11 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays With Your Long-Distance Family
Getting together with the fam — from your crazy-fun aunts to the grandparents who spoil you — always makes for stories you’ll be retelling for years to come. But being far away from your family over the holidays doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all these moments! We’ve teamed up with Acer to show you how to spend quality time with long-distance family, no matter what ends of the Earth you’re on. (Seriously, how did families do it before the age of the internet?)
1. Rock matching PJ sets. Remember those holiday pajamas your aunt gifted the whole fam three years ago? This year, you can put them to good use! Even though you won’t be sharing the same living room, you can still share the same quintessential Christmas morning uniform. Strike a pose, snap a pic, and share your ~lewk~!
2. Embark on a virtual scavenger hunt. There are a few things that come up every holiday season no matter where you are, so make it your mission to check it all off on a family-wide scavenger hunt. Our suggestions? A Santa look-a-like on the street, making perfectly crispy latkes, eyeing the best ugly sweater of the season, volunteering at a local charity, and snapping a pic of your cat snoozing under the tree.
3. Watch a movie as a family. We all have a favorite festive film, and it’s tradition to watch year after year. Schedule time to watch it together with the whole family —and don’t worry, your Acer Swift 7 will make sure anyone can join, no matter where they are. Fold it into tablet mode to watch on the go, use it as a laptop for a personal viewing party, or even prop it up tent-style so the kids can gather ’round.
4. Send a life-size cutout of yourself in the mail. Missing out on the family photo this year? Send a cardboard cutout of yourself to make the annual ’gram! (Yo, we’re actually serious — we surprised Anj, our creative director, with one of these when she couldn’t attend Re:Make 2016. That cardboard cutout made it into dozens of selfies, and it was a HIT.)
5. Have a gingerbread house competition. Every family needs a little healthy competition from time to time. Since you can’t sit around a table with your favorite board games, channel that energy into a virtual gingerbread house competition instead. Buy the same kit, set up some ground rules (a time limit will really get the competition going), and let the candy fly! Present your masterpieces on social media — whoever gets the most likes, wins! (Psst: You can totally filter the messy spots. We won’t tell.)
6. Play a virtual dreidel game. Why not hop on a group video call and bust out the dreidel? Every player can start with the same amount of gilt, with one fam member acting as the designated dreidel spinner. While winner can’t exactly take all, they’re totally entitled to a year’s worth of bragging rights.
7. Try virtual video caroling. Storytime: A few years ago, my uncle and cousin were in Spain for the winter. They surprised us with a custom video carol describing their holiday in Europe to the tune of a classic Christmas jingle, and we scrappily reciprocated with an ad-lib carol about our California Christmas. Thus, a tradition was born! Now every year, we video call our faraway family with a silly musical greeting. We’re partial to doing so using the ever-durable Acer Spin 5 in tablet mode, so we can easily pass the device around the room as we sing our lines. It’s a little corny, but hey, so are we.
8. Make a family recipe from afar. Follow the same recipe for Grandma’s saffron bread, even if you’re not in the same kitchen. Compare photos, techniques, and your annual review, so that you can make the *best* saffron bread next time you’re together.
9. Co-create a music playlist. Create a shared playlist filled with jammin’ jingles, then invite the whole fam to add their favorite songs. Even if you’re not technically celebrating the holiday season together, you’re still celebrating with the same soundtrack.
10. Make joint New Year’s resolutions. Counting down to the new year together is hard when you’re all on different time zones. Instead, put together a list of New Year’s resolutions you can all agree on — like getting in more quality time together (even when you’re not together).
11. Send surprise gifts through snail mail. There’s nothing like getting a surprise package filled with thoughtful goodies, so spoil the fam with treats they’ll love. Make sure your gifts arrive right on time and don’t forget to video chat so you can see their reactions!
Round up the fam — it’s time to get festive!
Do you have any holiday traditions with long-distance family? We’d love to hear them! Share with us on Twitter by tagging @BritandCo.
Production + Styling: Kayla Haykin, Maddie Bachelder + Alice Chen
Photography: Kurt Andre
Models: Anna Sun + Anthony Puah