you have to invite countless, ask as few or as many as you want.

Volunteer

There are numerous volunteer options during the holidays, and you can go it alone, or as a family. Churches, YMCAs, and coffee boutiques are a super resource for identifying possibilities, covering anything from assisting in a soup kitchen to providing holiday food items and presents and wrapping gifts for kids.

Head to an Event

Shocking as it may be to comprehend, there is far more to holiday entertainment than yet another amateur performance of the Nutcracker. There are holiday shows, tree lightings, plays, as well as religious gatherings. A number of small municipalities host light extravaganzas--find out if there's one close to you. A few places in the South set up out of doors ice-skating rinks during the holidays--sure, you could wear shorts, but do bring gloves because it is a bit chilly out there on the ice.

Movie Night

Most of us grew up with the Grinch, and also those great Rankin-Bass movies--who could ever forget the Burgermeister Meisterburger? Have a regular movie evening over the holidays and go back to the old "Miracle on 34th Street" one week, and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" or perhaps "Christmas With the Kranks" the next.

Take A Vacation

If you are not feeling the holidays this year, and you could handle it economically, consider taking a vacation. It isn't too late to book an excursion someplace toasty and exotic, but if that isn't in the finances visit someplace not far away. If you're able to conveniently get there, New York is at its best during the holidays--the massive tree at Rockefeller Center goes up before Thanksgiving, as well as the holiday shop windows down Fifth and Madison Avenues are practically worth the visit.

Stay Connected

The online world can make it so simple to stay connected with old friends and family when you find yourself moving a long distance away--it's bittersweet, to be sure, however inevitably more sweet than bitter. It is easy to share your festivities immediately or even browse through photographs more leisurely down the road. In either case, keep upbeat--New Year's is just a week away and then it is all over until next year.

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