While you are dreaming of a traditional white Christmas, your computer is programming synchronized Christmas carols and emailing your holiday cards to their joyful recipients to avoid the post office's holiday rush. If your Christmas really is white with snowdrifts and impassable roads, your family can still enjoy one another's company using Skype or another video chat application.
Nowadays, the annual Christmas letter updating everyone with the family's latest news is rendered needless; we all get our updates through Facebook. Social media is also a good tool when it comes to gift-giving. Staying in touch year-round via your laptop or smartphone can provide you with up-to-date information on favorite toys, activities, furnishings and preferred clothing styles of your friends and family members.
It's easier than ever to lighten your hectic holiday schedule and avoid crowded malls by doing your shopping online. You can even have your gifts delivered directly to the giftee with a personalized message, without worrying about wrapping or delivery. Last-minute gifts are a cinch; just click on an e-gift card, and send. Your thoughtfulness will be received in minutes. If you don't want to miss the gala of store decorations, there are apps to help you find the best prices and locations for whatever you desire so you don't have to run from store to store. Cyber Monday has become the at-home version of Black Friday.
While there are still plenty of conventional Christmas tree lots to visit, you can also order your tree online for delivery to your home or office. You can have the same convenience for various holiday staples like lights, ornaments, wrapping paper, decorations and table settings. There are many online grocery stores and food delivery services that will deliver the fixings for a meal you're cooking. Or you can hire a caterer for your party so you can present a feast without running yourself ragged. If you are cooking, don't forget to check out websites and apps sharing popular holiday recipes.
Even Santa has gone digital! Santa's Christmas Eve ride around the world can be followed with the help of NORAD. Since the mid-'50s, children have been able to call a special hotline to learn the jolly elf's location. Now they can track him on a computer in the convenience of their own homes. Even though the world might be bright and cheery with thoughts of Santa's visit, there are some mischief-makers who may make appearances as well. Several churches have added GPS trackers to the baby Jesus figurines in their Nativity scenes in case the mischief-makers decide to take him for a ride.
Technology has simplified more altruistic festivities as well. Finally, you can conveniently keep the spirit of giving alive by making charitable donations online with your credit card. Yes, even the Salvation Army Red Kettles have gone high-tech!
Of course, there is always the matter of what to give your friends and family members this Christmas. Never fear, there are lots of high-tech gifts out there to thrill and enthrall all of your favorite people. Teens, even the older ones, will love Bluetooth or noise-canceling headphones and speakers. Busy people and older adults will love the convenience of smart home upgrades. Get your favorite gamer a sturdy gaming chair with built-in speakers and transmitters, or a gaming laptop with enhanced video memory and a graphic card. For people who are always on the go, get a smartwatch compatible with either the Android or the iPhone so they can always stay in touch without having to reach for their phones.
Find great tech gifts for fellow office workers as well. There are screen protectors that also eliminate glare for smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. If they are always on the go, get them a power bank to keep their smartphones charged at all times. Choose from traditional plug-in or solar charged power banks. A USB docking station for their desk will help keep their devices plugged in and wires organized.
While it might not fit in with the quaint, frost-covered image of Christmas we all know and love, technology has made the holiday season far more convenient. So, if you haven't already, email out those Christmas cards. Stuff your stockings with high-tech gadgets. And, on Christmas Eve, don't forget to check Santa's whereabouts from the comfort of your own laptop.