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The holidays are almost over. It’s possible that you still have a few events and festivities to participate in, so in today’s post I’d like to consider how technology has changed the way we celebrate holidays. Yes, it definitely impacts what kinds of gifts we give over the holidays, but that’s not the only way that it has transformed our celebrations.

Let’s start with decorations. No longer do you have to string up plain old boring lights around your house. With the introduction of smart devices in your home – like Alexa – you can now have a festive home using technology. There are lights that can connect to your smart device and play in tune with music, control the colors of the lights and even determine the brightness of the lights.

Most American’s no longer use real trees, which means there are some pretty unique trees on display this year. The smart device outlets can also let you control the timing of your holiday décor so you don’t have to worry about unplugging the tree or turning off the outside lights before going to bed. If you’re like me and you’re too lazy to hang lights on the outside of your house, you don’t have to fret. There are lights that can simply project onto your house. You can have a winter wonderland display, without the hassle of actually having to string up the lights. Pretty genius, right?

What I will say is that technology has changed the need for Christmas cards. No, I’m not suggesting that you send an ecard, but with social media you can now stay up to date with people’s lives year round. Making it unnecessary to have to catch people up once a year through a Christmas card. Now this is one area that I think I will miss. I do enjoy getting a letter or card from someone telling me about their year.

Now let’s talk about gifts. Over half of U.S. adults do at least partial shopping online for the holidays and 5% plan to do it completely online. As with most digital trends seen in technology, the younger the person, the more likely they are to go virtual with their shopping. 6 in 10 millennials say that they do their shopping online. I’d like to remind our readers that my age category makes me a millennial, and I too do a lot of my shopping online. But not necessarily because of my age. It’s so much easier to do. And because I’m sending gifts to loved ones, it makes it easier to ship. Like free, if you use a certain online retailer.

Lastly, technology has made it possible to be home for Christmas, even if you’re not rally home. With things like FaceTime and other video messaging services, you don’t have to be with your family over the holidays in order to spend time with them. About one-quarter of adults (23%) expect to Skype on Christmas, including 39% of Millennials, 21% of Gen-Xers, 19% of Boomers and 11% of Elders.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday season, and consider for a moment what it would be like without technology.