Living 1,557 miles away from my hometown in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, our family of four embarked on a new chapter in Central Florida in August of 2021. As the holiday season approaches for the third time in our new home, I find myself reflecting on the challenges and joys that come with spending the holidays away from family. 

Being miles apart from our loved ones during the holidays is never easy. The warmth of familiar faces, the comforting embrace of family traditions, and the laughter shared around the dinner table can feel like an irreplaceable void. Yet, distance doesn’t diminish the love we have for our family; it merely changes the way we express it.

Digitally connected during the holidays away from family

Spending the holidays away from family can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be. In the digital age, there are numerous ways to bridge the gap between miles. We’ve discovered the importance of regular phone calls, setting up FaceTime sessions, and exchanging heartfelt messages. These moments, though virtual, help us stay connected and involved in each other’s lives. Seeing the smiles on our loved ones’ faces, even through a screen, brings a sense of togetherness that can ease the ache of separation.

Spread holiday cheer with creative gifts

The holidays offer a perfect opportunity to get creative with showing our love. Sending handwritten cards, thoughtful crafts, or carefully chosen gifts by mail can make a significant impact. These tangible expressions of affection remind our family back home that they are always in our thoughts and close to our hearts, no matter the physical distance.

holidays away from familyIntimate holiday moments

While spending the holidays away from family can be tough, it also gives us a chance to focus on our immediate family — my husband, our two kids, and me. We’ve learned to appreciate the intimacy of our celebrations, relishing in the unique traditions we’ve created together. These moments become precious memories that bind us as a family, strengthening our bond in the absence of our extended relatives.

Though it might be challenging, we’ve come to realize that the holiday season is not defined by the miles that separate us, but by the love we share and the connections we nurture. While physical presence is undoubtedly treasured, the essence of the holidays lies in the spirit of togetherness, gratitude, and love, which can transcend any distance.

So, as the holiday season approaches, I encourage you to reach out across the miles. Make that call, schedule that FaceTime session, and send those heartfelt messages and gifts. Embrace the distance as a reminder of the vastness of your love, and cherish the moments with your immediate family, for they are the heart of your holiday celebrations.

Wishing you a warm and connected holiday season, no matter the miles that may lie between.


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