Ever since we moved from the Midwest to the Pacific North West we have had to come to grips with the reality of Christmas being just the four of us. We used to live 20 minutes from my parents and just a few hours drive from my MIL, not to mention the majority of my hubby’s extended family living close by too, so the holidays were always filled with get togethers and juggling everyone, always making time to see everybody. So it’s been an adjustment not having ANY plans. A lot of people we know here have their own plans this time of year. They either leave town or they have family in town and no time for us. We have thought two years in a row about traveling back home but with prices the way the are around the holidays we can’t bring ourselves to do it. So we are adjusting to doing the holidays just us four, and planning trips to see our families after the holidays are over. So here is what we have learned to do to still make this time of year special, even when it’s up to just us to make it so.
- Keep the traditions.
It can be hard when you are the only ones holding on to these traditions, but now that we have our own kids we know it’s important to keep it going. Some things we do are our Christmas movie marathons, a nice Christmas eve dinner (yes even if only two of the four of us even eat it) and staying in our PJ’s all day Christmas day!
FaceTime is a wonderful thing when you are far apart from people you care about. Last year we FaceTimed with our families for long chunks of time while we opened presents or toasted together once holidays drinks started. It’s a little bitter sweet but so nice to stay connected! We also did a long distance ugly sweater contest last year. We all got kits and made our own, and sent photos.
- Keep family in the loop, AKA Snapchat EVERYTHING.
Those far from you are missing you too, so we make sure to call often and tell them about what we are doing with the kids, send them photos with Santa and Snapchat the dickens out of every little thing we do! If you don’t do snapchat I expect you to start downloading this app like right this second. Snapchat, besides FaceTime, is my number one way to keep my parents and siblings in the loop about our day-to-day life. You send a photo or video and it disappears after it’s been viewed. So these are not for the precious moments you want to save forever, but it’s perfect for snapping shots throughout the day just so they can see a glimpse of your life.
- Make your friends your new tradition
While a lot of our friends have their own families in town, or leave town themselves, there are a few who are in the same boat as us! So we make sure to keep our friends close this time of year! Throw a party, or just have some friends over for pizza and a movie.
- Plan your next Trip
Everyone is sad when you can’t get together for the holidays so it makes it a little easier if you know when you will see each other next!
No matter how far you are from loved ones, make the holidays as special with the ones you are with! I consider myself so lucky to have my own little family and am so grateful for the technology to keep us close to those far away.