Around this time of year once the temperature drops, all I can think about is celebrating the holidays with my husband and kids. However, this season, my family and I will be away from our home base as we move to a new state.
While we’re excited for a new start, there’s a bit of angst in celebrating the holidays separate from what our children have always known as home. They wonder lots of things: Where will we celebrate Noche Buena? Where will we put the tree? Will Santa forget about us?
Here are a few tips to help maintain the yuletide spirit, no matter where your celebration takes place:
1. Focus on what’s important: family. Kids experience change differently, and some find it difficult to adjust, but reminding yourselves about what’s important — being together as a family — can help them cope while away from home.
2. Cook your favorite holiday foods. As a Latina mom, food is a big deal during the holidays and, fortunately, I’m able to carry on our food traditions wherever we are. From Cuban Lechon Asado to baking Christmas cupcakes for Santa, taking our holiday menu on the road is a simple way to preserve traditions no matter where we celebrate.
3. Break out small nostalgic items. My daughter adores the flurry of red and gold that overtakes our home during the holiday season. She’s already expressed sadness in missing favorite reindeer decorations. (Who am I kidding, I miss my holiday decor, too.) We can lug everything out of storage (and I might!), or we can set up a miniature version in our traditional color scheme.
I also made sure to keep small, nostalgic items — like a favorite snow globe and personalized ornaments — within easy access to make the new stuff feel a bit like the old.
4. Think outside the (gift-wrapped) box. For so many of us, the climax of the holidays is a gifting event. Whether you need to budget money for shipping or space for storage, celebrating the holidays while away from home means you need to think about the logistics of gifting. Consider giving experiences and day-trips or gift cards for older kids. Virtual games or software programs are ways to avoid shipping and storage fees, too. If your holiday isn’t the same without a tree full of gifts, on-the-go gifting is possible with planning and budgeting.
Even as a family in-between homes, I plan to make this holiday season memorable for my little ones. By combining old traditions with new ones, staying focused on what matters most and keeping a few other tricks up this mom’s sleeve, my hope is that our on-the-go holiday season will be filled with all the important memories that I want my kids to remember.
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