When you’ve recently moved into a new place, the holidays can make you feel nostalgic for your old home. But even though your place is still fresh and unfamiliar, you can fill it with memories from Christmases past. Don’t have room for your standard 12-foot Christmas tree? Tap into your creative side and find new places for your traditional decorations.
- Downsize your tree—You don’t need a tall Christmas tree to make the holidays complete. A small tree is easier to decorate and easier to store after the season is over. If you can’t fit all of your ornaments on it, you can rotate them for a different look every year. Put your tree up on a platform to give it a larger presence without taking up as much floor space.
- Forgo a tree—Can’t get a tree this year? You can still have the symbol without taking up the space. Pin garlands or lights on the wall in the shape of a tree or cut a tree and ornaments out of construction paper. You don’t have to be without this quintessential Christmas symbol.
- Display ornaments creatively—Do you have more ornaments than will fit on your tree? Hang them on your walls, display them on shelves, and use them to decorate wreaths. Group them together in odd numbers and play with their heights.
- Pass along old favorites—If your grown-up children have places of their own, gift them their favorite childhood ornament. They can add it to their own tree so they always have a piece of home with them.
- Use your windows—Limited wall space? Your windows are perfect places to hang wreaths, ornaments, and garlands. Drape garlands around the edge and hang a wreath covered with ornaments in the center.
- Don’t forget your front door—You may not have a front yard, but you certainly have a front door! Don’t be afraid to go crazy and cover your door in holiday cheer. If your door has windows, hang a snowflake or ornament in each so they can be seen inside and out.
When’s the last time you’ve bought a new Christmas decoration? Take this opportunity to go shopping for a few new statement pieces to perfectly complement your new space. See what’s new and trendy in the shops. Splurge on something you really love to add to your collection.
Making Your New Place Feel Like Home
Moving to a different neighborhood can mean some big changes. You can no longer walk to your town’s annual Christmas parade and there’s no room for your grandchildren to stay over. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have the same holiday spirit. The key to maintaining your traditions is being flexible.
- Don’t expect perfection—Traditions are important, but they are supposed to be fun. Don’t stress about making everything exactly the way it used to be. If you are no longer enjoying the process, it’s time to adapt or let the tradition go.
- Stay connected with your children—With everything being different, it can be difficult to gather the family together. Perhaps this year one of your children can host the annual get-together. Or you can gather at a different time of day so that everyone can make it. What’s important is keeping in touch.
- Remember small rituals—They are as important as big traditions. Some may be as simple as the family gathering to watch an annual event on TV. Don’t let these traditions become forgotten just because you are in a new place. It’s often these small rituals that really make the holidays feel special.
- Make a home-cooked meal—Nothing makes a new place feel homey quite like the smell of cookies and pies in the oven. Make your old favorites to bring the smells you miss into your new home.
Your new town may surprise you with holiday traditions of its own. Ask your neighbors for their favorite things to do, places to eat, and events to see during the holidays. You may just find a new favorite.
Mixing the Old and the New
Your first holiday in your new place may be difficult, especially when you look back at what your move has cost you. But your new place is full of opportunity when you look forward. You don’t have to abandon your old ways. Mix the old and the new. Your traditions will make the holidays feel like the holidays and make your new place truly feel like home.
Tracy Layden is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Tracy leads the marketing efforts at Alert-1, a personal safety technology and consulting firm dedicated to helping seniors live safely and independently. Tracy holds a degree in mathematics from Scripps College and is an accomplished ballroom dancer and equestrian.