Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It can also be a difficult time when we are far from family. Even as I’m excited about seeing my son, daughter-in-law and grandson in Montana, I’m also sad that I can’t see my dad, four sisters and their families…for the second year in a row.
If you’re away from loved ones this year, here are eight ideas to help you connect across the miles and celebrate your family!
1. Send emails to long distance family members and collect their prayer needs. Spend a few minutes after dinner praying for those you love.
2. Skype with family members who live far away…or a missionary family you know. This can be an especially lonely time for missionaries who are not only away from family, but live in places that don’t celebrate Christmas the “American” way—if at all.
3. Create your own holiday journal. Allow kids to write messages in it (or help them write their messages) and save for years to come. Include things you did, gifts received, and even the words to your favorite Christmas songs…and then type them up or photocopy your messages and mail it to loved ones.
4. Ask family members from different generations to share family memories through letters.
5. If you have an old Bible from an elderly family member who is now gone, copy the notes in the margins or the verses he or she underlined and share them with family. My grandfather was a pastor. I have some of his old sermons, and I’m going to share some of them with my sisters.
6. Make photocopies of old, family letters—like from Grandpa’s letters home from WWII—and make copies for your family. Talk about the letters during a Skype call.
7. Watch the same Christmas movie or decorate cookies on the same night and then share photos on Facebook.
8. Speaking of sharing photos, don’t forget to snap photos above and beyond opening gifts. Take photos of the kids’ table, the Nativity set, your favorite ornaments, and the dinner table BEFORE you dig in.
I hope this list gives you ideas to connect across the miles. What are some of your ideas?? I’d love to hear!