I’ll Be Home for Christmas – If Only Virtually

Celebrate the Holidays together even when you’re not!


It is a reality of the world in which we live – we can’t all always be together for the holidays. However…it is possible to feel closer to each other even when we’re not – and even start some new holiday traditions! We’ve put together a few suggestions for bringing your loved ones just a tad bit closer when celebrating from different places.

  • Favorite Holiday Movie Night


Make this one fun by sending movie treats to all and set a time and date when all of you can watch your family’s favorite Christmas Movie together in different places. Even if your family can’t agree on a favorite, you can pick someone’s favorite this year and another’s the next year. Or agree to each watch your own favorite on the same day and at the same and munching the same goodies!

  • Same Christmas Carol CD


One tradition my family had was to decorating the tree while listening to Christmas music. One of our all time favorites was the Muppets Christmas CD. One year my daughter Anne made me a Christmas mix. Like this mix, your family favorites can  be copied and distributed to all so that when each household decorates their tree, all can be listening to the same ‘mood music.’

  • Traveling Christmas decoration, ornament and/or advent calendar


Ok – this one can be as fun, religious or sentimental as you would like to make it. It can be a treasured Christmas ornament, the family nativity set, the angel or star tree topper, a family photo from the last time you were all together on Christmas, the proverbial white elephant holiday gift, etc…I like the idea of an advent calendar that has compartments. The person that had it last Christmas is responsible for stuffing the compartments for the person being sent the calendar this year – 25 days of sharing fun with someone you love!

  • Special Gift Time


My girls have always made gifts for each other to be shared on Christmas Eve. My son-in-law has joined us in this tradition and I just love seeing what each of them craft for the others each year – they are truly incredible! I myself have been the recipient of some wonderfully hand-crafted gifts. The grouping above are pictures I received showing my heart in each state where my daughters live. Such personalized gifts absolutely make the holiday! DIY gifts ,or specially selected gifts, are even better if you share the event via Skype or FaceTime so you can all be together in the same virtual room and participate in the joy of giving.

  • Recorded Storybook or Message

Recordable Storybooks

This may be more for grandchildren, but I would bet grownup siblings, daughters, and parents could enjoy the tradition as well. Hallmark has an assortment of books that will record your voice as you read the story. Not all of them are Christmas related, so you could record a favorite book your family enjoys. There are cards and ornaments that will capture your personal message too! You can make your own recording as well using the ‘old school tape’ method or a CD that you record from your computer. This gift can be enjoyed over and over again throughout the holiday or whenever you want to feel closer to your loved ones. Be silly, be serious, be jolly, be sentimental – whatever strikes your fancy.


Don’t despair over being in different places during the holiday season! Embrace the life you lead and stay connected to those you love by getting creative and sending a bit of ‘you’ to wherever ‘they’ are! That’s what holiday traditions do –

make each of us feel as though we are home. – M



  1. I love the hearts in the states where your daughters live, great idea!

    1. Thank you Tresa. I was so thrilled to get those string arts. I’ll admit, I was a bit emotional. I love that my daughter realized how much of my heart they each have! They are right on the wall leading into the hallway to the bedrooms so I see it each and every day!

  2. Love your ideas. I have a larger version of that very same nativity and my grandkids love to play with it. I’ve got to keep them occupied for a few days next week, so these will come in handy.

    1. Thank you S.K. I know what you mean about occupying the grandkids – it’s wonderful. Plus it gives lots of opportunities to answer all their questions about what it’s all about. At our house, we hide the baby Jesus and don’t put him out until Christmas Day and we move the traveling Maji (Magus) closer to the nativity scene each day. My oldest granddaughter still checks to make sure I have moved the kings from the last time we was over. Enjoy your time with the grandkids!

  3. Excellent suggestions! One of my aunts was in the hospital after surgery on Dec. 23rd when I was in h.s. She wouldn’t be able to be with family, so all of the cousins made a tape of us singing our Christmas favorites, telling what we were doing, etc., and then the youngest cousin read his adorable poem he’d written about a bear in a back cast who was told to hibernate and get well. All the animals in the forest got together to sing a sleepy-time song…and then we all sang it. My uncle took the tape and a tape recorder to her on Christmas Eve, and she loved it.

    1. I’ll bet that was a Chrismtas your Aunt will never forget! – How fun, how thoughtful and how special! I love thinking about each of you guys having fun creating such a treasure for your aunt. Thank you Marylin.

  4. Thoughtful ideas! Love that they go beyond the obvious of social media and get more personal. Those state ornaments are amazing! 🙂

    1. Thanks Natine! I agree – those states ROCK!
      I am always trying to find ways to ‘be there’ for my girls and their kids when I can’t always actually be there. They inspire me and there are lots of great ways to share moments even across the miles. You and yours are great examples of the fun you can have with family even though distance separates!

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