(BPT) - For many people, reconnecting with loved ones is the highlight of the holiday season. This is especially true if it's the only time of the year they see distant friends or family. Enjoying time with loved ones near and far poses unique challenges but the rewards are certainly worth it. Get inspired by the ideas below and you'll be ready to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones, no matter where they are.
* Celebrate the year.The holidays are a wonderful time to focus on the now, but they're also a great time to reflect on everything that has happened over the past year. Ask distant family to send you their fondest memories of their year and share them with everyone after presents have been opened. This activity is a great way to make relatives, who are only connected digitally, feel included and their photos and emails create a timeless keepsake.
* Make it easy for seniors to stay connected. If you have an older parent or grandparent in your family you wish you could connect with digitally, technology experts are making it easier than ever for seniors to connect in a safe way designed just for them. One such solution is grandPad, the first digital tablet and network to privately connect the core family with a platform built for seniors 75 and older. It's a tablet device that every family member can connect with via a smartphone app or web site, allowing seniors to video chat with the family, check emails in real-time, share photos, play games, listen to music, make phone calls and more ($60 per month, grandpad.net). It also makes for a great holiday gift for the senior in your life.
* Create a Christmas tree that's one of a kind.There's no family quite like your family so celebrate that uniqueness with a one of a kind Christmas tree. Instead of the traditional store-bought ornaments and tinsel, ask each family member to make their own ornament and use them to decorate the tree. And if your family isn't so crafty, have everyone submit a picture of themselves and create ornaments from the photos - thus truly creating a family Christmas tree.
* Make lasting memories with DIY projects. You only get so long to spend with your loved ones, but the memories you create will far outlive the season. This year, try coming together for a family project and use a DIY tool like the Cricut (starts at $179, cricut.com), an electronic cutting machine with cloud-based design software to create an endless array of stunning masterpieces. With Cricut you can cut fabric, leather, vinyl, cardstock, iron-on pieces and more. It's perfect for creating holiday party invitations, cake decorations, elegant and colorful gift packaging, incredible table centerpieces, festive stickers and creative decals for clothing and throw pillows. Whatever ideas your family has in mind, Cricut can help your creativity flourish together.
* Give back and give together. The holidays are the season of giving and what better time to do so than with your entire family around. Whether you work together in a soup kitchen, donate clothing, toys or food or you sing carols to those who love to hear them - giving back during the holidays defines the season and will bring your entire family closer together.
The holiday season is that special time of year when we take time away from the daily grind to focus on the important things in life like family and friends. Employ the tips above and you'll make those celebrations as enjoyable as they are memorable.