Posts By: Sandra Barbera

Long Distance Holidays

I’ve always loved the holidays, the festive clothing and Christmas decorations, the warm drinks, and the time spent with the people I love the most. This year, I’m finding it a little more difficult to get into the holiday spirit. The issue I am having is that my nephew, sister, and brother-in-law, are so far away. They moved to British Columbia a few years ago and will live there while my brother-in-law finishes law school. My fingers are crossed for a move back home and family getaways after that…

Baby E and I checking out toys!

My sisters and I have always been very close, we talk about everything, and spend hours just hanging out. Being a long-distance sister and now aunt is tough, even more so now that the holidays are quickly approaching. I don’t get to personally give them presents that I’ve carefully chosen and I won’t get to share in the festivities and love that make the holiday season special.

For a few weeks now, I’ve been subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) dropping hints to my sister to come home for a little while. I have tried everything and I won’t lie; there have been a couple bribes in there too, including offering to pay for her flight as well as sending her info on the cheapest flights I could find and finally resorting to promising endless diaper changes of my nephew. Guilt tripping, bribing, nothing seems to be working. So we’ve decided to compromise.

We’ve settled on a Skype and pajama date on Christmas morning. The three sisters all have matching onesies and a love for a good cup of coffee. It’s not as good as having my whole family together during the holidays, but I can settle for that.

Do you have far away family relationships? How do you make sure to celebrate special holidays with them?

 

About the Author:

Sandra Barbera is the Social Media Coordinator at Mabel’s Labels. She is an avid traveler and lover of the internet. You can find her on Twitter @sandrabells

Long Distance Aunt

Throughout my life, my sisters and I have been very close. Only three years separate my older sister and me, I’m the youngest of three daughters (my poor father). We’ve never lived further than an hour away from each other so being able to meet up on weekends was always easy. That was up until 2 years ago when my sister and her now husband moved to his hometown, Vancouver. Since I live just outside Toronto, this posed a problem for me and my sisters.  I try to visit when I can, I’m not opposed to vacationing in Vancouver –( c’mon that place is gorgeous!) but it’s not like it’s around the corner.

Beautiful British Columbia

Last summer my sister got married and the whole family made the trek across Canada to take part in that very special day, to witness the first daughter get married. When my sister and her husband visited this past Fall, we got a great surprise – she was expecting a baby! Obviously my parents were ecstatic; their first grandchild was on the way.

My sister was due in late June, so of course I had to be there with her to meet this little one who was going to change our lives. I flew to Vancouver on July 1st, knowing that my sister could go into labour at any second hoping that I wouldn’t miss it. Luckily, I made it in time and the baby was still safe and warm in my sister’s belly. We spent the whole next day shopping, hanging out, and laughing, the best thing sisters can do together.  That night, around midnight, my big sister went into labour and 14 hours later, she had a very healthy and handsome bundle of joy, a baby boy. I liked to think I was the catalyst that sent her into labour.  ‘Baby E’. didn’t want to come out until his Zia Sandra (Zia is how us Italians say aunt!) was there – we’re going to be very close, I can already tell!

As I sit here on the plane home (next to a man picking his nose) reminiscing and looking through the hundreds of pictures I took, I’m realizing that being a long distance aunt is going to be very tough. At least as a modern family it is easier to stay in touch. I’ve already informed my sister that I expect regular photos and Skype dates with the both of them. It’s sad to think that I won’t get to be there for his big milestones and won’t get to see him grow, but I know he’ll be overly loved (read spoiled) every time I see him.

Baby E

Do you have family that lives far away? How do you deal with the long distance family relationships?

 

About the Author:

Sandra Barbera is the Social Media Coordinator at Mabel’s Labels. She is an avid traveler and lover of the internet. You can find her on Twitter @sandrabells

 

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