by James C. Lowery
JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE APART
DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T SHARE THE HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE.
is just a few weeks away and odds are you’ve got a lot of planning on your
plate. But with all the busy preparations, don’t forget to include your
incarcerated loved one in the festivities. Legacy’s video visitation lets your
loved one experience the party as if they were there.
Here are our top 10 tips for making this
Thanksgiving’s home video visit a memorable one:
1. Schedule early before the best time slots fill up. Chances are that most families will be
sitting down to their thanksgiving feast around the same time. That means that
you only have a few special hours on the big day. We recommend that you
schedule far enough in advance to make sure your incarcerated loved one is
2. Include the entire family! Now that you have your video visit scheduled, it’s time to get
all the kids, siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles in on
the fun. The
best part about a holiday party is that you will already have the entire family
and extended family in one location, at the same time. This is a rare
opportunity for your incarcerated loved one to see and chat with a group of
loving family members.
3. Plan your menu early.
Remember, planning makes perfect. When preparing your menu, think about your
guests; how many will attend, how many are children, any food allergies, and
beverage preferences. This will save you time and the headache when you go
are some helpful links for creative Thanksgiving recipes:
Real Simple: 24 Make-Ahead Thanksgiving
All Recipes - Thanksgiving Recipes
4. Make the decorations memorable. Your loved one’s environment is very plain. Give them
something to reminisce about by making the decorations at your Thanksgiving
party really pop. There are plenty of easy and affordable ways to make your
Thanksgiving a day to remember.
Here are some helpful links for creative
Thanksgiving decoration ideas:
HGTV - Modern, Organic Thanksgiving Table
Setting Tips and Recipe Ideas
Country Living - 35 Festive and Cozy Ideas
for Thanksgiving Decorations
Midwest Living - 35 Ideas for Easy
Pinterest - 1000+ Thanksgiving Table
5. Share upbeat moments and jot down a few fun and interesting
topics to talk about as a backup.
Try to avoid discussing the standard video visit agenda and keep the visit
cheerful. Having a few pre-planned topics will be helpful in case there is a
lull in the conversation. And remember to pass around the laptop so your loved
one can interact with everyone at the party.
6. Make sure all your equipment is in working order the day before
the visit. The day before
the visit test out your laptop, speakers, webcam, and microphone to make sure
they are in working order. This could
save you time and unneeded stress on the day of the visit.
7. Check your internet speed. Having fast, reliable
internet is important for every video visit. Check your internet speed in
advance to make sure you have the proper connection for the best visit. We
recommend using an Ethernet connection for the fastest connection, and a
minimum of 3MBPS upload speed.
Here is a great internet speed
8. Setup your laptop in a prime location. For your loved one’s best experience, make
sure they are seated in a prime location where they can see everyone and
everything. Make the laptop easily accessible for everyone. This will help them to feel like they are
part of the party rather than watching the party.
9. Get the cooking done early and never turn down help. Getting all your food prep and cooking
done as early as possible is crucial to enjoying your party and video visit.
Also, Thanksgiving is often a potluck affair, and that's the beauty of it. Let
friends and family bring things, and don’t be afraid to delegate the parts of
the meal that stress you out.
10. Log in to your scheduled video visit on time. It’s the big day and it’s time to log in!
Make sure you start the process a few minutes early. Remember your visit length
is limited by the facility and will start promptly at the scheduled time.
1. Include your loved one in the
planning and preparation of your Thanksgiving party. You can video visit with your loved one
prior to the big day so they can help with the planning. Using their ideas for
the party will help them feel more included.
you don’t have time to do a video visit, try using one of Legacy’s other
communication services like sending a
video message or voicemail. (First
you’ll want to make sure these services are available at your facility).
About Legacy Inmate Communications
Legacy is a nationwide provider and has been a leader in the inmate communications industry for nearly two decades, with headquarters in Cypress, California. The company has developed a number of state-of-the-art inmate communications platforms, such as iCON, WatchWord+, and iCONTracker. Legacy is unique in that it is a single-source provider, researching, developing, building integration, and implementing every aspect of its inmate telephone and video visitation systems. For more information, please visit: