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For most people, the holidays are the busiest time of year. There are parties, trips to the store, school plays, parades, religious services, countless hours spent decorating and cleaning the house, and that long line at the mall to see Santa.

But in the end, the season is all about spending quality time making memories with the people we love. Unfortunately, we can't always see all of our loved ones over the holidays. But these days, it's a lot easier to stay connected with grandma and grandpa or our kids off at college.


Here are five great ways to connect with our loved ones this holiday season, even if they're miles apart.

1. Share holiday memories with the Google Nest Hub

The great advantage of the Google Nest Hub is that you can use it to automatically upload photos, so loved ones can see these memories as they happen. The digital photo frame is connected to shared albums through Google Photos, meaning everyone who has access to the album can contribute. You can choose which photos are displayed, or allow the Nest Hub to choose its favorites. As an added bonus, the Nest Hub also acts as a virtual assistant which makes it easy to keep everything you need at your fingertips and stay connected to loved ones with just the press of a button.

Purchase a Nest Hub here.

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2. Share a meal through the mail

One of the quickest ways to warm the hearts of your family memories is by sharing a traditional meal. If your aunt in Chicago can't make it to your big family holiday celebration, you can send her some of your special stuffing that reminds her of home.

Here are some great tips on sending food through the mail.

3. Connect with multiple family members all over the world through Google Hangouts

If you have a big family stretched around the globe, Google Hangouts allows you to do a live video chat with up to ten people. It works via a Web browser, Android app, iOS app, Chrome app, or via an old-fashioned landline phone (voice services only).

The app is available in any of the aforementioned app stores.

4. Watch your favorite holiday films together with a Netflix Party

Getting the family together to watch a holiday-themed movie such as "Home Alone," "Christmas Vacation," or "It's a Wonderful Life" is a holiday tradition for many families. Now, through Netflix Party, you can watch a movie with them in real-time. Netflix Party is a Chrome extension that syncs up the film so you can watch it all at once and it has a live chat feature so you can comment on your favorite parts together.

Netflix Party is available in the Chrome web store.

5. Achieve your new year's resolutions together at MakeMe

Staying motivated is tough to do alone. MakeMe allows you to encourage one another, hold each other accountable, and celebrate your achievements. Get the family together and create a goal for the new year, whether it's losing weight, being more mindful, or giving back to the community.

MakeMe is available for in the Android, Apple, and Google Play stores.

Google is providing Nest Hubs to USO families to help them feel closer this holiday season. Join us in supporting the USO at uso.org/googlenest.