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Technology Changing Christmas Traditions?

December 23, 2008

A bit of an observation this holiday season…

With Christmas only a few days away, I’ve been preppin’ for the Christmas Eve festivities at my home.

  • Christmas Tree
  • Stockings on the Mantle
  • Unhealthy Holiday Foods
  • Christmas Cards
  • Gifts Wrapped in Paper and Ribbon

Christmas Cards:

Growing up, collecting and sending Christmas cards was a tradition.  I remember my parents sending out a hundred or so cards and then taking great pride in setting the received cards in bookcases, on the mantle, and in other nooks and crannies around the house.  Looking back, it seems like (perhaps unintentionally) an odd act of quantifying friendships—the more cards, the more friends you could show you had.  My parents have toned it down since then; I think they sent out about twenty cards this year with holiday newsletters included.

I also sent out a few cards this year, but it felt awkward.  99% of the potential card recepients I either email on a regular basis, twit back and forth with, instant message, or voice chat via Skype or in EQ2.  Maybe I’m too much of a techie, but it seems silly to fight the hordes at Hallmark when I can simply pop open a window and wish someone a happy holidays and catch up on the events of their day.  Most likely they already have photos of their kids/family/etc on the internet and blog posts detailing big adventures of the year.

Gifts Wrapped in Paper and Ribbon:

Around the office and between my friends and I, we ended up exchanging more gift certificates, Amazon.com credits, and the such rather than tangible gifts.  Even a few years ago, gift certificates were considered the “cold hearted” way of gift giving—now it’s pretty common.  As thoughtful as a gift may be, no one likes returning gifts and gift certificates allows a lot more flexibility.

Both of these, of course, could have roots back with the slowing economy and whatever other hardships people could be facing (holiday cards are expensive); however, it seems more of a social change rather than economic.


Categories: Everything Else
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