It is interesting with me to learn how different families connect.
My family lives a few hours away and we stay in touch by phone and occasionally by email. There are a few older members of my family and we exchange cards and letters on a regular basis which is wonderful as well. Many of my coworkers either have children at home or nearby (or parents nearby if they're younger) and reconnect in person on a regular basis for dinner, game nights, and worship.
DH and I are struggling with what children will mean for our family of 2. We already feel a bit overwhelmed each holiday season struggling to see as many extended family members as possible. Where will we go for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day... what if we have to work? We're struggling with the idea of how to make our family a priority and still include the many extended relatives who will want to continue sharing holidays with us. With two full-time jobs the holidays have become a stressful time for us and we often feel as though we don't have a chance to celebrate our own traditions without them interfering with our family's desires.
One of our goals before children come into our family is to start setting more realistic holiday goals and perhaps inviting family to come share in traditions with us rather than feeling as though we need to accomodate six different households (divorced parents, grandparents, etc) every holiday season. We would also like to set up a few weekly family traditions with our children that we don't break so that our children can rely on solid time with us each week. We've talked about some ideas of things we can start implementing now (weekly Sunday night dinner, weekly church service at the same time, etc) to make this transition easier once children arrive.
In the meantime, we'll continue seeking ideas for how to handle large family holidays when family is scattered around the country...