It’s always a challenge to have a family spread out geographically, but as technology improves, it’s getting easier and easier to remain in close contact with relatives who live far away. It is important to keep close ties with family, and especially during the holidays when you want everyone together. When you have children, or even extended family living far away you don’t have to miss them with a few imaginative and technological options. Here are a few examples of things that you can do to stay in touch with your distant loved ones this year.
With so many social media sites out there to make instant communication easy, you can see what your kids or siblings are up to just by checking on their profiles, and they can do the same with you. Leaving comments on status updates, photos, and other posts only takes a moment, but it keeps the lines of communication open and shows that you are paying attention. It’s a great way to be a small part of each other’s daily life. Share videos, fun pictures and family traditions over social media. Help those not around you to feel included and thought about in your pictures. Pictures are a great way to keep the spirit of togetherness there, but be sensitive to what might make your loved one homesick. Send a few at a time and keep the comments happy.
Play Games Online
The Internet is full of games that people can play with each other from a distance. These range from classic board games like Scrabble and Yahtzee, to complex RPG games that require the involvement of many people. A quick game can be a fun daily or weekly routine, while a more complex ongoing game can create a deeper sense of connection. Have a game night competition together and help them feel like they are at a family party even while away.
If you have something specific you want to share with your loved one, why not do it through an e-mail? It may seem old fashioned, but you can write it much as though you were writing a traditional letter, crafting it with the same care. It can be a wonderful way of sharing the news of the day, and is an easily printable memento for close family who are far away. Today emails are even trumping the old fashioned Christmas cards, making it super easy and cheap to let far away family know what you’re up to during the year. Find a program that will allow you to include links and pictures to give a colorful and fun sense of your family’s Christmas newsletter.
Make Phone Calls
Long distance calls have never been easier to make. Get a family plan so that you can call each other with no additional charges, no matter how long you talk. Institute a scheduled time to enjoy a leisurely call, or ring on the spur of the moment when there is something particularly interesting to discuss. Just be understanding if it takes a while for them to get back to you. Find a plan that is flexible for your family and remember to make use of speakerphone when everyone want to talk to each other.
Watch TV Together
Using a service like http://www.bell.ca/Bell_TV, lets you synchronize television watching, and watch the same television show at the same time from a distance. Send each other text messages as you watch so that you can discuss the show, and almost feel like you’re in the same room. During the holidays watch your family favorite Christmas films together, may even while you are on the phone together. Family Christmas traditions don’t have to fall by the wayside when one family member is far away.
The world moves quickly nowadays, but taking a little time for communication, and making use of modern technology keeps family bonds strong. You don’t have to leave anyone out when you take advantage of the technology available. There are still so many ways to stay together and connected as a family. Use these advantages now and find what keeps you connected better than ever.