Affordable Ways to Connect With Family This Christmas

Ready or not, the holidays are fast approaching. While it’s a season known for celebrating family and friends, the stress of gift-giving and holiday planning can become maddening, making people lose sight of what’s really important. Our family never had grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins nearby for the holidays. We moved around so much and lived in such far off places that connecting with them was few and far between, but we shared the joy in different ways and we especially found solace in connecting with each other as a family.

Here are five ways you can easily connect with your family without breaking the bank.



Take a family “staycation”

Making time for your family during the holidays doesn’t have to mean splurging on a trip across the world. Instead, opt for a cheaper alternative and spend time in your area. Take time to explore neighborhoods or attractions nearby. You never know — you might find a new favorite place right in your own hometown.



Repurpose a recipe

The holiday season means lots of meals and entertaining — and one of the best parts of this time of year is also leftovers! Rather than simply re-heating, look up some recipes you and your family can make to spice up extras from your holiday meal. This way, you can not only spend time in the kitchen together, but enjoy the meal you made around the table.


DIY decorate

This year, instead of buying generic (and expensive) decorations, get creative by making your own! Get the entire family involved and create decorations that will forever have a special meaning in your home. You can also get help thinking outside the box by turning to Instagram, Pinterest, craft bloggers or YouTube tutorials for inspiration. You can even follow me on Pinterest @katbrat7 and Instagram @katbrat7. Be sure to share your wall ideas!



Simplify communication

Not everyone can celebrate with family in-person over the holidays and there are still people out there who can’t afford or don’t have a mobile phone. Not to worry: a simple and affordable way to stay in touch with loved ones is just what you need. TracFone has you covered with amazing smartphone and feature phone deals, to help you connect for moments that matter this season. TracFone now offers a 30-day smartphone-only plan with talk, text and data for just $15 on America’s largest and most dependable networks with 4G LTE nationwide coverage — so you can easily share photos, videos and more. For more great deals and information on affordable, no-contract plans, visit

Not into TracFone? Try Skype instead. Skype is now a part of Microsoft and together they bring families and friends closer together with free calling and video conferencing from your web cam. Get your free download at



Give back

During one of my husband’s military trips, the crew was stuck in Los Angeles on the way home for the holidays and instead of complaining about not being able to make it home, they volunteered at the Salvation Army in Compton. They proudly helped members of the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church prepare and deliver their annual Mozel Sanders Holiday Dinner to almost 10,000 local needy.  Such selfless acts of kindness are what make humans so beautiful.

It can be easy to forget that the holidays are a time to remember to give to those in need. Take some time with your family to volunteer for an organization you feel strongly about. Volunteering is a great way to not only remind your family of what the holidays are all about, but a way for you to bond over an unforgettable experience.

Connecting with family is Priceless

No matter what you do this holiday season, just remember that simple happiness can mean giving your own time rather than gifts. Be with the people you care about and help those less fortunate.

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