Our First Christmas in Charleston: New Place, New Traditions


By Malana Bracht

My family and I are from the Midwest, and Christmas is a little different in our new city than our home state. If you are a transplant to Charleston, you understand the feeling.

We recently moved to the Charleston area. It was a quick transition, and, in only a few short months, we are finally beginning to feel settled into our new community. Where we are from, there are no palm trees decorated with Christmas lights. Where we are from, my children can’t play outside in a t-shirt in December because it’s too cold. Where we are from, beloved family was 15 minutes down the road.

That is not the case in our new home.

I have wondered if Christmas in Charleston is similar to that in places like Hawaii. In Hawaii, Santa Claus is dressed in swim trunks and sunglasses and they sing “Mele Kalikimaka” instead of “White Christmas”. In a warmer climate, you have to become more creative in celebrating a typically frosty holiday. 

You also become creative in celebrating this beloved holiday when the people you are used to spending the holidays with are 1000 miles away.Though we are excited to see King Street adorned with lights and garland and watch the Parade of Boats in the Charleston Harbor, we miss our times with family watching local light shows or sitting in the living room watching classic black and white Christmas movies that make you cry.

Our First Christmas in Charleston: New Place, New Traditions Charleston Moms

The Christmas season is complicated for transplants because we find ourselves mourning our old Christmas traditions, but excited to learn new ones. We fight the guilt that our family’s holidays back home are not as full as before because we moved away. We fight the guilt that we are enjoying our new city and Christmas without our family to share it with.

The first Christmas away from your home town is a bittersweet experience.

Even so, South Carolina is our home state and Charleston is our city. Because of this, we must make new memories, new traditions, and spend time with those we love in our new community.
Here’s to a Charleston Christmas season!

Are you new to the Charleston area? What are your holiday plans? Share in the comments below.


Malana Bracht is a red-headed momma out of Oklahoma. In March 2019, her family felt led out of faith to move to Charleston, leaving everyone and everything they knew behind. Settling in a new place, making mom friends and self-discovery has made for some interesting inspirations to write. Through various forms of media (blogs, podcasts, public speaking, & Youtube videos), she shares her story of gaining a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, ending the cycle of poverty in her life and learning to create a healthy family life for her children. She also creates tools to empower others to do the same! Malana also likes serving in the local church, coffee shops, and fuzzy slippers. For more information, you can visit https://linktr.ee/author.malanabracht.