By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Remember when you were a child and the best day ever was when the Sears Wish Book came in the mailbox? Okay, in case you are too young to have that miraculous memory, the Wish Book was a Christmas catalog, sporting a gorgeous, brilliantly lit tree on the cover, and pages and pages of gadgets, and bicycles, and dollhouses--and matching jammies for the entire family. That catalog cover was a motivation for a perfect Christmas for millions of kids which are Amazon-savvy grown people today, and face it, you sort of miss the fun of opening that Wish Book and finding that year's Barbie Dream House on the inside cover.
That's the thing about traditions--they eventually phase out, and something new replaces the old. Often they arrive at a natural and organic finish--the matching pajamas come to mind--but in other cases, a tradition ends too suddenly, leaving you trapped in an emotional void. This is a frequent occurrence when you've moved to Atlanta and are contending with that initial holiday season in a new place, without your "this is what we typically do" safety net to traverse the season. Oh, you hardly genuinely like visiting your Great aunt Myrtle's for dry turkey for Thanksgiving? And the previous neighbors whose notion of decorating was a yard (and roof) brimming with inflatables?? Well, it's time to let go and initiate a few new traditions--ones that you and your household like to do.
This is a millennial thing which has caught on throughout generational splits (some millennials have teenagers in high school currently), as a group who's on the move and so spending the holidays away from their own home and family. Ask some new friends--neighbors, co-workers, kid's friends families--over for a Friendsgiving dinner. You provide the turkey, or tenderloin, or the chopsticks (you're bursting out--feel free to order in Chinese) and everyone provides a side or a dessert. Do not think you need to invite multitudes, ask as few or as many as you like.
There are numerous volunteer opportunities during the holidays, and you may do it yourself, or as a family group. Churches, YMCAs, and coffee establishments are a great source of identifying opportunities, covering anything from assisting in a soup kitchen to delivering holiday dinners and presents and wrapping gifts for little ones.
Attend an Event
Surprising as it can be to recognize, there's more to holiday activities than an additional novice performance of the Nutcracker. You can find holiday concerts, tree lightings, performances, and religious gatherings. Lots of small municipalities host light extravaganzas--determine if there's one nearby. A few locations in the South set up outside ice-skating rinks during the holidays--indeed, you can wear shorts, however do bring mittens since it's a tad nippy out there on the ice.
Many of us grew up with the Grinch, as well as those awesome Rankin-Bass movies--who could ever forget about the Burgermeister Meisterburger? Have a regular movie date throughout 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 following.
Consider taking A Trip
If you're simply not feeling the holiday season this year, and you could manage it monetarily, plan a trip. It isn't too late to reserve a trip somewhere hot and tropical, but if that's not in the finances visit somewhere not far away. If you can conveniently make it happen, New York is at its best over the holidays--the big tree at Rockefeller Center goes up ahead of Thanksgiving, and also the holiday shop windows around 5th and Madison Avenues are virtually worth the trip.
The online world makes it so easy to remain connected with old friends and family when you're moving a long distance away--it's bittersweet, to be sure, but inevitably more sweet than bitter. It is easy to share your festivities immediately or scroll through pictures more unhurried in the future. In either case, stay positive--New Year's is just a week away and then it's all over until next year.
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