How to Celebrate the Holidays Family is Far Away

Holidays can be the some of most joyful times of the year to celebrate with family. Yet what if distance, work, school, or other commitments force you to be away from your loved ones during the holiday season? Western Union (WU) has some suggestions on how to celebrate the holidays when family is far away so that you can enjoy this special time of year, even on your own.

Family using digital tablet

Video Conferencing

While you may not be able to be physically present to celebrate the holidays with your family, you can virtually be there! All you and your family need is a laptop, tablet, or smartphone with a camera and WiFi, and you can join in on the festivities via free apps like Skype, Facetime, or Google Hangout. With video conferencing, you can chime in on the conversation at dinner, and even participate as relatives open gifts! It’s as close to the real thing as you can get.

Accept Invitations to Friends’ Festivities

If a friend extends an invitation to join their family for dinner, don’t be shy about accepting! Your friend wouldn’t have invited you over the holidays if he or she didn’t feel you would fit in, so don’t worry about being an outsider. Being around your friends and their families can help lessen the loneliness you might feel when your own family is far away and give you a chance to further bond with your friend.

Group of friends at rooftop party

Throw a Gathering for Friends

You’re likely not the only one without family nearby. Check in with your friends and acquaintances and find out who else might be alone for the holidays. You can then take the initiative to plan a potluck and have everyone over for a friends’ holiday party. It will give you a chance to enjoy spending time with your current buddies and even turn acquaintances into closer friends.

Go to a Meetup

If you’re new in town and don’t yet have many connections, or if you don’t have a large social circle to contact, check out Meetup.com, where you can join Meetup groups and attend group gatherings, parties, and events. It’s a great way to mingle and strike up new friendships that you can continue into the new year!

Woman reads book near fireplace

Treat Yourself

Especially around the holidays, remember to take care of yourself! If you can’t travel home to be with loved ones, then engaging in activities that you love can help make you feel better and also keep your spirits up. It’s also a great time to pamper yourself! Treat yourself to a relaxing spa day, go for a long walk, or read that book that you never got to finish because your schedule got too hectic. If you find yourself with some alone time, the holiday season can be a great time to relax and recharge yourself for the new year.

Spending the holidays without family can be tough. However, know that there are other options to help keep your holidays happy. If you’ve been away from your family, how have you celebrated the holidays? Let us know in the comments!

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