It can be a little stressful to get your home ready for the holidays when you’ve just unloaded your last moving box. But there’s a way to celebrate the season in your new home without it feeling like such a challenge.
The trick is to throw off expectations and just ease your way into your first holiday season. Here are a few ways to do just that:
Invite your friends and family to check out your new home and instead of a housewarming gift opt for guests to bring over their best holiday dishes. You’ll get the chance to show off your new home without the worry of cooking a holiday dinner and celebrate the season all in one evening.
Holiday cards can help double as a moving announcement. Pick a holiday card that features a house, or use an image of a cityscape or street scene from your new town, to send your greetings. Just be sure to make a prominent mention of your change of address on the card.
Rachel Dean-Haas, an Allstate agent in Dublin, Ohio, says you may want to consider the height of the ceilings in your new home especially when putting up your tree.
“Our first home had vaulted ceilings in the living room,” says Dean-Haas. “I found myself having to move our tree toward the center to avoid it from touching the ceiling.”
“Since then, I’ve been a little more conservative with the height of our tree purchases,” she says.
Besides a tree, try focusing on recreating a few familiar holiday sights, smells or sounds. Your grandmother’s vintage candle sticks on the table, for instance. Or endless batches of sugar cookies. Or maybe streaming holiday music throughout the house is all you need.
Your move may have put a kink in this year’s holiday budget, but homemade gifts can be a way to help keep it on track. Mix up batches of candy cane body scrubs or bottles of vanilla extract and keep them handy for teacher and other impromptu gifts. Or, make babysitting coupons for extended family gifts (or vouchers for other tasks).
It’s important to do safety checks in your new (still unfamiliar) home before your holiday guests arrive. Start by installing batteries in all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Have the chimney inspected before you lay down the kindling. And make sure you’re using outdoor-rated cords if you do end up stringing outdoor lights this year (more holiday safety tips here).
However you celebrate your first holidays at home, make sure you also make time to head out for some of the local festivities — because it’s also important to get a feel for how your new community celebrates the holiday season, too.