Q: My partner’s working overseas and will be spending Christmas away from home. Is there a way we can still celebrate the holidays together, despite being miles apart?
A: Being in a long distance relationship is hard enough and with Christmas just around the corner it gets even more emotional and thus more difficult to deal with.
Aside from the regular phone call, snail mail Christmas card, and regular SMS, one of the most popular approaches to this problem that couples who are separated by distance take is what you call an “online date”. With online dating all you need is a computer, webcam, microphone, a video calling service like Skype which is free and of course, a reliable internet service provider.
Set a date with your partner, it can be Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, which ever works for the both of you. While online you can open gifts together, blow kisses to each other, even watch a nice holiday movie, have a candle lit dinner or a nice breakfast with a warm cup of cocoa in hand while listening to Christmas songs at the same time. Why not surprise that person with a live Christmas carol too? I’m sure your children and other young relatives wouldn’t mind performing at all.
One more practice that has worked for long distance relationships even before the advent of the Internet is sending Christmas packages, an old-fashioned classic. You can surprise your partner with a box full of all his favorite things like Filipino snacks that he misses (laws permitting), a scrapbook with all your memorable photos of time spent together, a CD or flash drive of Christmas songs and other romantic favorite all handpicked, a cute personalized sweater or shirt – whatever you think he or she would enjoy very much. You can also add in a video recording of yourself buying and putting all the things for the package together or decorating your house with Christmas lights and hanging Christmas decors on your tree. This is a very touching surprise because it gives the feeling that he or she still is a part of the celebration even if he or she couldn’t make it home. Involve the children naturally. They can help decorate and color the boxes and cards and send knick-knacks too.
Spending Christmas together is still possible as long as you both put effort and commitment into it. With the advances information technology has to offer, it becomes a greater possibility and builds bridges closer to home. It’s a hard reality to be without your special someone for the holidays and nothing can replace actual physical presence, we can’t deny this. But what we can do is have a more positive outlook. After all, you will be reunited in the future, and these wonderful things you have done for each other in these emotionally stressful times will for sure strengthen your love for each other, and become fond memories as you grow old together. Love after all is what we make it.