December 11

Family Time Technology

Although the holidays are going to look different this year for most of us, we still want to celebrate our families and be together however we can.

These tools will help erase the miles between you and your loved ones until we can be together again.

White Elephant Gift Exchange

If you bring this Baby Yoda Chia Pet to your family’s White Elephant Gift Exchange, the competition would be fierce.

Chia Pet

Just because we can’t have the party in the same room doesn’t mean we have to skip it. I found two Online White Elephant tools to bring you together for the fierce gift-trading event.

  • White Elephant Online
    This one is my favorite because it’s free for groups of less than 25 (we love free). People send links to the products they’re offering up so you can set up the gifts, which can then be electronically unwrapped. You can tweak the rules to match your family’s standard game.
  • CAMP White Elephant
    CAMP calls itself a “Family Experience Store.” Their version of the White Elephant event is also free, but you have to buy your gift from their curated list of 300 products. Admittedly, the choices are really fun, but I still like to have the freedom to buy my own.

Family Activities

  • Caribu
    If you have small kids, Caribu is a great way to help them keep connections with loved ones far away. Caribu ended up on Apple’s Best Apps of 2020 list because of its take on video conferencing. The platform lets grandmas and grandpas read interactive stories with families.
  • Cappuccino
    If you’re missing the day-to-day adventures of friends and family, consider signing up for Cappuccino. The app lets everyone add a short audio piece to a thread each day. Then the next day everyone can listen to the combined feeds. They call it “a daily personal radio show featuring your friends.”
Cappuccino App

More Serious Topics

I always hate to bring this up, but one of the things you want to do for your loved ones is to help them organize their digital afterlives. My mom was sick with cancer for a long time. When we knew the end was close, none of us could bring ourselves to ask her for her passwords or logins. So when she died, we couldn’t get into her email to inform her friends or even update her iPad because we didn’t have her Apple ID.

Don’t be like me. Take the time when family is gathered to set up a system for important documents, passwords, photos and more.

  • OnePlace
    Full (and PROUD) disclosure: OnePlace is a startup founded by my hubby’s niece. They’re in late-stage beta now, with hopes of launching in January.

“We provide families the guidance and tools necessary to successfully prepare for life events and keep track of their most important documents.”

  • Everplans
    Everplans is another tool that helps families be prepared for the worst, as evidenced by the book they wrote:
In Case You Get Hit By A Bus


communication, just plain fun, organization

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