How To Be Close to Family This Holiday Season (While Not Really Being Close)

Covid-19 is probably affecting most, if not all, of our normal family holiday traditions. If you’re religious, going to a service is most likely no longer an option, nor are large gatherings of family for dinner. This abnormal holiday season is unsettling and daunting but now is the perfect year to start new traditions. 


  1. 1. Facetime Distant Family on a Table With Your Immediate Family

    people gathered around a table

    This may seem like the most obvious way to be “together” on a holiday, but you can Facetime family on a computer while at dinner and see their table and they can see yours. Or if your family is more traditional, Facetime after your meal. Thanks to technology, seeing family can still happen even if it's not in person. 

  2. 2. Do the Same Traditions Together (Sort Of)

    group of people ice skating

    Close, yet apart, we can celebrate traditions with our loved ones “together”. Go out and do those traditions that are still around during covid times with your immediate family and send pictures to your family. Then, look at the pictures of your family doing it too, and I can assure you that you will feel much closer. For example, go ice skating at different rinks or snowshoeing. Whatever your family’s traditions are, at least one of them can still happen! 

  3. 3. Write Letters to Elderly Members

    Letter and envelope

    When we Facetime or Zoom family, we generally tend to forget about the elderly members of our family that don’t know how to use this technology. Reach out to these valued members of your family through letters sent to their address weekly so that they know you still care. You may even learn something new from them, maybe they were famous, you never know! 

  4. 4. Give the Gift of Thinking About Someone 

    mental health signs on a fence

    Sometimes the best gift somebody can receive is a nice letter or text from someone who hasn’t reached out in a while. Try texting that distant cousin of yours something long and heartfelt or short and sweet, no matter what it is. Sometimes the gift of thinking of someone can be enough to brighten up their day!

  5. 5. The Giving Month

    person showing brown gift box

    For the whole month of December, try the kindness challenge. Each and every day of the month do something for somebody without receiving recognition. This could be paying for the person behind you’s Starbucks, leaving a quote card under somebody’s door, baking cookies for a neighbor (make sure to say the baker is covid free), or leaving a dollar bill on the ground. If you complete this challenge, then you can celebrate the new year knowing you left the world in that year a better place. 

I know that these times can be stressful and sometimes ruin the joy of the holidays, but remember that you are loved. Don’t forget these important relationships in your life and give a little extra this season, I think we all need it!