The holidays should always bring you joy no matter where you are celebrating. Even if your winter wonderland is draped in palm trees and sunshine instead of snowmen and snowplows, there’s plenty of Christmas cheer to go around.

And while family is always at the heart of every holiday season, we all have to make sacrifices this year leaving us to sit around the tree without many of our loved ones. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can still do to celebrate together even though you are physically apart thanks to Zoom or FaceTime video calls.

Cookie decorating party

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Sugar cookies don’t become Christmas cookies without the sweet brushstrokes of a home-kitchen artist and the gentle touch of sprinkles. Sure, you could sit alone with a Christmas tree mold pressing your way through tray after tray, but cookie decorating wouldn't be the same without someone else to wipe frosting on. There’s no ‘frost’ option on Zoom, but you can still share the moment with others and see everyone’s creative designs. If your family and friends are not bakers, you can always supply the cookies so everyone can work with the same shapes.

Ugly sweater party

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In lieu of the holiday parties we’ll miss oh so much this year, an online bash will have to suffice. Next time you and your family or friends come together for holiday pleasantries, trade-in your funky Zoom background for the ugliest holiday sweater around. Whether it’s a dust-collecting gift from grandma, a color-clashing wonder you found in a thrift store, or a just-out-of-the-box abomination you couldn’t wait to try on, you and your loved ones deserve the sight of each other’s ugly sweaters.

Family game night

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For five years running, you’ve been family Pictionary champ, but you won’t be home this year to defend your title - or so you thought. Family game nights can live on in spite of the distance between you with apps like Let’s Roam. Let’s Roam provides a variety of games in which to compete while you video chat so you don’t all need to crowd around a tiny game board. For a more personalized experience, you can even create a trivia experience of your own with questions you’ve created.

Recreate Santa’s workshop

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A trip to the mall is an unlikely proposition these days, but that shouldn’t rob your family from its annual stop by Santa’s workshop. Instead, try to recreate it at home and welcome your extended family to stop by via Zoom. Let your DIY flag fly and your living room can become the North Pole. If you’re pressed for time and materials, a zoom background will suffice as long as you don the big red suit too. Then invite all of your kids, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren to come by and wish for their Christmas gifts virtually.

Share holiday moments with FamilyStars

Even though your holiday table will be smaller this year, you and your holiday crew of family and friends can still celebrate together with the FamilyStars app. It’s a great game for sharing past and present moments with those that can’t be physically with you. Challenge each other to dig up old holiday photos and stories, or just share an impromptu selfie to feel near your loved ones once again even from halfway around the world.