The Ultimate Guide to
Online Holiday Gatherings

Special time with loved ones is what makes the holidays so memorable. But how do you communicate with friends and family living far from you? Since they can’t pop over for a big meal and a heartwarming gift exchange, it’s important to seek an alternative way to spend the Christmas season together. With a strong Wi-Fi connection from Kosciusko Connect, there are lots of ways to stay connected.

This is our ultimate guide to long-distance online gatherings. Read on to discover seven creative ways to video call, swap photos, send gifts, and simply stay connected with long-distance family relationships this holiday season.

1. Skype

Let’s start with the obvious choice. With its long-time history of quality audio and video calls, Skype has long been the go-to choice for connecting with loved ones all over the world. But did you know its features also include low-cost texts and calls to mobiles and landlines, easy group video calling, and file sharing and messaging between devices? It’s also easily accessible on a wide range of devices, including your smartphone, computer, smart TV, Playstation, and more.

2. Google Hangouts

If you’re hoping to have a video call with your cousin, aunt, niece, and family friend at the same time during your upcoming family gathering, Google Hangouts is the platform for you. You can talk to up to 10 people at a time, do live-streaming videos, file share, text message, and make audio and video calls. You can even take photos during your hangout to easily capture the special memories you’ll be making together over long distances.

Woman on video call in front of Christmas tree

3. Facebook Messenger

If your family members are skeptical about downloading a new service just for a Christmas video call, check to see if they’re already on Facebook. In addition to text communication, the Facebook Messenger app has a voice and video call feature. Simply tap the person in your Messenger contact list, then tap the video icon to begin a call. It’s easy and free, and no new apps or accounts are necessary.

4. Cluster

Looking to share photos and videos with loved ones without posting them for the entire world to see? No need to start an annoying group text. Instead, meet Cluster. This app features an Instagram-style feed, but only for the people you invite into the group. For example, if your long-distance relationship with parents makes it challenging to share a grandchild’s first Christmas, you can create a group for all the family members who want to see those sweet first memories.

5. Nixplay

If you’re looking for an easy way to share photos with family members who aren’t internet-savvy, look no further than a Wi-Fi cloud frame from Nixplay. This digital photo frame creates a slideshow of the photos you add, and you can easily use your phone to add more at any time — even if the photo frame is on the other side of the world. This makes this frame a gift that keeps on giving for family members near and far.

Mother and daughter on video call

6. Giftster

Over the holiday season, long-distance family gifts are another challenge. Picking just the right present for family members can be tricky, so let Giftster do the thinking for you. This free app allows you to create a wish list and add any items you’d love to receive. Then, you can invite family and friends to create lists of their own. Shop from each other’s lists to bypass gift-giving anxiety. Plus, your family members will love how easy it is to find the perfect gift to send you, too!

7. Artifact Uprising

We all know how much Grandma loves getting updated pictures of the grandkids, but creating a photo album can be time-consuming. Help her feel remembered and included this holiday season by using Artifact Uprising to quickly create quality prints, photo books, calendars, gallery frames, and so much more. Simply upload photos straight from your Instagram or camera roll, and click to buy. You can even use the gift option to send the photos straight to Grandma!

Each of these tools and apps makes it easy to stay connected with family all over the world throughout the holiday season and beyond. Contact Kosciusko Connect today to make sure you have the high-speed internet connection you need to power each and every one!


Once you log onto your virtual holiday family gathering, buffering and low video quality can create frustrating interference and make it difficult to connect with long-distance family members. A high-speed internet connection is vital to a memorable online celebration with loved ones who live far away. Learn more about Kosciusko Connect’s fast fiber connection and check your availability to get started.