Three ways to better connect with your family this holiday season

This year has been chaos. None of us saw COVID-19 coming, even from a distance, and nobody thought a pandemic like this could drastically alter our everyday lives.

In fact, day-to-day life probably won’t look like anything resembling normal for the foreseeable future.

Even the holidays might very well look different for everyone this year. That may seem like it will be disappointment And, yes, it probably will be less than ideal – especially if you rule out traveling or feel forced to limit family time.

But have no fear. There are still plenty of good ways to communicate and digitally enjoy some time with loved ones – even if you don’t end up making a cross-country trip. All it takes is a little creativity and a little technology.

1) Being together from afar

At this point in 2020, we need to look for silver linings. A small one for each of us is that this is all happening in an age with advanced technology. We are at least able to remain better connected than ever before. Could you imagine how much harder it would all be if we were living through this in 1997?

Group video calls have been especially helpful, so embrace this capability. Schedule a Zoom call with as many relatives as you can – and as often as you can – over the holidays.

Whether it’s an impromptu call over eggnog or a planned sit-down when you open up some gifts, video conferencing will help you feel like you’re all together, even when you’re far apart.

2) Fun and games

If you’re already calling each other, why not take it to the next level? Many people have started to enjoy a recurring game night with their loved ones. So, why not you? It can be perfect for some holiday festivities and less awkward than struggling through large group conversations each and every time.

Choose some family-favorite games like Sorry! and Clue, kid classics like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders, or Scrabble and Apples to Apples for the adults over wine after the kids are tucked in for the night. No matter who ends up victorious, everyone involved will be the real winners.

3) Improve on the classics

Just because times are strange doesn’t mean everything needs to change. You should keep with the same traditions — and sending family holiday cards is one of the best ways to do that. But rather than doing the same old thing, why not ramp it up a notch?

Spend one of your lazy weekends over the next few months setting up a photo session for the family to create a fun, holiday photo card. Put on crazy outfits and pose in wacky ways somewhere fun. Get out the reindeer hats, tinsel, and fake snow. In other words, go all out.

Then, along with the photo card, write a heartfelt note about your year — the good and the bad — as your family has coped with the ongoing pandemic. You can even create a “seasons greeting” video if you get extra motivated.

Enjoying the holidays with family connections

Things may not be the greatest right now, but the holiday season is always a highlight to cap off the year. To that end, do your best to make sure it can still be an enjoyable time for you and your loved ones. Truthfully, we all need something to look forward to – most especially the kids!

So, do what you can to stay connected with video calls. Think about setting up a board game night full of laughter and competition — but no cheating! And, go all out on your photo holiday card.

No, this holiday season surely won’t look and feel like it does most years, but it can still be great. After all, life is what you make it, and that holiday spirit can still be conjured up even in a crazy year like 2020.