A Quick Guide to Spending the Holidays Apart

A Quick Guide to Spending the Holidays Apart | Why Hello Lovely

A Quick Guide to Spending the Holidays Apart | Why Hello Lovely

The holidays are seriously my favorite time of year ever.  I love the whole atmosphere surrounding the holiday season and being able to spend time with friends and family.  It’s a great time to bring everyone together and see those that you may not see as often throughout the year.  Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky.  There are many couples out there who don’t get to spend the holidays together or with their families.

Thanksgiving was a bit rough not having Zack home, but we are so fortunate to be able to spend Christmas together in a few weeks.  It can be tough to spend the holidays away from your significant other no matter what stage in the relationship you’re in or how far the distance is.  I won’t sugarcoat it.  It flat out sucks.  But despite the distance, there are so many ways to stay connected during the holidays so that you’re not feeling as lonely and incomplete without them there.

Find the time to Skype or FaceTime.

Technology is amazing and such a great tool to keep couples connected despite the distance.  We do our best to FaceTime every weekend and it always leaves me feeling so much better.  It’s so nice to be able to hear his voice and see his face.  It makes me feel more connected to him even though he’s on the other side of the world.  Even when Zack was here last Christmas, we used FaceTime to connect with our families back home so we could be “present” while we opened our Christmas presents together.  Like many other military families and long distance couples, FaceTime has become our lifeline.  I highly recommend taking advantage of this (or Skype) throughout the holidays.

Send holiday care packages.

Care packages are always fun to send and receive!  If you and your significant other can’t spend the holidays together then send the holidays to each other instead!  Get creative with this.  Decorate the box, send them a few gifts, and pack their favorite candies and holiday treats.  This is essentially Christmas in a box!

Surround yourself with family and friends.

It can be hard to get through the day without your significant other.  Surround yourself with friends and family who can distract you throughout the day.  I’m so thankful to have had our family on Thanksgiving.  It made it easier to get through the day because I was too busy to be constantly checking on my phone to see if he had texted or not.  I had a small breakdown in the morning and another small one at dinner, but other than that, our family served as a great distraction.

Find something to do together.

If you’re spending the holidays apart, then schedule a virtual date night! You can set up Skype or FaceTime, gather your favorite snacks, pick out a movie and watch it together!  Due to our 14 hour time difference, it hasn’t been doable for us to do this, but I envy those who can!  If a virtual date night isn’t doable, then find a hobby the two of you can do together and talk about it!  Go to the gym, pick out a Netflix show or movie, or even read the same book.  There are so many creative ways to spend time “together” while you’re miles apart.

Have your own “holiday”.

If you know you two won’t be able to be together on the actual holiday, then plan a time to have your own.  One year, Zack’s family and friends celebrated Christmas a month earlier due to his upcoming deployment.  This allowed him to celebrate with those he loved without feeling left out.  There’s nothing wrong with celebrating earlier or later or even having multiple holidays in order to be with everyone. Find a way to make it work for you!

Are you in a long distance relationship this holiday season?  What are you and your significant other doing to feel closer?

  • Jen

    Technology makes being apart so much easier, it really is a blessing.

    • It really does! I’m a HUGE fan of FaceTime. Sometimes just seeing and hearing him can make my entire day better.

  • Mama Bear

    I can’t imagine not having my hubby home for any extended amount of time, ESPECIALLY around the holidays! What a great list of ideas to help stay connected during this special time of year. Gotta love Skype! It allows my kids to really get to know their Aunt & Uncle that live out in Arizona, instead of wondering “who’s that?” when we all get together. I also have them sit down and draw pictures for snail mail. Hang in there, “distance makes the heart grow fonder”, as cheesy as that sounds. 🙂

    • Thanks! Not having him here definitely makes life a bit challenging and frustrating sometimes. I don’t know what I’d do if he couldn’t come home for Christmas. Thanksgiving was hard enough and he’ll be missing my college graduation in the spring as well. So I absolutely needed him to come home for Christmas.

      FaceTime has always been our go to means of staying connected with each other as well as with our family. It’s so nice to be able to spend time “together” even though we’re thousands of miles apart.

  • I have been in a long distance relationship for about 3 months now–which will be coming to an end soon! At times it was hard being away from him and my family, I just had to keep reminding myself that it will eventually come to an end

    • That’s so great that it’s coming to an end soon! Zack has been gone since August, but wont be returning home until July. We still have a ways to go, but I’m very fortunate that the military is letting him come home for Christmas.

  • Braiden Chastain

    Wow, I love these ideas! I don’t have a significant other away, but I do have family members I miss dearly! These are helpful

    • Thanks Braiden! These can definitely be helpful whether it’s a significant other or family and friends! 🙂

  • Sarah

    Great tips for helping couples stay connected during the holidays even when they are apart physically. I was in a long distance relationship many years ago before things such as skype and facetime!

    • I couldn’t imagine not having Skype or FaceTime. It definitely sucks during the weeks when our schedules are too busy to do that sort of thing. It’s very much needed some days/weeks.

  • Kim S

    Thank goodness we are not apart for the holidays, but when we do have to travel for work, we like to Facetime!

  • I love this- I’m in a long distance relationship with my family. My husbadn and I are in school away from everyone. This year we’ve decided to do some of our families traditions and we want to start a few of our own!

    • I celebrated Christmas away from my family for the first time last year and it was very challenging, but at the same time, I loved having a Christmas with just my husband. It was our first Christmas together in our new home as a married couple so it was fun to create out our traditions and decorate our home and tree together 🙂

  • Care packages were always my favorite! I’d get so into them, that the time would fly by without me even noticing! We’ve also moved several holidays around. Early Thanksgiving when our friend was home on R&R, and Christmas got pushed back a little over a week when we were waiting for John to come home.

    • Zack’s family is big on shifting around holidays whenever needed. We haven’t had to do it so far since we’ve been married though. So far so good! haha but I am a bit sad that I wont be able to send him a Christmas care package. His birthday is February so I’ll have to send him one then 🙂

  • Jenny B

    This would have been my first Christmas with my boyfriend but unfortunately we won’t get to spend it together. I think it’s just sinking in now. I love the care package idea! Great post. ?

    Xo
    Jenn

    • I’m so sorry you wont be able to spend the holidays with him! We’ve only celebrated one Thanksgiving together, but somehow he’s been able to make every Christmas work out. So I’m very fortunate that he’ll be coming home. Feel free to reach out to me if you need anything! 🙂

  • Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla

    Kudos to you and your guy for being brave together on your journey! Always Prayers that he comes home safe to you and his family! And when he does I hope you guys have the best of time together! Who couldn’t love a woman who sends care packages full of favorite things! 😀

    • Thanks so much! We’re very much looking forward to him coming home for Christmas. He’ll be home for good next summer 🙂

  • So far, we’ve only had to spend one holiday apart and that was Thanksgiving 2013. He worked both Thanksgiving and Christmas last year, but luckily he was home around 1 or 2pm which allowed us to have the rest of the day together. It definitely helps to keep yourself as distracted as possible.

  • Totally agree with doing the holiday together anyway even if it is really early or really late! So much better than skipping it altogether.

    • I completely agree! I’d much rather have it late or early than not at all. Sometimes you just have to compromise and find a way to make it work 🙂