After a few grueling hours of online shopping today I decided to take Sadie the Wonder Dog out for a walk. We were enjoying the arrival of a "real" cold front and feeling just a bit of the holiday spirit with all the houses in the neighbrhood decorated for Christmas. I even listened to a little George Winston's "December" on my ipod. Then it hit me! Technology is ruining Christmas! Let me explain.....
I had just spent hours online at my kitchen table purchasing gifts. Without technology I would have been out shopping. I would have been in and out of the car several times and would have totally enjoyed that cool breeze at each stop. I would have been shopping, listening to piped-in Christmas music all day and enjoying all of the store decorations. I might have even purchased a few gifts...but maybe not, I have such a hard time making those decisions! It may have been frustrating but I would have been out among other holiday shoppers and felt the bond of being in the trenches for the day. Instead, I drank tea, listened to whatever I wanted and purchased an alarming number of gifts in record time without talking to a single person, looking for a parking place or standing in line. Bah humbug!
Before technology I would sit down and compose an annual update letter to include in our Christmas cards. I would attempt to include a bit of humor, an update on each person in our family and a Christmas greeting. With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogs there are now about 5 people on my Christmas list who do not know what most of us have done this year... or this morning for that matter! What is the point of writing a Christmas letter anymore? I guess I could just make stuff up and send it! Bah humbug!
Before technology, I would spend hours personally addressing my Christmas cards. I can now just press a button and print labels and stick them on my cards, but I won't. I used to print pictures to include in the individually signed cards, now the picture and our signature are the card. OK...that has been around for a while, but you had to go to the store with a negative (remember them?) and get the store to make the picture cards for you and then wait at least two weeks for the cards to be printed. I got mine in 24 hours this year and I made them from the comfort of my sofa using my laptop. Bah humbug!
I am still one of the few people in the world who has a real Christmas tree. You know, the kind the grows in the ground and drops thousand of needles the minute you put it in your house! We can now program our lights to turn on and off at the appointed times. I used to go outside to turn the lights on and off, I sometimes would see a neighbor doing the same thing and we would visit for a while. Sometimes the lights would get left on all night and we could knowingly nod at each other the next day. Technology has taken care of my absentmindedness. Bah humbug!
I am sure there are some of you saying things are a lot better now with technology. Who wants to go shopping and fight the crowds? Who wants to sign and send Christmas cards? Who needs a real tree, they only litter your house? Life is so much simpler now, right? My question is, are we in more of the Christmas spirit with all our extra time? Maybe once I start wrapping all those gifts I bought online I will feel the spirit...haven't found the gift wrapping app yet...but it probably exists!