Old and New Ways to Stay Connected to Loved Ones This Holiday Season

(StatePoint) Safety restrictions may be changing how people celebrate the holidays this year, but it’s still possible to stay connected throughout the season and you can even continue to enjoy many of your favorite traditions with friends and family.

Here are some old and new ways to connect with loved ones and keep the holiday spirit alive.

• Go old-school. This year, reaching out to family and friends the “old-school” way is back in style. It’s the perfect time to write heartfelt letters or send holiday cards with photos, giving you a great reason to take that family portrait.

• Spread goodwill. This can be an especially difficult time of year for those who can’t be with family. Spread a little joy and goodwill by sending gifts and cards to soldiers overseas. The USO makes it easy to select gifts for deployed troops. Those spending the holidays in nursing homes, hospitals and shelters also need some extra support. Drop off gifts for residents, give much-needed supplies or make a donation to organizations doing good work.

• Connect virtually. Use those smartphones and devices to create a new tradition — virtual “parties” for Hanukkah, Christmas or New Years! Watch grandparents open their gifts, play a game of dreidel, show off those ugly holiday sweaters, cook and bake your favorite recipes “together” and toast with far away friends and family members as you sit down to eat dinner. Using new apps, you can even virtually host a karaoke session or play some of your favorite classic board games. 

• Get outdoors. Take a family walk to check out the holiday lights and festive decorations. Or, load the family into the car and take a drive to some of the surrounding neighborhoods to see their holiday displays.

• Cozy up. Stream some of your favorite holiday movies on Netflix. Better yet, try “Netflix on Us”  from T-Mobile. Whether it’s a classic or brand-new holiday tale, grab the popcorn, top off the hot chocolate and cozy up next to the fire with loved ones to enjoy together.

• Volunteer. Nothing says “The Season of Giving” better than volunteering in your community. From the Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club and American Red Cross, to smaller local organizations, there are plenty of options to choose from and lots of safe ways to spread kindness and holiday cheer to those who need it most this time of year.

• Ask Santa. Mr. Claus is an honorary and beloved member of many households. This holiday season, you can give the jolly old fellow a ring now through Wednesday 12/23. Anyone can schedule a free video call with Santa on SantaCalling.com. T-Mobile will send you a video of your chat so you can revisit the memory and share it with friends and family. New time slots will open daily on the website at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET.

While this is certainly an unusual holiday season, technology makes it possible to give old traditions a fresh twist, allowing loved ones near and far to make new cherished memories, stay connected and celebrate together from wherever they are. Happy holidays!

Photo Credit: (c) vladans / iStock via Getty Images Plus