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A virtual Christmas with the kids

What’s worse than not having the kids for Christmas? Not having them AND being out of the state or even the country over the holidays.

Thanks to an increasingly mobile workforce, this scenario will be a reality for many divorced parents this season. It’s not a happy prospect, but remember one thing: the technological advances that made it possible for us to work remotely can also enable us to share the Christmas cheer with our loved ones over the Internet. Here are some ideas for making the kids feel near to you although you may be far.

Buy the gifts in advance

Tackle the items on your children’s wish list, grift-wrap them, and give them to your former spouse (if you’re on good terms) or another relative that the kids will be seeing over the holidays. If you can’t be there in person, then you can still enjoy watching them open their presents during a video call.

Give them a virtual tour of your surroundings

Whether you’re at home with a cold that prevented you from traveling or stuck in an overseas hotel room, decorate your surroundings and either shoot a video tour that you can share online later or give the kids a virtual walk-through on Christmas Day. If you’re in an especially exotic locale, then send them some photos that show how the local people celebrate the holidays.

Play virtual games

Many games, such as charades, Bingo, and Pictionary, can be played during a video chat session. There are also websites with multi-player games that everyone can enjoy together in real-time. Although some sites are full of more violent games, you won’t have trouble finding one that is both clean and something you both will like, such as word games, checkers, etc.

Gift virtual gifts

Older children and teenagers will enjoy electronic gift cards for music, movie, or app downloads. You can send the links or codes to them via email during a video chat and see their excitement in real-time when the gifts arrive. Favorite gift cards for this age group include Starbucks, iTunes, Google Play, and Netflix.

Watch a movie together

Movie and TV streaming sites like Netflix are full of Christmas shows during the holiday season. Why not make some popcorn and candy-cane flavored hot chocolate and enjoy them together online? If you have a larger TV screen (or they do), then you can also watch TV together by turning the tablet or laptop camera towards the television set and enjoying an ongoing dialog with one another.

Although nothing can beat being there in person at Christmas, you can still show your children how much you love them from afar… and then count the days until you can all hug each other again! Call 718-329-9500 if you are seeking legal advice regarding child custody or support. Jayson Lutzky is an attorney with over 35 years of experience and regularly appears in Family Court and Supreme Court in the New York City area. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn more about Mr. Lutzky’s services. Happy holidays!

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