The holidays are the time of the year when you typically get the chance to spend some quality time making memories with friends and family. However, when some of your closest friends and relations live in another city or even another state, you might not have the opportunity this year to be together.

While this sort of situation can undoubtedly bring a disappointing feeling to the holiday season, you don’t have to resign yourself to feeling disconnected from your friends this Christmas. In fact, there are several ways in which you can celebrate together when you can’t actually be together in the same room.

If you are missing your friends this holiday season, here are a few suggestions to consider so that you can enjoy Christmas with one another, even if being in the same place at the same time isn’t in the cards this year.

Host a Virtual Holiday Party

When it comes to arranging a holiday celebration with your friends who live elsewhere, your biggest resource is going to be that same video chat service that you typically use for work. By organizing a virtual party, you can invite all of the friends and family members that you are missing to your own Christmas celebration.

The key to a successful virtual party via video chat is to have some sort of theme or activity that everyone can participate in. Make sure that everyone is aware of the activity that you choose ahead of time so they can assemble everything they will need for the party.

For example, if you and your friends enjoy the sweet treats of the season, you can arrange for the party to include a virtual chocolate tasting. Everyone who wants to participate can have a box of specific chocolates delivered to them in advance. You will then have a chocolate expert walk you through each piece as you enjoy them together.

Encourage people to prepare specific snacks and drinks for the party. Some people might even want to decorate the area that they will be in for the party so as to really get into the holiday spirit. Your “guests” can also dress up for the occasion so that you can take some screenshots of the entire group together.

The possibilities are virtually endless when you host a virtual party!

Hold a Gift Exchange

Just because you and your friends can’t be together for the holidays doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in some of the best traditions of the season. One particular tradition that can be enjoyed even from a distance is that of a holiday gift exchange.

Find out which of your friends might be interested in a gift exchange and arrange a secret Santa. Put everyone’s names together in a pot as you would ordinarily do and just inform everyone on the list who they have drawn. Then make sure that you have every participant’s address on hand so that gifts can be sent in a timely manner to the right people.

You will have to adjust the rules a little bit as any gifts that are purchased will need to be sent through the mail. However, online delivery services and the like make sending practically any sort of gift anywhere throughout the county easier than ever before. Even if your friends happen to live outside the country at the moment, you can still find ways of including them in your gift exchange.

Schedule a Call

Sometimes, due to extenuating circumstances, the only way to really enjoy the holidays with your friends who live far away is to carve out some time from your hectic holiday schedule to have a call together. If it has been some time since you have caught up, make the call an actual event on your calendars so that you can have the time you need to chat.

It can be difficult to live apart from friends and family, but those feelings can be even more challenging to deal with as the holidays draw near. It might not be possible at the moment to hop on a plane and spend this time of the year together. However, with a bit of planning, you can still enjoy some of the best aspects of the Christmas season together regardless of where in the world you might be located.

Ultimately, having the chance to catch up with the ones you are missing can make you feel closer to them and allow you to enjoy the holidays together, at least in some ways.