LIFESTYLE Relationships  >  8 Ways to Stay Close from Afar Over the Holidays

8 Ways to Stay Close from Afar Over the Holidays

8 Ways to Stay Close from Afar Over the Holidays
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By Mary Jane Horton

Not many people stay close to home anymore. You may be from a family that has to drive for hours or fly for days to get together. Friends from childhood, cousins and aunts – all scattered throughout the country, and world. It is a far cry from the past when people stayed close to where they grew up – for the most part.

So how do you stay close to all of these people through the holidays? That is, closer than a simple card or fruit basket gift. Here are eight ways that work to bring the real you – and your real family – closer to others through the miles and years.

  • Photo collage. Make extra copies of all of the photos you have taken of your family over the year and make a great collage – either physically or digitally. Don’t just use the good ones. Use them all – trips, occasions, candid, posed. This will give distant relatives and friends a real slice of your life. Or do it with a video – there are some great websites such as Animoto,, that will take your photos and make them into a slideshow.
  • Make a tape recording. Especially if you have kids, or grandkids, there is nothing like hearing someone’s voice to bring their spirit through. Talk about an old family tradition, a story, or just have everyone talk about what’s going on in their lives. You can either do it on your computer and send the file out or make a tape (could be riskier since not everyone has a tape player these days).
  • Send some homemade artwork. Whether you are the artist, or a child or grandchild, take a great piece that someone has produced over the year and make a copies on nice paper. Write a little note about who made it and what it represents.
  • Write a story. People love stories and, even if you aren’t a writer, what could be a better gift than a remembrance from the past. Really have fun with it, and tell a colorful story about when you were together with the family and friends you want to reconnect with. Present it simply, or print it on beautiful paper and send it physically (for more impact) or email it.
  • Webcam play. This is a little hokey, but if you and your family are dramatic types, put on a play for your distant family and friends. Start now, rehearse, and send out an invite. Everyone on your list will definitely appreciate the effort.
  • Have a joint cause. Find a charity that will resonate with everyone – a homeless shelter, the ASPCA, or even paying for food for a child for a year – and ask everyone to donate what they can. If you sponsor a child for a year, you will all get communication from the charity and think of each other several times during the year.
  • Start the tradition of a family newsletter. This can keep everyone up to date on what is going on with everyone else. There are a number of different ways that you can do this. You can make a hard copy of a newsletter, however frequently your family decides is right, or you can send around an electronic copy. Someone in the family should take the job of newsletter secretary, or you can take turns getting it done. However, you choose to do it just make sure that it works for your family and starting the tradition during the holidays can make it a bit more special.



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