No one really wants to move during the holidays. Sometimes, though, a job or military obligation may force families into that dreaded holiday move. While it’s not an impossible task, smoothly negotiating a holiday move can be a tricky proposition — especially when children are involved. As we enter into the 2014 holiday season, we’d like to share our best holiday moving tips with you in hopes that your move will be easy and painless, and your season especially joyful.

1. Prepare the kids well in advance of the move.

No one loves the holidays more than children, so take special care to involve your whole family in the relocation effort. Let each family member pack one box for himself or herself filled with their most precious possessions, then mark it clearly so they’ll be able to open it as soon as you arrive in the new location. Ask teenagers to help you research interesting places in the new location, and schedule an early visit to explore those places prior to the move.

Make sure your children have all the information they need to stay in touch with friends — and even special teachers — via Skype, text message and email. Those contacts are especially important when they’re spending the holidays in an unfamiliar place.

2. Make your list and check it twice.

Moving always requires a lot of organization, but moving during the holidays calls for even more attention to detail than other times of the year. For starters, your children will all need their school records, including immunizations. You knew where those were in August, but now? Better start hunting. And keep your children’s current school’s phone number handy — you never know when you might need it.

Wrap Christmas gifts and hide them in a specially marked box — or better yet, do all your holiday shopping online and have gifts shipped directly to your new home! (Further proof that Santa can find you no matter where you are.)

Let your holiday greeting cards do double duty by enclosing a brief moving announcement. Be sure to use your new address as the envelope’s return address.

3. Get your own “little helpers.”

After all, Santa’s not the only one who needs help during the holidays! Turn on some cheerful holiday music and invite your closest friends over for an afternoon of packing. It’s a great way to breeze through the work while making the most of your time with dear ones you might be leaving behind.

If money isn’t an issue, make your move seamless and pleasant by hiring an end-to-end moving company. Yes, it’s a luxury. It may also be the best Christmas gift you can give to yourself and your family. Leaving the nitty-gritty details of the move to a professional outfit frees you up to enjoy yourselves to the fullest and start the New Year stress free.

Above all, remember that the best holiday memories are made of the traditions that you carry with you, wherever you go. Do the things that make you and your family happiest — watch a special movie, decorate the new home with your most treasured ornaments or go for a drive to enjoy the holiday lights in your new neighborhood. Keep those you love the most close and warm, and know that in the end, love is all that really matters.

We wish you a safe journey and a most joyous holiday season!

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