Skype Your Kids For Christmas

How To Communicate Anywhere in the World

Talk and send live video anywhere in the world for free using Skype, an inexpensive web camera, and the internet.

 Sharing Family History

Christmas, holidays, birthday parties and other special occasions are when family history is made and shared with the next generation. This can be a challenge in today’s world when family is scattered all over the globe. Cards and letters make occasions special. However, nothing beats being there in person to sing songs, tell stories and see each other.

As an old Star Trek fan, I’d love to have Scotty beam me and Santa to each child’s home for special occasions and Christmas. Thankfully we can use new computer technology to transmit our images and voices anywhere on the world in real time.

Earlier this year we were happily sharing birthdays, Halloween, the 4th of July and other special events with our kids and grandkids. Unfortunately, everything changed a few months ago. Two of our daughters moved out of state; one to find employment in Arizona and one to attend medical school in New York state. Suddenly all the fun with eleven grandkids shrunk down to two. Empty nest? It feels like no nest at all!

We all have the same cell phone network so 24/7 long distance calling is not a limitation or expense. However, our two young grandsons do not relate well speaking to Grandma and Grandpa on a cell phone. We really miss seeing their little smiling faces. You can’t see your grandkids all dressed for Halloween on a cell phone! They change so fast you need to see them often.

Skype, a Web Cam and the Internet to the Rescue!

We’ve discovered using a web cam is almost like being there. In the past few months we’ve seen the grandchildren in their Halloween costumes, had front row seats as they delivered their school speeches and little church talks to us. Our two grandsons think Grandma and Grandpa live in the computer monitor! My wife beams when they smile big and point to the monitor (web cam) and say GRANDMA!

Our tradition of sharing a special Christmas story will still happen this year. We’ve selected “The Christmas Pickle.” Thanks to the internet we have one of the two last signed books arriving in time for Christmas. Visualize this scenario. My wife and I will seat ourselves comfortably in front of our web cam. We will click the Video Call button. Next, we will take turns reading selected parts of the story to all the grandkids. In advance we will prepare some photos to flash up on the screen as we share the story. We will be able to hear and see their response to the story and our questions. Life is good again!

What You Need

You still have time to be ready for Christmas if you act this week.

  1. Web Cam. Get two web cams. They are not expensive. Check out Staples or Amazon. If you purchase on-line have one delivered to your children to save time and expense. Get a web cam with a built-in microphone to cut down on all the wires and USB connections. Tip: It will be easier if you both have the same kind of cameras so you can help each other if you have problems.
  2. Skype. This FREE software program allows you to connect to a family or friend’s computer anywhere in the world. (You both need the software installed). We will be video conferencing with our friends in Australia for free. Skype will indicate when you are both on-line making it easier to connect. To initiate a call, you click the “Call” button and they will hear a ringing sound on their computer speakers. The connection is also FREE. There is no time limit so talk as long as you like. Note: You do not need a web cam. You can use microphones to communicate. Tip: Turn off your web cams if your internet connection breaks up. Skype is easy to use and well documented. Get more information and download it here. SKYPE.
  3. Fast Internet Connection. Sending video requires a DSL, cable or other relatively fast internet connection.



One Response to “Skype Your Kids For Christmas”

  1. Marguerita Teresi Says:

    Just wanted to write and let you know that your blog is pretty cool. I’ve printed your post for a couple of friends who I know will be interested. I’ll be seeing them at a couple of children’s parties next week and will pass it on.

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