Many families won’t be able to be together during the holidays this year. It’s important to do whatever you can to bridge the distance and show them you’re love from afar
I know what it’s like to be far away from loved ones at Christmas. I live in Texas and my only grandchildren are in Portland. I try to visit every second Christmas, but the holidays when we’re apart can be tough.
There are many families who can’t be together at Christmas. Work, military service, geographical distances, and many other reasons can keep loved ones far apart, during the family holidays. This can be very hard for those at home who are missing an important family member. It’s hard for the person who isn’t able to get home as well, who may be alone, or among people, they don’t know very well.
Accepting what you can’t change is the first step to happy holidays
There are circumstances of life that are very difficult to change. If you’re on duty on Christmas Day, you have to show up. If you’re on the other side of the world and can’t get time off, you won’t be traveling home. These situations can be sad and even depressing for some people, especially when they know other families are enjoying a great time together.
The first way to help yourself deal with your situation is to accept the circumstances you and your family are in this year. It won’t help you or anybody else if you give in to feelings of resentment and anger that your Christmas will be incomplete. There are some things we simply cannot change, no matter how much we might want to. When we learn to accept that, those circumstances become a lot easier to bear.
Use technology to ease the Christmas separation
With the help of technology, separated loved ones can speak to and even see one another at Christmas. To investigate all the possibilities for calling your loved ones, then make sure to set a time when everyone will be available to connect. If you have it you can use Skype or any other programs that allow you to see each other as you talk. You can even arrange it so you can watch your loved ones opening their gifts.
It isn’t the same as being there, but once you’ve accepted that you can’t be together, you’ll be free to enjoy what you can have.
Do acknowledge and express your sad feelings
If you need to have a cry about a loved one’s absence, go ahead and do it. It’s perfectly normal, and you won’t be spoiling Christmas, as long as you don’t cry all day. Give children the opportunity to express their feelings about their family member’s absence. This makes it much easier for them to move on and enjoy the day.
Make sure you talk about the absent member at the dinner table. Propose a toast to absent ones, and talk about what you imagine they’ll be doing at that moment. You can include them in your hearts and thoughts, even if they aren’t sitting next to you.
Communication is vital when people are apart
In the evening, a little quiet time can be set aside when children and adults can send emails, or write cards describing their day that they can send to their family members. Communication of all kinds is vital when people are separated, and today we have more choices than ever before about how we want to stay in touch. Make use of these opportunities and enjoy them to the full.
Remember to tell everyone in your family how much you love them this Christmas, whether they are with you or not! That’s something we can forget to say, it seems so obvious. But even if it is obvious, say it. Everybody feels good when they hear it, especially if they can’t be there to have a loving hug.
So happy holidays everyone, and stay close to one another any way you can!