(BPT) – Connecting with other people is a huge part of our lives — and it’s essential to our health and well-being. It’s also a huge part of what makes the holidays special. The good news is there are many ways we can connect, even if we’re physically apart. And if you’re still looking for that perfect gift idea, you can’t go wrong with the gift of connection. Here are some ideas from the Administration for Community Living:
Send a letter-writing kit
Gift a kit so you and a loved one can keep in touch. Buy a ready-made kit or make one yourself. Include stationery and envelopes, postage stamps and a pen. Go further by adding extras like a wax seal, stickers or nice storage box. Make it even more personal with a list of monthly themes for your letters.
Share a recipe
Make a batch of your favorite cookies or bake a pie using the recipe passed down in your family for generations. Gift the treats to friends or neighbors through contactless delivery and include a copy of the recipe so they can recreate it. Take it up a notch with a video cooking lesson to go with your recipe.
Make a keepsake
Share memories and celebrate special connections with a scrapbook, photo album or keepsake box of event mementos, pictures, news clippings, and other small items. You can also make a show-and-tell video about these items instead of creating something you have to ship.
Write a legacy letter
These written or video letters are a formal way to pass on your memories, wisdom, values and hopes to your loved ones. There are websites and templates that can help guide you, or you can just start writing or recording about what is most important to you.
Set up a connection hub
Create a place online where friends and family can connect. Choose from a range of options, including photo-sharing albums, private chat rooms, social media groups and message boards. Take it to the next level by creating a family webpage or recording a podcast for your friends.
Show you care in real time
Simply reaching out can be a gift. Count down to something, like New Year’s Day, with a call, text or email every day. For a gift that keeps giving, check out things like digital photo frames you can update from a distance and pairs of lamps that light up in one location when touched in another.
Make connection easier
Improve their virtual experience by gifting accessories like a phone stand, webcam or headphones. Another option is to set up a conference call line that friends and family can use anytime. Many services have free or low-cost options and are easy to use.
You can easily customize these suggestions to make them helpful and meaningful to your loved ones. Show them how much you care by keeping in mind their unique needs and wants.
Visit acl.gov/engage for more on how to create these gifts, suggestions for things you can do by yourself or with family and friends to stay connected, and resources that can help — this holiday season and beyond.