My in-laws were just here Japan for two weeks visiting us. During their visit, they met our newborn daughter for first time. These are the moments everyone appreciates when you live far from family. The moments where you build relationships and connection. The moments where you share laughs and giggles together.
It’s also terribly hard to say goodbye.
One of the hardest parts of military life is living far from family. While many would love the luxury of living close to grandparents, aunties and uncles, this is simply not an option for most military families.
This year military families all over the world will spend the holidays far from close friends and family.
This is especially true for military families stationed in Europe. With tensions soaring high, many military families cancelled their travel plans due to safety concerns.
There are also many military families who cannot afford to travel back home. (Living in Okinawa, it would cost our family of 4 at least $5,000 to travel back to the U.S. for Christmas).
And of course, there are also many military families separated from their service member due to deployment.
Related: 30 Fun Holiday Games That’ll Keep Kids Occupied and Mom Happy
What is a military family to do?
Last year we spent Christmas in Okinawa with our friends. We made the most of it, creating a secret Santa gift exchange among friends, organizing a Christmas dinner, and decorating our home the same as in the states.
You probably do all of these things too if you are staying at your current duty station for the holiday season. Maybe you even have a Skype date planned on Christmas or throughout the holidays to open gifts together across the miles.
Related: 20 Most Popular Toddler Stocking Stuffers Under $10
The one thing you haven’t tried.
About a week ago, I was introduced to a new app called Home Team from Panasonic. I saw it and immediately though it was genius.
It’s an application for your computer or tablet device that takes video chatting to the next level.
Here’s the genius part:
You can read children’s books and play games together via the app across the miles.
This is huge!
So for example, my toddler could sit with the app while his grandma, who is 2,000 miles away, reads him a book and he can turn the pages for her.
Check out this video tutorial to see how it works!
Whether you are stationed overseas, can’t afford to travel home, or are in the middle of a deployment, this app is an amazing idea!
Try it free for December!
Panasonic is currently offering a free one-month trial for anyone who would like to try Home Team.
This is the perfect way to really connect with faraway family through video chat with reading and games! Plus, you can choose from countless games and books to find one that is perfect for you.
You can download HomeTeam from the App Store, Google Play or MyHomeTeam.com. After a one-month free trial, a subscription to HomeTeam costs $8.99 per month and can be shared with up to five family members.
Visit HomeTeam.com for more information.
This is a sponsored conversation written on behalf of Panasonic Health & Wellness Solutions in North America. All opinions and text are my own.
Want more on military life?
- How to Survive the Holidays Alone During Deployment
- I Married “Old” in Military Life, and I’m So Glad I Waited
- 25 Genius Life Hacks for Military Spouses
- 47 Things No One Tells You About Being a Military Wife
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