Families have long had traditions centered on road trips to see the grandparents or family outings with the cousins and other kin, but many visits are turning virtual. It's cool that grandma and grandpa can keep up on Twitter and Facebook and that your 4-year-old niece can video chat, but how can long-distance connections become new family traditions?
Setting an appointment for family may not seem very intimate, but having a time when everyone sits down together to Skype or chat in real time can have a twofold purpose. You can benefit by having your immediate family all in the same room at the same time -- maybe even before or after a shared meal -- and a loved one on the other end of the camera can enjoy catching up with everyone at once and soaking in the dynamic of the family together.
Many of us grew up with the Sunday night phone call from grandma and later from our own moms and dads, and we can do the same now, but with video, too, even across time zones and continents.