Celebrating the Holidays in a New Town and Home

Whether you’ve lived in your new home for a few months or just a few weeks, you may find yourself missing those familiar traditions and surroundings of your previous home and town. Most of all, you’ll miss family, friends and those celebrations you once enjoyed. It’s not easy being away from those you love during the holidays, and as a Military spouse I spent every Christmas away from home over the 20 yrs. we lived away. It was a MUST to create my own new traditions as difficult as it seemed the first couple of years.


If you find yourself away from family and friends during the holidays, there are some things you can do to help get through the emotional distance and loss you may be feeling. Here are just some suggestions that helped me in dealing with the distance from my Mom in particular.


Keep things familiar, but also establish new traditions and make new friends.


Objects that remind you of home, and what home means to you, will help you feel more at home. For instance, I brought my special childhood ornaments with me.   They reminded me of home and where they had been collected.  I took those ornaments with me to my new home and carried on the tradition of collecting new ornaments in my new home.  Start your own traditions by possibly incorporating some of the local ways of celebrating. I particularly enjoyed bringing my kids to the Holiday events in Frederick when they were young. They still remember the Kris Kringle Procession, lighting of the Christmas Tree and singing Carols at the Courthouse (even 25 yrs later)!




Being in a new city, state or country means that there are probably other people around who are also new to the area. Especially if you have made a Military move. Throw an “orphan” dinner party; with orphan meaning that each attendee is away from family and friends. Offer each guest the opportunity to bring a friend, spouse, and their children.


It’s pretty amazing to see how many other people are like you, and before you know it, you’ll have created your own family with whom you can always share holidays.


Get out of the house:

It’s pretty easy to feel sorry for yourself,  (I did the first year) staying inside the entire time, afraid that if you do go out, everyone who passes you by knows that you’re alone, pity in their eyes. While you may feel that way, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Get outside. Go for a morning coffee or a walk along the waterfront or through a local park, have lunch or dinner in a favorite NEW restaurant. If you’re invited to a holiday party, GO, even though it may seem difficult to go to a party where you may not know many people.  It’ll help get you out of your skin for a bit.


Reach out and touch someone:

Staying in touch is so easy these days so reach out to all your friends and family who are far away. Buy presents that are local to your new home, Wrap them fondly and send a note about your new home. Mail them off with lots of love and know that you’ll be missed. Let people know that you’re feeling lonely; it’s okay.  Invite them to come see you!


Rent sentimental movies:

If you like the warmth that nostalgia indulgence brings, then rent some favorite movies, make some favorite snacks and let yourself feel what you’re feeling. If you aren’t the kind of person who enjoys nostalgia, rent some movies that will let you escape completely; escaping is fine. Each of us has our own way of dealing with difficult times.


Play music that makes you feel good:

Music can bring back lots or favorite memories. Enjoy listening to your old favorites and living in past tense now and then but

also get some new favorites.  I discovered Manheim Steamroller when I moved to Maryland and it always lifted my spirits when

I heard the upbeat music.


Go off the diet:

That’s an easy one right? As with every holiday, allow yourself to indulge a bit. Buy your favorite foods, share them with others. Ask new friends what local favorites or traditions are, and ask family members to ship you a care package from home. 


Check out your community:

Every community celebrates the holidays differently.  Frederick MD offers an abundance of activities and there are special events every weekend from before Thanksgiving and throughout December and the New Year. Make up a list of all the activities you’d like to do, find out where and when you can do them.   Then set out to discover your neighborhood! Check out the local newspaper and local magazines to see how people are celebrating, then try and go to at least two events. It’s a great way to begin feeling at home in your new space, while giving you a chance to meet new people.  Hopefully each and every Holiday in your new home away from home will seem more like HOME! 



Enjoy your Holidays!

Val Ellis, Realtor, GRI, SRES, MRP


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