It doesn’t look like COVID will be packing its bag and heading for a vacation over the holidays (sadly), which means we’ll be stuck doing what we’ve been doing for the last year sans family. Only it’ll be Christmas and New Years’—and being alone on the holidays will probably suck more than usual.
Luckily, I’ve actually spent a few holidays away from family—both by choice or necessity, so I’ve got a bit of advice I can pass along.
We have a close family. By “family” I don’t mean just my parents and siblings, but my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. There are about 20 of us that get together on a regular basis—Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, Easter, birthdays… you name it. But this year’s been a little different, as it has for all families.
So, here are a few ways my family (and friends, too) stays connected while we’re apart:
A few Christmases ago, my cousin was out of the country in Thailand.
No matter where we were in life, up until that point, every one of the cousins had always participated in Christmas at our grandparent’s house. With one down, the holiday felt a little weird. Especially for my cousin’s mom who was spending her first Christmas away from her eldest son.
While he couldn’t sit down with us for a Christmas dinner, he did make a Christmas morning call to check-in. We all sat huddled around a computer while we chatted with him about his adventures and what we were all up to during the holiday season.
Honestly, it was nowhere near the same as having him with us for the holiday season. But it was nice to get a chance to at least see everyone.
I don’t know what your family does during the Christmas season, but we always have a few board game tourneys while we’re all together. Every family has their own favourite games, for us, we like a good game of:
- Monopoly (almost exclusively a Christmas activity)
- Cards Against Humanity (adult-only game time)
I almost always get a board game for Christmas, and one Christmas it resulted in us having a roaring fun game of Taboo (which none of us had ever played). And while we can’t sit around a table and play board games this year, there are a few apps that can help us connect.
You can also have some fun adapting games like Pictionary or Charades online too. And, if your family wants to go all-out for some holiday mystery fun, consider planning a holiday mystery game night.
Long-distance Movie Night
Not everyone in my family is a big film aficionado, but my sister and I are.
At least a few times a year, my sister and I head out to see the latest in horror, mystery or adventure—really, whatever strikes our fancy—at the local cinema. Not surprisingly, our pre-planned date to go see Death on the Nile is not happening anytime soon. But that doesn’t meant that we can’t watch a movie together this season.
Teleparty is a free app that lets you watch films together from a distance. You can stream shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, Disney and HBO together. This means you can get your annual viewing of The Santa Clause in this year!
Connecting with your family might be different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend some quality time together.
How do you connect with your family if you can’t be together during the holiday season? Share your tips and tricks below!
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