As a travel nurse working a holiday contract, it can be hard to make your space feel homey and special during this season. You definitely don’t want to spend a ton of money investing in decorations that you likely cannot take with you, and you may not have a huge circle of friends to celebrate with. However, you can still make the holidays feel special in their own way and bring a little extra cheer into your short term rental over the holiday season.
Involve Your Housemates
If you have roommates, consider organizing a small gift exchange or doing something fun like filling each others’ stockings. Have each person make a small list of stocking stuffers they would enjoy, or even do something simple life gift cards or cozy socks (everyone likes socks, right?). This will bring a little extra cheer to the household and, if you have enough people to do it Secret Santa style, add some extra fun when you are guessing who has each other.
Get Creative with Decorations
For decor, you can check out places like Dollar Tree or similar shops to find cute holiday items that you can donate afterward. The great idea is to set a small budget, say $20, and see what you can create with that amount of money. Even some tinsel and a few holiday candles can go a long way.
Use Perishable Decor
Items like real pine wreaths or garland, homemade potpourri, a poinsettia, or even a small Christmas tree can be used to make your short term rental not only feel festive but smell great as well! You can buy these items to spruce up the place and feel less wasteful knowing they were one-time-use regardless.
Have Your Own Christmas Movie Night
Whether you are renting a room or have an entire space to yourself, take a night and have a cozy night in all to yourself. Grab a cozy drink, bundle up in some Christmas pajamas, and find your Christmas favorites on Netflix or Hulu. Just setting aside time for yourself like this can make the season feel special in its own way.
Arrange a Long-Distance Gift Exchange
This activity is fun because you could do it with several different groups. Travel friends, family back home, or old college friends could all have fun with this idea. Use a website like Elfster to create a Secret Santa gift exchange. Participants can put in their address and wish list, and the website will automatically draw names for everyone. Then, each person has to order the gift online and send it directly to their person! An even more involved idea would be to host a Zoom chat where everyone opens their gifts live and tries to guess who had them.
Embrace New Traditions
Working as a travel nurse during the holidays can be an adjustment, especially in your first year. Try to remember that this likely won’t be forever, and eventually, you will be able to look back on these unique memories and reminisce on this chapter of your life. Even though your holiday cheer might be a different style than usual, you can still have a fabulous holiday in your home away from home.