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Long Distance Christmas Ideas for Family


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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Navy Federal Credit Union. All opinions are 100% mine.

Can’t be together for the holidays? Don’t worry! I have several long distance holiday ideas for family you’ll enjoy!

If there’s one thing we learned as a military family, it’s how to get creative when it comes to staying connected when we can’t be physically together. Somehow, my husband’s training and deployment schedule led him to miss more holidays and birthdays than he was able to attend in person.

How Being Apart Can Bring You Together

In a way, spending the holidays apart provides some opportunities to strengthen your family bonds. Sounds silly, I know. But it’s true!

kids in a family sitting around a Christmas tree holding their Christmas gifts

To celebrate together when you’re separated by hundreds or thousands of miles, requires more planning, coordination and effort than simply rolling out of bed and stumbling into the family room. And most of us don’t exert that much energy on just anyone — so simply finding a way to connect from a distance does a lot to let everyone in the family know how much each person cares.

By all means, if you can safely gather for the holidays, being together as a family is a blessing. But if circumstances prevent you from gathering, realize that those occasions are still great opportunities for family bonding.

Long Distance Holiday Celebration Ideas

As long as you have some way to connect (either video chat or telephone), you can enjoy any of these family holiday activities.

Even better, all of these ideas are budget-friendly because the last thing you need when you can’t be together as a family is the added stress of financial burdens. If you do end up going over-budget, read these great tips from Navy Federal Credit Union on recovering from holiday overspending.

Now onto some enjoyable long distance family holiday activities that are affordable and easy.

Virtual Caroling

Holiday music is an easy way to put you in a festive mood. The fun thing about caroling virtually as a family is that there’s no pressure to sound good! Find links to dozens of carol lyrics here.

Christmas Storytime

A fun and easy activity is to take turns reading a favorite holiday story aloud. Family members can each claim a character and read those parts or alternate by sentence or page.

Some popular choices are:

  • The Polar Express
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • The Night Before Christmas
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Holiday Trivia

Choose someone to be in charge of asking the questions and everyone else can compete to see who can answer the most correctly. Here’s a list of 50 Christmas trivia questions with answers.

Name Your Favorite

This is a fun way for families to learn more about each other. Each person names their favorite:

  • Christmas movie
  • Holiday tradition
  • Gift received
  • Gift given
  • Holiday memory

Ornament Making Challenge

Using only items that are readily available to all participants, compete to create the best ornament. The group can vote on the best ornament. Or, if you don’t want it to be a competition, each person can simply share their masterpiece.

spool of red ribbon, styrofoam ball, T pins, red and green washi tape, hot glue gun on a wood background

Printable Holiday Games

As long as everyone has access to a printer and the internet, the family can play one (or more) of these free printable Christmas games together virtually.

Add-A-Line Stories

This is an activity that can be done via phone, video chat OR email. Create a Christmas story together but family members take turns adding onto the story.

It’s up to you whether each person adds a single word, a sentence, or even more. If you play via email, each person simply forwards the updated story onto the next person.

I hope the ideas I’ve shared above help you to find joy this holiday season even if you can’t gather in person with your loved ones. If you have additional ideas, please share them with me in the comments!

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