Here's how to keep in touch with friends and family — far and near.
Credit: Johnny Miller

1. Host a Holiday Home Visit via Skype or FaceTime

It's hard to be separated by miles. Texting, emails, or a phone call often don't cut it especially during the holidays when you want to see that person you are missing in real time. Take time to Skype or FaceTime with your loved ones if you can't be together. Set up a laptop and place it at the dinner table for a period of time so the missing friend or family member can feel part of a special tradition.

2. Open Gifts Together Remotely

The opening of gifts is often a focus of the holidays no matter what holiday you celebrate. Seeing that special someone's face as they open the gift you've chosen is a great moment. Try to coordinate a mutual time with your loved one when you can share in this moment even over the phone. Kids get excited too so make sure they are included in this.


3. Send Something Special From Home

Nothing brings the miles closer than a special homemade item whether it's an edible treat or a homemade knit scarf. Having something from home helps bring a feeling of closeness. (Psst: Why not try one of Martha's many recipes?)

RECIPES: Homemade Holiday Candy

4. Share the Top Three Moments of Your Day

What bonds families together are the day to day things like what happened at school or work or the old friend you bumped into at the store. When you're apart during the holidays, these important moments are often lost. Make it a point to share your day with your family during the holidays especially kids with their grandparents or aunts and uncles. Choosing a prompt such as the top three moments of your day gets things flowing. You can email these or why not set up a letter-writing kit?

5. Watch a Holiday Movie Together

There are so many classic movies on during the holidays why not choose to watch one at the same time as your far away family and text while watching? Knowing you are all watching the same thing at the same time is fun and a way to bond.

6. Buy a Recorded Book with Your Voice

This is perfect for kids who miss their far away relatives. There are several options for books that a family member can read and record in their own voice so a child can have the book "read" to them by that family member who lives thousands of miles away. It's also a special keepsake to have all year whenever they are missing them.

Want to send something special? Mail a personalized tote bag packed with small treats and gifts:


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