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Home /Entertainment / How Has Technology Changed Holiday Traditions?

How Has Technology Changed Holiday Traditions?

By Dillon Wallace

Our beloved annual holidays have been celebrated for centuries. In fact, they date so far back that you’d be hard pressed to find the actual origins for most of them. Trust us, we’ve tried.

And while the celebrations have evolved over the ages, we’ve seen a more drastic spike in changes thanks to advancements in recent technology.
But how exactly has technology changed our holiday traditions?


Family time

One of the biggest ways technology has shaped our more recent holiday celebrations is by making sure everyone is present and accounted for (at least virtually). Every family always has that one member who just can’t make it home, be it because they’re working over the holidays or maybe they’re at their significant other’s family’s celebration, out of town, etc. But thanks to FaceTime and other video call apps – as well as social media apps like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram – the whole family can now be together – even if they’re thousands of miles apart. And not just as a voice over a phone, but in full face-to-face form. Heck, they might feel so close that you could even set the table for them … just don’t make them a plate and expect them to actually eat any of the food. That technology hasn’t been invented yet.


Now, with COVID-19 still hanging around and keeping us apart with social distancing, video call apps have never been more popular. And something tells me that this year’s holidays are going to be spent with a lot more virtual face-to-face time. While it’s not ideal, it’s better than not seeing our loved ones at all, right?



Remember how Christmas lights used to be something that were only strung and hung? Well, technology struck once again to offer us more convenient options than scaling a wobbly ladder in the cold of winter to hang lights around our gutters. Yard projectors have given people the opportunity to simply plug and play, creating a dynamic display that you can easily adjust and change based on your preferences. While they’re not as traditional as the classic string of bulb lights, they are definitely picking up the pace in popularity.


And speaking of decorations, how can we overlook the addition of the fake Christmas tree? Nothing can surpass the majestic quality of having a true spruce adorning the walls of your home during the holiday season – that natural smell, the authentic look – but all that aside, you’ve got to admit that fake trees make for a much easier clean up.


Fewer holiday cards

One of the joys of the holidays is receiving cards from distant friends and family. It’s the perfect time of year to have an excuse to dress up your animals (and yourself) in ridiculous Christmas sweaters and other spirit themed clothes to send happy holiday greetings. But technology has spurred a more digital movement by sending e-cards versus paper cards. And while traditional paper cards are still the overwhelming favorite, the good news for e-cards is that they cost far less and they’re more environmentally friendly. So, that’s something to get all warm and fuzzy about.



Not too long ago, hordes of people would flee their homes in a last-minute attempt to find the perfect barrage of holiday gifts. Malls would be flooded by the masses and parking lots were like war zones. Now, buying gifts for loved ones couldn’t be easier thanks to Amazon and other online ordering options. And if you’re in search of a really good deal, look no further than Amazon’s cyber Monday sales. The possibilities are nearly endless and better yet, you don’t have to wrap or deliver the gift yourself. Just input the desired address and ta-da. Merry Christmas right on your front porch! 


And for all you procrastinators … thank goodness for 2-day shipping!


Holiday remembrance

The holidays are the perfect time to reflect back on past years and their most memorable moments. For decades, that involved flipping through photo albums or plugging in a camcorder to the TV to watch ghosts of family Christmases past. Now, thanks to digitizing services like KODAK Digitizing Box, you can easily send and share past holiday photo, video and audio cheer via thumb drives, DVDs – even digital downloads.


There’s nothing quite like flashing back in time to witness a vintage ugly Christmas sweater in all its primetime glory.

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