The holidays are when we look forward to spending time with the people we care about most in the world. But the holidays this year are going to be different for many families. But even before any pandemic, there were always loved ones who had to be separated during the holidays.
Whether it was the inability to get time off work, the lack of funds to afford travel, or one of the many various other reasons, many people have to celebrate their holiday long distance. Luckily technology has evolved rapidly over the last few decades allowing us to see our loved ones even when we can’t physically be with them.
Below are some ideas for how to make your holidays special even when those you want to spend them with are a long distance away.
Host a Virtual Movie Night
Getting cozy with loved ones to watch a holiday movie is an activity that many families and friends share. If you’re unable to be together this year, there’s no need to skip out on that tradition! With streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime you can still watch movies together.
To plan a virtual movie night, pick a movie, and invite everyone you want to participate with the details like what movie you picked and what time you plan to start.
Encourage them to get cozy with their pajamas, warm blankets, and movie snacks. You could even send a small package of snacks to each household as an extra touch. Send everyone a zoom link, or call the group via Facebook messenger or FaceTime, and when everyone is settled in everyone can start the movie at the same time.
Have a Gift Exchange
Many families get together for the holidays bringing gifts when they come. But if you’ve decided not to make the trip, you can still do a gift exchange. Rather than ordering a few items online and having them shipped directly to your loved ones, you can make it a little more special by wrapping the gifts and sending them off wrapped with love.
Did you know that you can print USPS shipping labels online and even schedule for your postal worker to come pick up your outgoing package? That way you won’t even need to leave your home and take your package to the post office if you’re not comfortable doing so.
If you want to take it an extra step, you can get on video and open your gifts together. While it’s not quite the same as being able to open them in the same room, you still get to see the joy on their faces, smile and laugh together.
Have a Virtual Dinner
If you regularly enjoy meals with friends or family during the holidays, it can be really hard to have to skip out on that tradition. For a lot of families, and other close friends, the holidays can be the one time of year that we make the effort to see each other during an otherwise busy year.
But you can make the most of it and celebrate long distance by making a virtual dinner date. It almost seems silly, but having to have that conversation at the dinner table, even if it means it’s through a screen, can mean the world when you’ve spent much of the year away from those you love.
Commit to Giving Back
Since a lot of people are skipping out on holiday travel, you might find that you can use those extra funds for something else. One meaningful way to spend that money would be to give back to the organizations that support your beliefs and mean a lot to you and your loved ones.
It can make not traveling to see family or friends sting a little bit less when you know that you’re providing much-needed support to organizations doing good work. You can even get everyone who normally gets together around the holidays to collectively choose an organization to donate to and make an even bigger impact.
While it’s hard being away from those you want to see the most during the holidays, spending holidays long distance doesn’t have to be lonely. There are so many ways to be able to still enjoy the time, conversation, and tradition with those that you care for.
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