Mistletoe and holly, eggnog and frosted cookies, Chanukah candles and the glowing Christmas tree are all symbols of the holiday season in our home.
But the use of technology during the holidays has really been a new twist. Not necessarily the shopping part, I was an early adopter of online shopping (what is not to love?!) and found that I could have built a fort with my amazon prime boxes this year. (Thankfully, Arlington has a robust recycling program so it takes the edge off of my guilt factor.). I was clearly not alone given that online shopping increased by over 16.6 percent during this past holiday season over 2016 statistics with nearly 12 percent of all holiday sales made online this year.
The intersting part of the technology trend has been the gifts. Leah sent to use a Furbo. What you ask? It is a camera system that watches your pets, allows you to talk to them remotely and even has a dispenser for throwing treats to the, while you’re away. Brilliant and hilarious! Unless, however you have a chicken dog like Cassie who hates all sounds (she runs out the door every time I get a text message so I usually have to leave the volume off – sorry if I miss your message!) so the sheer panic she displayed when I activated the treat dispenser (that gives a little woof so pups know the treat is coming, simply drove her out of the house with no interest in the treat – most unusual for her to not find food motivating) I’ve only used the voice activation when I am already in the driveway after work, otherwise using it feels tad taunting since she’s looking for me. Don made another run at a Fitbit for me and my goal is not to break, lose or wash this one…and I gave him an Apple Watch and if he can make it through the set-up phase without getting too frustrated, all will go smoothly.
But the best part about technology was our ability to share the present opening extravaganza with Leah back in her Chicago apartment this morning. Given her corporate practice, getting away at the end of the year is tough for her to do, which is why we are all meeting up in Utah to ski over New Year’s. but using FaceTime, we all opened our presents together and got to share the real time joy and appreciation of sharing gifts, being thoughtful and loving family.