connect long distance family over holidays
Internet Tips and Tricks

7 Creative Ways to Connect Long-Distance Family During the Holidays

The holiday season is all about togetherness and family traditions. Yet, for many of us, the challenge of maintaining a long-distance family connection turns the holidays into a longing to be closer to our loved ones. But luckily, we can also enjoy online family gatherings, thanks to the internet and technology.

We’re talking about video conferencing tools like Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet; we can stay constantly in touch through instant messaging and social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram; and share our favorite moments and memories using photo-sharing apps like Google Photos, Cluster, and iCloud Photo Sharing.

But that’s just the beginning. We can engage in playful competition with game platforms such as Steam and Jackbox Games, or co-watch our favorite holiday movies through streaming services like Netflix Party (Teleparty), Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. And for those who love music, collaborative playlists and podcasts on Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud offer yet another way to connect.

In this blog, we’ll explore how to use them to strengthen family bonds during the holidays. Whether it’s hosting a virtual holiday gathering, engaging in an online game night, or sharing a digital photo album, we’ll guide you through making the most of these digital solutions. Let’s dive into how we can keep our holiday traditions alive and well, even when we’re miles apart.

1. Virtual Holiday Gatherings

Imagine a vibrant virtual room where laughter and smiles connect everyone, bridging distances. Virtual holiday gatherings, powered by Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet, replicate the warmth of family celebrations in a digital format.

Choose a platform that balances user-friendliness and advanced features. Encourage festive backgrounds or holiday attire for added fun. And finally, send digital invites with clear instructions, considering time zones and tech familiarity.

Plan activities like virtual gift exchanges or holiday trivia and continue cherished traditions to keep the holiday spirit alive. Don’t forget to capture these moments with a group screenshot or recording, creating digital keepsakes as precious as any physical photo.

2. Online Game Nights

Holidays are more than meals and gifts; they’re a time for fun and games! Online game nights offer a great way to bond with family, whether near or far. Choose games that cater to all ages and interests in your family.

Make sure everyone has the necessary software or apps installed and do a quick test run beforehand to avoid technical issues.

3. Streaming Movie Nights

Gathering around the TV to watch a beloved holiday movie is a cherished tradition in many families. Thanks to streaming services like Netflix Party (Teleparty), Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video, this tradition can now extend across continents, allowing families to watch a movie together, no matter where they are.

Many streaming services allow synchronized viewing and provide a chat feature, so you can share reactions and comments in real-time. However, you need to make sure everyone knows how to use these features.

Pick a movie that resonates with all age groups. If you need help determining which one, create a poll to vote on the movie, so everyone’s preferences are considered. And if there are lots of children in your family, create a separate watch party for them. There are many streaming services for children to choose from! 

As a cherry on top, you can also encourage everyone to prepare their favorite movie snacks and share photos of their setup. You can even start the evening with a virtual catch-up or end with a discussion about the movie.

connect long distance family over holidays

4. Collaborative Playlists

Music and stories have always been a central part of holiday celebrations. This year, why not create a shared experience with collaborative playlists and podcasts? Engaging in music and storytelling can be a delightful way to feel closer to your family, even when you’re miles apart.

Platforms like Spotify and Apple Music offer the ability to create collaborative playlists. Invite family members to add their favorite holiday tunes, or any songs with special meaning. This way, each family member gets to contribute and share a part of themselves.

At the end of the season, save these playlists as mementos of this year’s holiday. They can become a time capsule, capturing the essence of this period in your family’s life.

5. Virtual Cooking and Baking Sessions

The holidays are synonymous with delicious meals and treats. This year, bring the joy of holiday cooking and baking into each other’s homes through virtual sessions.

Decide on a recipe that everyone can cook or bake together. It could be a family favorite or something new, exciting, and ideally, relatively easy. Of course, you’ll need to share the recipe in advance so everyone has the ingredients ready.

Find a spot in your kitchen where you can set up a device to stream your cooking session. Make sure the camera angle captures your cooking space. A good internet connection with sufficient upload speed is essential here, especially if you’re planning to stream live. 

connect long distance family over holidays

6. Sharing Digital Photo Albums

Photos capture the moments that we cherish, especially during the holidays. In a time when we might not all be able to gather in one place, sharing digital photo albums can be a heartfelt way to keep the spirit of togetherness alive.

With platforms like Google Photos, Cluster, and iCloud Photo Sharing, creating a digital album is easier than ever. You can create specific albums for the holiday season, inviting family members to contribute their photos.

Encourage each family member to upload their favorite holiday photos. Include everything from holiday decorations to family portraits and pets.

Set aside some time during your virtual gatherings to go through these albums together. This digital photo album can become a new holiday tradition, for long distance families. It can grow each year as you add more memories. It’s a wonderful way to see how everyone’s lives evolve, yet remain interconnected.

7. Customized E-Greetings and Video Messages

In a world where a text message is often the go-to for quick communication, personalized e-greetings, and video messages stand out as a thoughtful way to convey holiday wishes.

There are many online tools and apps available that allow you to create custom e-greetings. You can choose from a variety of templates or even design your own from scratch. Incorporate family photos, personal messages, and festive graphics to make each greeting unique.

Video messages are another excellent way to convey holiday cheer. Whether it’s a simple greeting, a song, or a montage of family members sharing their holiday wishes, these videos can be cherished keepsakes.

Once your e-greetings or video messages are ready, you can easily share them via email, social media, or messaging apps.

Happy Holidays to You & Your Long Distance Family!

As we’ve covered ways to connect with long-distance families during the holidays, one thing remains clear: the power of technology in bringing us closer despite physical distances. From virtual holiday gatherings to shared playlists, each of these methods offers a unique way to maintain and strengthen family bonds during this festive season.

The holidays are a time for togetherness, reflection, and sharing joy. In times when we can’t be physically together, these digital solutions provide invaluable opportunities to keep the holiday spirit alive.

And if you’re looking for an ISP that understands the importance of every connection, look no further. Contact Race Communications today to learn more about how our services can support your family’s digital holiday experiences.

Happy holidays, and here’s to staying connected, no matter where we are in the world!