When you can’t make it for Christmas

    Happy_Holidays_from_SEIUThe holidays are a time for celebrating life with family and close friends. Memories are made around a delicious dinner table or looking at a beautifully lit-up Christmas tree. Yet, being physically together with family and close friends is not always possible. Real life can sometimes get in the way of these happy reunions, keeping someone far from home during this special time. There are many options, however, available to those who find themselves away from their loved ones during the holidays and still want to participate.

    There are the old-fashioned ways to keep in contact with family and friends during holidays. Sending Christmas cards with heartfelt messages to friends and family members who might be far away lets them know that someone is thinking about them. Similarly, having a holiday-themed flower arrangement or food item delivered to loved ones during the holidays, lets them know that in spirit everyone is together. Another way to participate with family and friends from a distance is to send them a care package with handmade gifts and individual messages for everyone.

    Technology is also making it much easier to keep in touch with loved ones during the holidays, even as life gets more complicated and hectic. Skype and video chatting make it possible to literally participate in the holiday celebrations, no matter how great the distance. These services are priceless for the family member who is spending the holidays alone, but can watch, listen and interact through video with family and friends who are celebrating together. Being able to hear the voices and laughter of loved ones and to see their happiness at the same time can make holidays far from home feel much less lonely.

    Even if face-to-face contact is not possible, sending a recorded message, either audio or video, is one way of connecting over the holidays. A long, heartfelt email message is another way that technology allows people to be close together even when they have an ocean between them.

    Another way to participate during the holiday celebrations from far away is by shopping online for special gifts for those loved ones. When the gifts are delivered, some of them even wrapped to add to the surprise, it will feel like everyone is together. Grandparents, for example, cannot always make it to be with all their grandchildren for the holidays, but sending the children surprise gifts will please both the kids and the grandparents.