Fostering Relationships this Holiday Season

 In Resources

Fostering Relationships this Holiday Season

By Colleen Mock

While it is no secret that the holidays are an especially stressful time of year, it appears this holiday season will be perhaps even more stressful than in years past. With pandemic numbers on the rise and restrictions being reimposed across the country, it may seem as though connection with loved ones during the holidays will be nearly impossible. This is not true. With many advances in technology, multiple platforms now allow for video calls. Whether video calling through Facebook messenger, Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, or a variety of other services, staying in contact with loved ones virtually has never been easier.

If hoping to stay in contact with a loved one in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, try reaching out to the facility to schedule a time around the holidays to meet virtually with your loved one. If your loved one has their own computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can meet with them even easier. Simply determine a day and a time your loved ones can all connect and video call to enjoy each other’s company in a socially distanced way.

Although connecting over video calls is not the same as connecting over a meal or a cup of hot cocoa, there are many things you can do to spice up your online calls to make the holidays more special! Some of these ideas include:

  • Decorating your background for the holidays! Whether it is having holiday lights surrounding you or fun paper snowflakes, set the scene for your call to lift spirits
  • Encourage everyone to share a meal over the call or even all enjoy a cup of hot cocoa while enjoying one another’s company.
  • Have a cookie decorating contest.
  • Have an ugly sweater contest
  • Showing your pets on the calls to loved ones.
  • Reminiscing your favorite holiday memories from years past
  • Expressing gratitude to loved ones.


Holidays are not necessarily about being together physically, but rather being together emotionally and spiritually.

The holiday season is also a fantastic time to carry on traditions to honor a lost loved one. Whether it be making their homemade noodles and soups from scratch or reminiscing holiday memories over while decorating for the season, carrying on the spirit of your loved one is what the holidays are truly about. Perhaps even incorporating a new tradition into your holiday will help you strengthen your bond with your family as you come together to remember those you have lost.

As with any times of increased stress, ensuring that you are taking time to manage your own stress by engaging in uplifting and replenishing self-care activities is essential. Activities such as watching a beloved holiday movie, reading a good book, or even feeding the birds and drinking coffee in the mornings. Limiting your interactions with the news and ensuring you are only receiving pandemic updates from reputable sources will also work towards reducing prolonged stress this holiday season. Focusing on the connections you have with loved ones and working to overcome challenges together can help foster a unique sense of connectivity this season.