Can you believe that we are four days into December? DECEMBER!!! How did we get here already? I mean one minute I was composing a Halloween post, Thanksgiving flew by in the blink of an eye, and now we’re days away from celebrating Christmas. My goodness!
I thought about how my family would be preparing to gather for Christmas. Normally, my Mom would make all of the big ticket items while everyone else pitched in to provide the desserts. My Mom is one who’s never liked a ton of people in her kitchen and trust me, I always obliged. My Aunts would slowly move into the kitchen to try and take over which would result in a full blown argument and hilarity at best. Meanwhile, all I was hoping to do was sample the ham! What amazing memories.
This holiday will look totally different as we are are constantly decreasing the amount of family members that can be together under one roof. My very good friend celebrated Thanksgiving with her family on the Facebook Portal. (Click here if you’d like to read about this cool device). She and her sisters had an amazing and fun filled cooking class. I honestly never looked into this but now I may have to. Of course there will be family members that do not have internet capability to participate but this can be alleviated by a good old fashion phone call. Ha, Remember those….?
There are many ways to stay connected, for instance you can:
Mail a Letter
You know, I think I failed my son in this area because although my younger one has the concept down on where the addresses go, my older one is oblivious. I don’t know about you but I love receiving letters by mail…and packages of course, but writing a heartfelt message on cute stationary goes a long way and from what I’ve seen in my own family, is always greatly appreciated. Click here and here for a few of my favorite stationary pieces. Check out this adorable set specifically for kids.
Send a Package
Ok, technically, this can be combined with mailing a letter but you all get the jest. Try packaging up hot chocolate and a few other dry ingredients in decorative mason jars along with an instructional card to send to family members. The postal service center can package these so they wont shatter into a million pieces. Learned my lesson long ago on this one!
Another idea would be to send pie glass that includes a decorative cutter along with your favorite or a new pie recipe for your family to try. Try this pie recipe, or this one or this one. Sugar overload!
Las year, I purchased this Gratitude Jar for my friend as a just because gift. It was actually on Oprah’s 2017 favorite things list. I live for this yearly list. Did I happen to tell you guys I saw Oprah at a conference in 2019? I was literally three rows away from her. I could go on and on but that’s another story for another time. This jar comes with tons of small note cards to list things/people you truly appreciate. It doesn’t have to be this particular jar, you can make your own. Encourage participation among kids if you have little ones. I promise you family members will love it.
Pick up the Phone
Remember those days where the phone was all we had? Then call waiting happened, three way calling, then cell phones, then smart phones and now texting is 80% of the way we communicate now. I have a cousin who loves to talk by phone and she rarely calls me unless its an emergency. She knows I’d rather text books if I could. I’m sure that drives her nuts. If there is someone you’ve been meaning to call but haven’t gotten around to it, I’m sure it would be a sweet surprise to let that family member or members hear your voice, especially if its been a loooooong time since your last conversation. All of my Mom’s sisters are way up in age so I try to make it a point to call every couple of months just so they can hear my voice….and the kids voices.
If technology is your friend, try Zoom or WhatsApp. Both are free services. Zoom is a service that provides video phone and online chat services. WhatsApp is a voice service, also owned by Facebook, that you can download on your phone or computer. You can send texts and voice messages and make video calls. Both are effective and efficient when it comes to connecting with family members who have this capability.
I discovered this neat service by happenstance. Teleparty (formally known as “Netflix Party”) is owned by Netflix and is a cool way to watch TV with friends and family online. Sure you could do it the old-fashioned way by just being on the phone and watching a movie together, but why not check this out to create and customize your very own Teleparty. Now I cannot vouch for how great this service works but I cant wait to try it with my friends and family.
Although the holidays will look different this year, this doesn’t mean they have to be a total bust. By incorporating some of these ideas, you’ll still be able to feel connected and possibly start a new tradition.
***Stay tuned until next time where I’ll list my favorite Christmas recipes***
Happy Holidays xoxo