Oh How the Holidays Have Changed…

Dec 23, 2010 • Uncategorized
0 Flares 0 Flares ×

Tis the season to be grateful for many things; friends, family and don’t forget the Internet.  We as a society are plugged in more than we even realize.  The Internet has changed how we view the news, communicate and even our holiday rituals and traditions.  Let’s look at a few ways the holiday season has changed forever.


The biggest change comes in how we choose to shop.  As a kid I remember being dragged to the mall with my Mom.  The challenge: pick up presents for other family members and friends without being stomped to death by the heard of deal mavens.  Thinking long and hard about what I wanted to get each person, I went from store to store, waited in line after line, and after many hours and much frustration, found my way home to spend the remainder of the day wrapping gifts.  By the time I gave the recipient his or her present I just wanted the universe to return to its normal flow.  “Bah-Humbug” I thought with a huge smile on my face.  Fast forward to present day and E-Commerce has changed how we shop.  Now we can accomplish all of this while never leaving the house.  We can go to Pricegrabber and compare lowest rates around the Web.  I know some that do ALL of their shopping at Amazon and with free shipping and huge discounts they save tremendous amounts of time, money and mostly frustration.  Santa’s big red coat and reindeer have been replaced by a UPS driver in brown shorts and a milk truck.

Many brave souls do however still trek out into the shopping vortex.  Armed with their Smartphones they scan and compare prices and sales against other local stores and online retailers.  In fact, according to Hall and Partners USNow2010 survey:

“9% of holiday shoppers surveyed used a mobile app for the first time ever to price compare while holiday shopping this year, and almost 40% of those who have used apps in the past planned to use them “much more” this year to supplement holiday shopping efforts.”

The art of shopping in 2010 has gone more mobile than ever.  Price Check by Amazon is an example of one such app.  Using the iPhone’s camera a shopper can scan the UPC code and compare prices right in the store.

Shoppers are also creatively using apps like Dropbox this holiday season. They create excel spreadsheets with essential dossiers of all the people on Santa’s list so they can take this with them wherever they make their purchases.  Arrive at Macy’s, open up Dropbox, look at who has been naughty or nice, what shirt size, pant size and fashion style they are into, making the process of shopping more efficient.

Finding a parking spot at an overcrowded mall can be frustrating in its own right. Remembering where you parked can be a nightmare.  Consumers this year are using applications like Find my Car to remedy this.  Park, hit a button and go shop.  Leave, hit a button and walk to the location.  This will probably be the most hassle free event of the day.


The holidays are a time to be with friends and family.  Sadly, less disposable income resulting from bad economic times is forcing some to travel less or not at all to see their loved ones.  Services such as Skype are offering a solution.  Although they cannot be there in person, the ability to see and experience the festivities online is the next best thing.  Add in services like Fring and Apple’s own Facetime and you can connect remotely as well.

Sending holiday cards in the past was a costly and arduous task but now we create E-cards that are sent out in a cinch.  All I ask is that you DO NOT send one to me.  A pleasant twitter mention or facebook post will do just fine.  These social sites have become the greenest alternatives to the traditional holiday cards and save me from having to pick up the mess from cards scattered around my home (damn you glitter)!


The Internet has changed even the way we all share in the holiday spirit.  I can remember hearing one CD on repeat playing in the kitchen for 20 straight days beginning the day after Thanksgiving.  The scene of Jack Nicholson in the movie The Shining playing in my head as I rocked back in forth on the couch.  This has been replaced by services such as Pandora that stream Christmas music of all genres 24 hours a day.  Instead of using the local paper or watching the news to see where festivities are taking place we use apps like A Days Outing, and with the shake of your wrist all of the events taking place show up in front of you.  Children are being entertained by apps like Santa GPS or by going online to track the NORAD Santa.

The Internet has changed how we celebrate the holidays.  In some ways it has made our lives more efficient and in others more impersonal.  How you embrace technology and its impact on the holidays is your choice, but there is certainly no lack of options.

Happy Holidays!! (Please don’t send me an E-Card. A response or rebuttal to this post would be a much better gift)

Chris Van Dusen

President of i-FFICIENCY, Director Business Development and New Media at Rief Media, http://riefmedia.com,Tech Enthusiast, Early Adopter, Remote Efficiency Jedi

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 LinkedIn 0 StumbleUpon 0 Reddit 0 Pin It Share 0 Buffer 0 0 Flares ×
0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 LinkedIn 0 StumbleUpon 0 Reddit 0 Pin It Share 0 Buffer 0 0 Flares ×