A permanent change of station during the holiday season presents special challenges for many military families. These tips may help you make plans for a special holiday, even if you find yourself far from home:
- Plan ahead with holiday celebrations in mind. If you'll be in a hotel over the holidays, look for a place that is planning a holiday celebration.
- Pack some holiday spirit. Pick a few special holiday decorations to take with you. Stockings, for example, are easy to pack and can be a nice reminder of home.
- Make arrangements early on. The earlier you can arrange for moving dates and lodging, the more likely you are to get what you want.
- Ship your gifts. Shop online and have gifts delivered to your hotel, relative's home or wherever you'll be staying. Be sure to check with the hotel for their policy on holding your
- Gift wrap, please. When you are shopping online be sure to select the gift wrap option. This will save you the trouble of trying to find scissors, tape and gift cards when all your things are on a moving truck. You'll be glad you did.
- Keep your holiday traditions intact as much as possible. Whether it includes a religious celebration or reading a special holiday story, these traditions can help keep you grounded.
- Start a new holiday tradition. Dining out on Christmas Eve or going to see a holiday play can create a new tradition. Check out what's available near where you are staying over the holidays.
- Plan for changing schools mid-year. If you have kids, be sure to hand-carry all their school records and immunization records, as you will need them soon after you arrive.
- Stay in touch with friends and family. Use email or video chat to keep in touch with loved ones over the holiday season. Help your children stay close to their old friends by setting up a
special video chat for them.
- Keep an eye on your budget. A PCS move and the holiday season can be a double whammy when it comes to your budget. Use the Relocation Budget Planner to track your spending.
- Keep a good attitude. Remember to keep the spirit of the holidays with you, no matter where you're celebrating.