Do you get tunnel vision and just go from day to day? It’s easy to have the demands of your immediate family outweigh the time and cost to send love to extended family. I hate to feel guilt for not staying in touch. I’ve lost too many family members too young, and so I know the importance of reaching out NOW.
Luckily we have both sets of grandparents within 25 miles, but we also know the ache of
missing family and dear friends who live states and continents away. Thankfully we have FaceTime and Skype, but there are offline great-grandparents and time zones that can make live video difficult. I needed to send love over the miles without most of the cost going to shipping.
Here are our 5 successful and affordable ways to stay connected with family over the miles:
- Make a YouTube channel. All you need is a gmail account, and it is included! This is great for smartphone users. Download the app Capture, and you can upload video clips with, or without, a little editing right from your phone! Set it to unlisted so that just the family and friends you want to see the video get to see it.
- Send a hug. Trace your child’s outstretched arms on wrapping paper, and cut it out. I matted ours on a roll of color paper from the art and craft section. It’s an effort to send a physical touch through mail. It also give loved ones a sense of how big your kids are getting!
- Amazon ships international. I have found my trips to the post office less and less appealing. My last box to Germany cost over $50 and that was just shipping. My girlfriend just had a baby in Germany and I shipped a sweet 3-piece baby outfit right from Amazon. The shipping was very reasonable. Note: Set up the address on a computer. I was unable to ship to a new international address on the mobile app.
- Hallmark moments. Don’t underestimate a card. Include a coloring book page, or picture, and you have just brightened someone’s day.
- Make your own postcards. Grab 4×6 index cards and have the kids decorate them on the unlined side. Make a craft day of it. You can even glue a printed picture on. I know some have just sent a 4×6 as a postcard, but they can get bent up. I was a broke college kid the year my grandmother turned 90 years old. I racked my brain to give her something meaningful. At her party I showed her a stack of these decorated index cards. I mailed her one each week with an update on my life, exactly what she wanted.
I’d love to hear what you do to stay in touch and connected with family miles away! What are your budget-friendly tricks?