Person putting some cookies into the oven

A Guide for Managing Your Holiday PCS


It hits you hard when you learn your PCS really is going to happen during the holidays. If you’ve been there or are about to enter this phenomenon, you know what I mean. But, military families know, or quickly learn, how to adapt and overcome this curve ball.

Magical military resources

If you are in a temporary housing apartment, or just moved into a new home, you may need a little help until your personal belongings arrive. Take advantage of these great military resources:

  • Loan lockers (or loan closets) can transform a barren house into livable quarters. Go to MilitaryINSTALLATIONS to find the loan locker on your base. You’ll find furniture, appliances, pots, pans and other necessities.
  • Virtual tools like Move.mil and Plan My Move will help you learn all you need to know and make the right plans to have a successful move. Learn more in the article How to Handle Your Household Goods When Moving Overseas.
  • Command festivities are a perfect place to meet people. Join your new installation family at the parades, parties and Morale, Welfare and Recreation events.

Here are a few more tools for your PCS bag of tricks during the holiday season.

Transportable traditions

Before packing your household goods, be sure to discuss favorite family traditions. There will likely need to be some compromises, but everyone should be able to agree on a few items to bring along to help keep some of those favorite family traditions alive.

  • Bring things you can easily pack: a few holiday books, videos, stockings or a menorah. Store or ship the larger, heavier decorations like trees or nativity scenes.
  • Introduce your family to new activities this holiday like caroling on base or driving around the community to see Christmas lights.
  • Create decorations as a family, like cranberry garland, tree ornaments or a hanger tree.
  • Explore a neighborhood place of worship and meet new people.
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter or purchase gifts for a family in need.

We’d like to know what’s worked for your family. What boosted morale, kept the festive spirit alive and created the best memories during your PCS holiday experience? Tell us in the comments!

Julie Dymon
Written By Julie Dymon
Navy spouse

Julie raised her family through PCSes, deployments, earthquakes and hurricanes during her 12 years as a Navy spouse. Give her a cookie — for real.

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