Staying Close When You’re Not Together

With the price of travel increasing, and the amount of money in American pockets decreasing, many families won’t be spending the holidays together this year.

However, with a little creativity, some innovative thinking, and a touch of organization you can find ways to still have a meaningful holiday season even if you’re 2000 miles away from each other.

Alicia on “Plan for Non Peak Visiting”

“One of the easiest ways to get through a holiday without everyone together is to plan to all get together in January or February when travel prices are much cheaper and the terminals are less crowded. Try around President’s Day or MLK day when children are already off school. If you ask your bosses for the time off now, you’ll be certain to get it and may even get brownie points for working when everyone else in your office has already left town. It might not seem ideal when you are one of the few still working in December, but trust me at the end of January, they will be the ones with the winter blues when you are getting your vacation to visit your loved ones.”

Sarah on “Organize a Little Holiday Creativity”

“Here’s a grand idea that will make your family laugh and smile even when you can’t be there in person. If for example, one half of the family will be celebrating in Atlanta, and the other in New Orleans, have each side make a fun light-hearted video for the other to watch over the holidays. It can be something silly like acting out the quirky things each family member does that you will miss (like how Grandpa unwraps his gifts at snail speed) or the kids putting on a living room short play of a Christmas story. Then send the Atlanta video to New Orleans and the New Orleans video to Atlanta and don’t watch it until the holiday – or post the videos on YouTube and watch them together online. You’ll not only have new memories but a keepsake too, even from across country.”

Here are three additional ways to stay close to loved ones even though you may be miles away this Holiday Season.

#1 Technology

We are so lucky to have amazing technologies like cell phones and instant messaging services. They are solutions that connect you to the people you love in real-time, so even though you’re miles apart you can feel like you’re in the same room. If you don’t have one already, we recommend investing in a webcam. These web video devices have gone down significantly in price – today you can get a decent one for less than $20. A visual connection, even if you can’t hug the person on the other end, makes the distance between you and your loved ones seem less vast.

#2 Send Along a Memory

Shrink the distance between you and a loved one this Holiday by sending along a little piece of you. Whether it’s an old, favorite teddy bear for your daughter, an envelope of funny pictures of you and your best friend during your high school years, or your famous Peanut Butter Buckeyes – something that sparks a happy, shared memory can make both the receiver and the giver feel closer. It is also a great reminder that it doesn’t have to cost a thing to make someone you love feel special.

#3 Start New Traditions

As much as you love your family, if you have to be away from them, try to make a new tradition so you don’t spend the whole holiday season pining away. For example, go caroling with you new friends in the neighborhood or volunteer at a local homeless shelter to make another person’s holiday brighter.