If you’re in the U.S., or have close relatives there, you might be on your way to Thanksgiving celebrations. Or you might be scrambling to find last-minute plane tickets to make it to your family dinner. Either way, we hope you have a great get together.
Today, we’d like to introduce you to two of our users who’ve used Skype video calling to bring family members together for Thanksgiving dinner, when their loved ones couldn’t make it in person.
Up first: Brandon Schroth who grew up in Virginia but currently lives in San Diego, CA. Brandon started using Skype video calling in college. Many of his high school friends were studying in different states and he wanted to stay in touch with them in a more personal way than just texting or calling them on the phone.
“Skype gave me the face-to-face connection that helped me maintain long distance friendships,” he says.
After graduating from college in Virginia, he moved to San Diego, where he’s lived for almost four years. Brandon was able to fly home for Thanksgiving for the first two years, but last year he couldn’t make it. As we all know, flights during the holidays can be costly and impractical. But he didn’t let that deter him from sharing a holiday supper with his family in Virginia: he decided to celebrate Thanksgiving over Skype, so that he and his girlfriend could still see and talk with them all.
“While I wasn’t able to enjoy any of my mom’s famous home cooked dishes, I was still able to interact and communicate with everyone, both verbally and visually, which is definitely something that I appreciated. I could still feel the atmosphere of Thanksgiving and the overall consensus was positive. I set up my laptop in my apartment and my parents set up their tablet at the end spot of the table, facing everyone.”
Brandon and his family are diehard Redskins fans: “Our biggest rival are the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys always play on Thanksgiving, which means we’re always rooting against them. I remember last year they played against the Panthers, and got blown out 33-14. My family and I both had the game on our TVs in the background during dinner, and we both got to cheer during the game, while also talking about the action over Skype.”
Brandon works remotely as a digital analyst for seoWorks, based out of Sydney, Australia. The company has employees spread out across Australia and the United States, and with employees all working remotely from several different time zones, Skype has become a tremendous help for staying connected through individual and group meetings and chat.
“It can get a little lonely working from home every day, so having the ability to see and communicate with co-workers virtually face to face is really helpful. It’s also great knowing that I have Skype in my back pocket to diminish communication barriers with family and friends in the future if I’m not able to make it home for the holidays.”
Brandon and his family are not the only ones using Skype to get together for the festivities, when getting there in person is impossible: Cherie Boldt’s family is from the Waukesha County area just west of Milwaukee, WI. Her oldest nephew moved to Texas a few years ago and, like many people, the entire family traditionally spent Thanksgiving together.
“My sister had started using Skype to connect with her son and that’s why we chose to use it for the first Thanksgiving that he could not attend,” says Cherie. “I was very familiar with Skype too because I work remotely and had been using it for several years.”
Cherie’s family brought her nephew to the Thanksgiving dinner table via Skype on a laptop. She explains: “We literally passed the laptop around the table and we all spoke to him individually, and brought him into the dinner conversation. Our family appreciates good humor, so you can imagine we had fun with things like “don’t drop him in the gravy” and his brother trying to feed him a dinner roll through the screen!”
“In-person celebrations are always the best,” says Cherie, “However, this was truly a fun and efficient way to have the whole family together.”
To our U.S. readers: A very happy Thanksgiving (or “Skypesgiving”) to you!
To all of you: We look forward to helping you celebrate the upcoming holidays with your loved ones, no matter where they are. We always love hearing about all the fun ways you use our technology so to share your stories, just tag us @Skype on social media.