5 ways to connect with your loved ones this holiday season, even if you're miles apart
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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.

Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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Image by 5540867 from Pixabay

Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

We asked our readers to share what they want for Mother's Day, and while the answers were varied, there were some common themes that emerged.

Moms of young kids want a break.

When your kids are little, motherhood is relentless. Precious and adorable, yes. Wonderful and rewarding, absolutely. But it's a LOT. And it's a lot all the fricking time.

Most moms I know would love the gift of alone time, either away at a hotel or Airbnb or in their own home with no one else around. Time alone is a priceless commodity at this stage, especially if it comes with someone else taking care of cleaning, making sure the kids are fed and safe and occupied, doing the laundry, etc.

This is especially true after more than a year of pandemic living, where we moms have spent more time than usual at home with our offspring. While in some ways that's been great, again, it's a lot.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less