Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Cute Ideas For Families Celebrating The Holidays Apart


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Cathrine Stricker



Family holidays are a special time for creating memories, cherishing traditions, and strengthening bonds. However, there are instances when circumstances prevent families from physically gathering together to celebrate. Whether due to distance, work obligations, or unforeseen circumstances, it can be challenging and heart-wrenching to be apart from loved ones during the holidays.


But fear not! With the advances in technology, it is easier than ever to bridge the gap and celebrate together, even when physically apart. Virtual gatherings and activities offer a fantastic opportunity for families to connect, have fun, and create lasting memories, despite being separated by miles.


In this article, we will explore some delightful and creative ideas for families who find themselves celebrating the holidays apart. Whether you are separated by cities, countries, or continents, these innovative ideas will help you stay connected and bring the joy of the holiday season into your virtual celebrations.


So, gather your loved ones, fire up your devices, and get ready to make some amazing memories, even if you can’t be together physically. Let’s dive into these cute ideas for families celebrating the holidays apart!


Virtual Holiday Parties

Just because you can’t be in the same physical space doesn’t mean you can’t have a festive and enjoyable holiday party with your family. Virtual holiday parties allow you to bring the celebration right into your living room with the help of video conferencing platforms. Here’s how you can make your virtual holiday party a memorable one:


1. Theme it up: Choose a fun and festive theme for your virtual holiday party. Encourage everyone to dress up in holiday attire or choose a specific theme like ugly sweaters or pajama party. It will add excitement and make the event feel more special.


2. Games and activities: Plan some virtual games and activities that everyone can participate in. You can play virtual bingo, trivia games, or even do a holiday-themed scavenger hunt where each family has to find and show specific holiday items in their homes.


3. Virtual photo booth: Create a virtual photo booth backdrop that everyone can use during the party. Use a festive holiday background or create a personalized one with family photos and holiday decorations. Encourage everyone to take screenshots or record fun moments during the party.


4. Gift exchange: Organize a virtual gift exchange where each family member can send their gifts in advance, and everyone can open them together during the party. It’s a great way to bring the excitement and surprise of gift-giving into the virtual celebration.


5. Share holiday recipes: Coordinate and decide on a holiday recipe that everyone can cook or bake at home. Share the recipe with each family member and set a time during the party to showcase and taste everyone’s culinary creations. It will bring a sense of togetherness and create a delicious bonding experience.


Remember, the key to a successful virtual holiday party is communication and planning. Make sure to inform your family members in advance about the date and time of the party, the theme, and any specific instructions or activities they need to prepare for. With a little bit of creativity and effort, you can turn your virtual holiday party into a joyful and memorable event for the whole family.


Sharing Virtual Meals

One of the most cherished parts of the holiday season is coming together to share a delicious meal with loved ones. While physically sharing a meal may not be possible when celebrating apart, you can still recreate the joy of dining together through virtual meals. Here’s how:


1. Plan a menu: Coordinate with your family members in advance to decide on a holiday menu. Each family can make their favorite dishes and share the recipes with one another. It’s a wonderful way to keep the culinary traditions alive and bond over food, even from a distance.


2. Cook together: Set a specific time and date for the virtual meal and encourage everyone to cook their chosen dishes simultaneously. Connect through video conferencing and enjoy the process of preparing the meal together. Share tips, tricks, and stories while cooking, just like you would in a real kitchen.


3. Set the table: Create a festive atmosphere by decorating your dining area and setting the table with holiday-themed decorations. Use your best dinnerware, candles, and tablecloths to make the virtual dining experience feel special. Encourage everyone to do the same, so it feels like you’re all sitting down to a beautiful holiday spread.


4. Share stories and memories: As you savor your virtual meal, take the time to reminisce about past holidays and share stories and memories. It’s a fantastic opportunity to connect emotionally and bring a sense of nostalgia to your virtual celebration. You can even create a slideshow of old family photos to share on-screen during the meal.


5. Toast to togetherness: Before you start eating, raise your glasses and toast to the love and bond that unites your family, even when physically apart. It’s a heartfelt moment that symbolizes your shared celebration and gratitude for one another.


Remember, the purpose of sharing a virtual meal is not just about the food but the connections and love you share as a family. Embrace the technology that allows you to dine together virtually and focus on the joy of being able to celebrate the holidays in this unique way.


Sending Care Packages

When you can’t be together in person, sending care packages to your loved ones is a thoughtful way to show them how much you care. Care packages filled with personalized items and goodies can bring joy and a sense of togetherness. Here’s how you can create and send meaningful care packages to your family members during the holidays:


1. Gather sentimental items: Include items that hold sentimental value in the care package. This could be a handwritten letter, a family photo album, or a small memento that reminds your loved ones of a special memory you shared together. These items will evoke feelings of nostalgia and warmth.


2. Add holiday treats: To add some extra holiday cheer, include festive treats in the care package. This could be homemade cookies, holiday-themed candies, or hot cocoa mix. Consider any dietary preferences or allergies when selecting the treats.


3. Include personalized gifts: Choose meaningful and personalized gifts for each family member. This could be a favorite book, a cozy blanket, or a small piece of jewelry. Select items that reflect their individual interests and preferences to make the care package feel personalized and special.


4. Include activities or games: To keep everyone entertained, consider including activities or games that the whole family can enjoy. This could be a puzzle, a board game, or a DIY craft kit. It will provide a fun and interactive experience for them to enjoy during the holiday season.


5. Decorate the package: Make the care package feel festive and exciting by decorating the outside of the box. Use holiday-themed wrapping paper or add some colorful ribbons and bows. This will enhance the anticipation and excitement of receiving the package.


6. Write a heartfelt note: Don’t forget to include a heartfelt note expressing your love and well wishes. Let your family members know how much you miss them and how grateful you are to have them in your life. Your words will bring warmth and comfort, no matter the distance.


Once you’ve assembled the care package, carefully pack it and send it off with love. Remember to plan the delivery in advance to ensure the package arrives on time. The joy and surprise of receiving a care package will surely bring a smile to your family members’ faces, even if you can’t celebrate together in person.


Decorating Together Remotely

One of the most exciting parts of the holiday season is decorating your home with festive decorations. While you may not be able to physically decorate together, you can still create a sense of togetherness by decorating remotely. Here’s how you can make decorating a collaborative and enjoyable experience for your family, even when you’re celebrating apart:


1. Set a decorating date: Choose a specific date and time when everyone can gather virtually to decorate their homes. Being on video call together will create a shared experience and make it feel like you’re all in the same room, even if you’re physically apart.


2. Create a decorating plan: Discuss your decorating plans in advance with your family members. Decide on a color scheme or theme that everyone can follow. It could be traditional red and green, a winter wonderland theme, or any other theme that resonates with your family’s style and preferences.


3. Share decorating tips: As you decorate, share decorating tips and ideas with one another. You can recommend DIY decorations or provide guidance on how to create a festive ambiance. It’s a chance to learn from each other and get inspired.


4. Show and share decorations: Take turns showcasing your decorations and sharing stories about the significance of each ornament or display. This will create a sense of connectivity and allow everyone to appreciate each other’s efforts and creativity.


5. Virtual house tours: After everyone has finished decorating, take virtual house tours to admire each other’s festive setups. This will allow everyone to see how their collective efforts have transformed each home into a holiday wonderland.


6. Virtual tree lighting: If you have a Christmas tree, coordinate a virtual tree lighting ceremony. Count down together and turn on the lights simultaneously. It’s a beautiful moment that symbolizes unity and the coming of the holiday season.


Remember, the goal of decorating together remotely is not just about the end result, but the process of bonding and creating shared memories. Embrace the opportunity to connect virtually and make the most out of decorating your homes for the holidays, even when you can’t be physically together.


Creating DIY Family Ornaments

Adding handmade ornaments to your holiday decor can bring a personal and sentimental touch to your celebrations. Creating DIY family ornaments is a wonderful way to involve everyone in the holiday spirit, even if you’re celebrating apart. Here’s how you can embark on this creative and meaningful activity:


1. Collect supplies: Gather the necessary supplies for making DIY ornaments. This can include plain ornaments, craft paint, markers, glitter, beads, ribbons, or any other materials you prefer. Consider sending out a DIY ornament kit to each family member beforehand to ensure everyone has the same supplies.


2. Choose a design theme: Decide on a design theme for your family ornaments. It could be matching ornaments with a specific color scheme, or each family member could create their own unique design. Discuss and agree on the theme to ensure a cohesive and harmonious final result.


3. Set a crafting time: Select a specific time when everyone can gather virtually to create their DIY ornaments together. This will make the activity feel more collaborative and allow for shared experiences. Alternatively, you can designate a specific timeframe for everyone to work on their ornaments and then share their creations later.


4. Follow tutorials or get creative: If you need inspiration, look for online tutorials or DIY ornament ideas to get the creative juices flowing. However, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with your own unique designs. The process is meant to be fun and an expression of each family member’s creativity.


5. Share progress and results: As you work on your DIY ornaments, share your progress and results with one another. Use video calls or share photos through messaging apps or social media. It’s a great way to stay connected and appreciate each other’s creativity.


6. Display the ornaments: Once the DIY ornaments are completed, find a special place to display them in your homes. You can create a virtual photo gallery or share pictures of your ornaments on social media. Seeing each other’s creations will bring a sense of unity and pride in your collective artistic endeavors.


Remember, the purpose of creating DIY family ornaments is not just to decorate your tree but to strengthen your family bonds and create lasting memories. Encourage creativity, laugh at any crafting mishaps, and cherish the process of making something meaningful together, even when you can’t be in the same room.


Organizing a Virtual Gift Exchange

Gift exchanges are a beloved tradition during the holiday season, and just because you’re celebrating apart doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this joyous activity. Organizing a virtual gift exchange allows you to exchange thoughtful gifts and lift each other’s spirits, even when you can’t be physically together. Here’s how you can plan a virtual gift exchange for your family:


1. Set a budget and guidelines: Determine a budget for the gifts and establish any specific guidelines or themes that participants should follow. This will ensure fairness and make the gift selection process easier for everyone.


2. Assign gift recipients: Randomly assign each participant a family member to whom they will be giving a gift. You can use online tools or draw names from a virtual hat. Keep the assignments a secret until the gift exchange to add an element of surprise.


3. Exchange gift wish lists: Have each participant create a wish list of gift ideas and share it with their assigned gift giver. This will help ensure that everyone receives a gift they truly desire and appreciate. Wish lists can be shared in a document or through online gift registry platforms.


4. Schedule a virtual gift exchange event: Choose a specific date and time for the virtual gift exchange event. Coordinate with all family members to ensure availability. Use video conferencing platforms to bring everyone together virtually during the exchange.


5. Share heartfelt messages: Encourage each participant to write a heartfelt message or holiday greeting to accompany their gift. These messages can be read aloud during the virtual exchange, adding a personal touch and amplifying the sentiment behind the gifts.


6. Unwrap gifts together: On the day of the virtual gift exchange, gather everyone on the video call and take turns opening the gifts. Allow each person to share their excitement and gratitude for the gift they received. This will create a shared experience and make everyone feel included and celebrated.


7. Express appreciation: After each gift is unwrapped, take a moment for everyone to express appreciation and thanks to the gift giver. Acknowledge the thoughtfulness and effort put into selecting the gift, even from a distance.


Remember, the essence of a gift exchange is to show love and appreciation to one another. The virtual nature may be different, but the sentiment remains the same. Embrace the opportunity to connect virtually and shower each other with heartfelt gifts, creating a memorable and joyful experience.


Having a Movie Night Together Online

Movie nights are a classic way to relax, unwind, and enjoy quality time with loved ones. While you may not be able to physically gather for a movie night, you can still have a memorable and enjoyable experience by having a movie night together online. Here’s how you can plan a virtual movie night for your family:


1. Select a movie: Choose a movie that everyone in the family can enjoy. Consider different genres and themes to accommodate different tastes. You can take turns rotating the responsibility of choosing the movie each time you have a virtual movie night.


2. Coordinate viewing time: Determine a specific date and time for the virtual movie night. Make sure to consider time zone differences if family members are in different locations. Plan the event in advance to give everyone enough notice and ensure maximum participation.


3. Set up a video conference: Use a video conferencing platform to set up a shared movie-watching experience. Platforms like Netflix Party or Teleparty allow you to synchronize movie playback and have a chat function for real-time interaction while watching the movie. Alternatively, you can use video chat apps to see each other’s reactions during the movie.


4. Prepare snacks: Encourage everyone to prepare their favorite movie snacks and treats beforehand. This could include popcorn, nachos, candies, or any other snacks that enhance the movie-watching experience. You can even share recipes for homemade snacks to make the night extra special.


5. Create a cozy ambiance: Set up a cozy and comfortable viewing area in your own space. Dim the lights, gather pillows and blankets, and make yourself comfortable. Encourage everyone to dress in their most comfortable attire to get into the cozy movie night vibe.


6. Discuss and share thoughts: After the movie, take the time to discuss and share your thoughts about the film. Engage in a conversation about the plot, characters, and any memorable moments. It’s a wonderful way to connect and have meaningful conversations about the movie experience.


7. Keep the tradition alive: Consider making virtual movie nights a regular occurrence, even beyond the holiday season. It’s a great way to continue bonding and enjoying shared experiences, no matter the distance.


Remember, the goal of a virtual movie night is to create a shared experience and enjoy a movie together. Embrace the technology that allows you to connect virtually, immerse yourself in the movie, and have a fun-filled movie night with your family, even when you can’t be in the same room.


Writing and Sharing Gratitude Letters

The holiday season is a wonderful time to show gratitude and appreciation for the people in our lives. Writing and sharing gratitude letters is a meaningful and heartfelt way to express your love and appreciation to your family members, even when you’re celebrating apart. Here’s how you can engage in this touching activity:


1. Set aside dedicated time: Find a quiet and peaceful space where you can focus on writing your gratitude letter. Set aside dedicated time to reflect on your feelings and thoughts towards each family member you want to express gratitude to.


2. Reflect on special moments: Take a moment to reflect on the special moments, kind gestures, and positive impact each family member has had in your life. Consider the ways they have inspired you, supported you, or made a difference. These reflections will serve as the foundation for your gratitude letters.


3. Be specific and heartfelt: When writing the gratitude letters, be specific about the reasons why you are grateful for each family member. Use heartfelt language and genuine emotions to convey your appreciation. Be specific about the qualities, actions, or experiences that have touched your heart.


4. Write from the heart: Let your words flow naturally and sincerely. Write with authenticity and vulnerability, allowing your true feelings to come through. Avoid being overly formal or using cliches. Instead, let your words reflect the genuine bond and love you share with your family.


5. Share your letters: Once you have written your gratitude letters, share them with your family members. You can choose to read the letters aloud during a virtual gathering, or you can send them electronically or via traditional mail. The act of sharing your heartfelt gratitude will create a deep sense of connection and warmth.


6. Reiterate your love: Express your love and affection at the end of each letter. Remind your family members how much they mean to you and how grateful you are to have them in your life. These words of love will strengthen the familial bonds and reinforce the significance of your gratitude.


7. Encourage reciprocation: Encourage your family members to write their own gratitude letters in return. Invite them to share their appreciation and love with you and other family members. This reciprocity will deepen the sense of gratitude and create a beautiful cycle of appreciation.


Remember, the power of gratitude lies in its ability to foster love, positivity, and connection. By writing and sharing gratitude letters, you can cultivate a sense of gratitude and strengthen the bond with your family members, even when you’re physically apart. Embrace this opportunity to express your love and appreciation during the holiday season and beyond.


Participating in a Virtual Volunteer Opportunity

While physically volunteering together may not be possible when celebrating apart, there are still opportunities for your family to make a positive impact through virtual volunteering. Participating in a virtual volunteer opportunity allows you to give back to your community or support a cause you care about, all from the comfort of your own homes. Here’s how you can engage in virtual volunteerism as a family:


1. Research virtual volunteer opportunities: Explore various organizations or websites that offer virtual volunteer opportunities. Look for causes or projects that align with your family’s interests and values. It could be tutoring online, creating art for a charity auction, or remote mentoring.


2. Plan your virtual volunteering session: Coordinate a date and time to participate in the virtual volunteer activity as a family. Make sure everyone is available and committed to dedicating their time and skills to the cause. Discuss the specific tasks or responsibilities involved and how you can contribute as a team.


3. Prepare necessary resources: Depending on the virtual volunteer opportunity, gather any necessary resources or materials required for the activity. This could be educational materials, art supplies, or access to a computer for online mentoring.


4. Engage in the virtual volunteering activity: On the designated day, join the virtual volunteering platform or connect with the organization coordinating the activity. Follow their instructions, guidelines, and protocols to ensure a smooth and impactful experience.


5. Reflect and discuss afterwards: After participating in the virtual volunteering activity, take time as a family to reflect on the experience. Discuss what you learned, how you helped, and the impact of your collective efforts. Encourage open and meaningful conversations about the importance of giving back and making a difference, even in challenging times.


6. Share your volunteering experience: Use social media or other communication channels to share your family’s virtual volunteering experience. Raise awareness about the cause and encourage others to get involved as well. By sharing your experience, you can inspire and motivate others to make a positive impact in their communities.


Remember, virtual volunteering allows your family to contribute to meaningful causes and make a difference from wherever you are. Embrace the opportunity to engage in virtual volunteerism, fostering a sense of empathy, compassion, and community service within your family, even when you’re celebrating apart.



Celebrating the holidays apart from our loved ones can be challenging, but with a little creativity and the power of technology, we can still create cherished memories and foster strong family connections. The ideas discussed in this article offer fun and meaningful ways to celebrate together, even when physically separated.


From virtual holiday parties and shared virtual meals to sending care packages and creating DIY family ornaments, these activities allow us to bridge the gap and experience the joy of the holiday season with our families, regardless of the distance that separates us. Organizing virtual gift exchanges, having movie nights together online, writing and sharing gratitude letters, and participating in virtual volunteer opportunities all contribute to creating special moments and strengthening the bonds that hold our families together.


Despite the challenges we face, the spirit of togetherness and love can still shine brightly through virtual celebrations. By utilizing technology and infusing our activities with creativity, we can embrace new traditions, create unforgettable experiences, and build lasting memories that will be treasured for years to come.


So, whether you’re separated by cities, countries, or continents, take the opportunity to embrace these cute ideas for families celebrating the holidays apart. Use this time to connect with your loved ones, share laughter, and create new traditions that will bring you closer together, even when physically apart.


Remember, the essence of the holiday season lies in love, gratitude, and the bonds we share as families. Embrace the virtual celebrations, make the most of your time together, and remember that the power of love and connection transcends physical distance. Happy holidays!