Habits to Make any Place Feel Like Home for the Holidays

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I have been very lucky. I went to school close to home and work in the relative area where I grew up, so therefore have never experienced the holiday season away from home. The notion, however, is far too common. It can be difficult to get into the holiday spirit when not at home— be it for jobs, love, school or any other reason. This article will detail how to enjoy the holidays when you're far away from loved ones.

Gaudy Décor

Christmas lights out of focus.

When the holidays come around and you're in a foreign place, the walls and atmosphere can seem even dimmer than they had before. So, decorate aggressively. Hang multiple wreaths, string holiday lights, and put bows and garlands on everything. Filling your living space with loud, overdone holiday décor may be the trick to put you in a cheerful state of holiday mind.

Use Special Plates and Cutlery

In my family's house, we use special holiday plates and cutlery that are otherwise stored away. They aren’t an expensive investment, yet finishing a meal and looking down to have a specially themed plate in front of you really adds a sense of joy and festivity to the meal. When experiencing the holidays away from home, this idea can easily be used to bring joy to your own home!

Use Something Personal

A Christmas stocking against a wood background.

At my house, I have a special blanket that I use extensively. Yes, I’m 26 years old and I still use a blanket when I watch TV at night, but I know if I were to move elsewhere and experience a holiday away, I just wouldn’t feel at home without it. Therefore, my next tip for making you feel at home during the holidays is to have your loved ones mail you a special something that you would enjoy if you were at home. Mine would be a blanket to curl up with at night—yours may be a special drinking glass or Christmas stocking from childhood. All that matters is that it brings you comfort.

Make a Playlist

According to recent research, music has the ability to neurologically comfort and bring back loved memories. When spending the holidays in a new place, playing old music that you associate with cherished times is a wonderful way to feel at home. The best part about this idea is that it's completely mobile. No one has to mail you anything, and nothing has to be hung up or taken down—you can just play holiday hits you love and happily walk down memory lane.


A plate of red and white Christmas cookies.

I don’t know about you, but to me there is nothing like the smell of fresh cookies, breads, pies, and cakes in the house to complete the feeling of the holidays. If you've found yourself in a place where none of the previously mentioned ideas for bringing the holidays home apply, simply making your favorite holiday treats can be a wonderful way to bring the joy of the season to your home.

Keep Things Consistent

Finally, when away from home during special times of year, keep in mind that any place can feel like home so long as consistency is a priority. Regardless of location, you should still keep your special holiday traditions. You should still put up a holiday tree and watch the same cheesy movies as always (or whatever your traditions are). Avoiding once loved events altogether will create further sadness. It may be hard, but putting in a bit of extra effort truly goes a long way in filling your new home with joy even though you may be miles away from "home."