We had been on the field for a little over a month.
Everything was still a whirlwind.
We were trying to adjust right in the heart of the Christmas season. It was difficult, but we were determined to make the best of it. We found ways to make it feel like Christmas in a country where Christmas is a foreign concept. We decorated, baked, sang, and shopped the best we could. It was beginning to feel very Christmasy, but we still missed family. We missed the fun we had together. We missed the Christmas dinner and the games. We just missed being with family on the holidays.
The grandparents called us and scheduled a Skype call on Christmas morning. We couldn't wait! We wanted to hear their voices and see their faces. When we got up Christmas morning, we were ready!
And this is what we saw...
We laughed until our stomachs hurt! We were blessed beyond explanation that they took time to decorate and dress up to give us some Christmas cheer. It was one of the most touching gestures.
So the following year, we were determined to send them some extra Skype love, too. After all, we aren't the only ones sacrificing. They are, too! They are missing their family traditions and dinners and laughs and watching the children grow.
So, we hung a snow scene in the background. Michaela made a snowman. We all got into Christmas colors. We were ready.
And the call came. This is what we saw.
They sang and acted out several well-known Christmas songs like Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. Uncle Eric and Aunt Angelena and Uncle Eric #2 and Aunt Jelaine joined in on the fun, too.
They cut down Christmas trees.
The played Little Drummer Boy and...
Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer. It was almost an hour of laughs.
And it was a Skype call we will never forget. Not just because we were entertained, but because we were loved. We were not forgotten. The call wasn't about how much we missed... it was about how blessed we are. We can still communicate. We can still show our love. We can still get together.
We can still celebrate Christmas as a family.
Are you struggling because of long distance family Christmases?
Focus on thankfulness. If you have Skype or the ability to call, you are blessed!
Focus on ministering to each other. Reach out and show love.
Be creative. Not everyone is going to act and sing, but putting effort into the call shows that you look forward to getting together.
Don't let Skype calls center around missing each other or the things you cannot do. Skype calls are too great of an opportunity to say, "Wow! I am glad you are here! Let's spend some time together." Keep the calls positive. Keep the calls focused on giving the other person a cyber hug. Make the Skype call so precious that you look forward to the next time you get together.