Christmas connects us with friends and family and brings with it old memories. We sing Christmas Carols, songs with nostalgic lyrics: “Once in royal David’s city”. We eat and drink special foods and gather around tables to share experiences and milestones with loved ones, relishing the moment and generally enjoying the holidays.
While such sentimental attachments are still strong, in recent years how we spend Christmas season have changed. In this article, we will consider 7 ways technology is reshaping Christmas holiday.
As early as November, shops and record stores would have been selling more Christmas cassettes and tapes. People who can’t afford to buy one would have to rely on the F.M stereos (radio stations) to listen to “Jingle Bells, jingle bells…”.
Today, you don’t need to buy anything apart from data subscription and in some cases when you buy airtime, you get data for free. Once you have data, you can play your favourite Christmas tunes endlessly on YouTube. Even if you can’t afford data, you can share Christmas songs via Bluetooth or other file sharing apps.
There is really no need to subscribe for DSTV in Lagos. Use Netflix + youtube + smile internet and you're good.
— m_e (@markessien) April 15, 2017
Also, there used to be a specific budget for photo-shoots during Christmas season. Photographers used to make the most of this period to balance up losses of previous months.
But I can hardly remember the last time I invited a photographer to my home so I can pay for hard copy photos. Digital cameras, smartphone cameras and soft copy photos have taken over.
Another improvement is in seeing movies. Instead of queuing to get cinema tickets, you could simply Netflix from home.
Recommended Post: 5 Apps You Must Have for Your Next Vacation
Remember the days when you had to go to a market or stores to purchase every gift? Before the days of Jumia and same day delivery, the holidays were much more tedious and hectic times of the year.
This was especially so for parents because they must squeeze out time for shopping.
But now, instead of long queues of human traffic in malls or searching for a parking space, for a little extra cost, which is often same as that you would have used for transportation anyway, you can shop for all gifts, drinks and even food items–literally everything, from the comfort of your home with a smartphone or laptop.
Early birds catches the most worms.
Now is the best time to shop for the holiday season. And everything you want is on Jumia.
Beginning from today, the 3rd of December, until the 16th, get amazing deals and freebies as you shop on #Jumia for this Xmas.https://t.co/OmKsWdyFmJ pic.twitter.com/WtnLVYz2mV
— Anusoluenwe 🇩🇪 (@Bagzton) December 3, 2018
E-commerce has greatly reshaped the shopping experience for holiday gifting, this is one-way technology has made life easier for everyone.
3. Electronic Holiday Cards
“Nobody should send me BC (Broadcast Message) this period ooo”— have you ever felt this way before? Well, it’s the time of the year when people share electronic cards, pictures and messages of both prayers and wishes via social media.
WELCOME DECEMBER pic.twitter.com/4L3nlW4uxx
— AL (@archivelauren) December 1, 2018
No longer do we have to wait once a year (during the Christmas reunion) to see how grown your nephew or niece is. Instead, all you need to do is pop into social media, Facebook or Instagram and instantly see how much your brother’s child has grown, wedding photos from your sister or graduation photos of your nephew.
This makes catching up much easier and story-telling much more visual.
4. Video Messaging
Today, friends and family who can’t make it home for the family Christmas reunion can join in the e-reunion via Skype or WhatsApp call. Families from all over the world can now gather together in the holiday season and be with one another, even if it is through a computer screen or iPhone.
Thanks to the growth of video messaging apps, generations can be united from all over the world; great-grandparents are able to watch their great-grandchildren open presents and try on gifts shared and friends and family can now celebrate the holidays together, virtually. Isn’t that some fun that didn’t exist some years ago?
Although all of these technologies can makeup, there’s nothing like the real deal—the old-fashioned family get-together is still great fun at this time of year!
I really got him a build-a-bear as part of his Christmas gift with his favorite football team on it & a cute messaging letting him know how much I love him. 😍 notice his homies gassing it up 😭😂 pic.twitter.com/ZeDrM93O4U
— adriana🥀 (@vdrianaaa) December 25, 2017
Yes! Because I like food. You can put your iPhone or tablet to good use in the kitchen this season! No more dragging out the big cookbooks and copying recipes from magazines.
If you want to try or add something new to the menu, there are numerous cooking apps that you can now download or sites which are more interactive and interesting than old recipe books.
Since the holidays are not complete without cooking up tasty meals, you can use these apps to spice up the tables for your family and friends during meal times. And even better, if you are a lazy reader, the video has become a huge resource for finding recipes and meal ideas.
— Humourisk CiC (@humourisk) December 31, 2015
6. Credit Alert!
Remember when you had to send hard currency home? Or when your uncle or aunt had to bring the bag of rice or clothes from Lagos. Well, those days should be long gone. At least they are fast phasing out.
Nobody should send Christmas 🎄 tree to my DM this Xmas period .
If you can’t send a Christmas gift 🎁 to me or send me money 💰.
Keep your Christmas 🎄 tree Biko .
— LADYPURITY👑 (@Lady_purity5) December 3, 2018
Sending money home is now faster through internet banking, mobile banking or SMS short codes. Nowadays, people would rather a credit alert over the best of items as a Christmas gift.
7. Social Media
Remember how you used to show-off your new Christmas attire in the neighbourhood or in church? In fact, even if there was no place to go, you just had to go out so people could see your new clothes. Well, you don’t need to step out if you don’t want to. All it takes is a selfie on your WhatsApp status or a post on Twitter and you’ll get all the admiration you crave.
Somebody should invite me for an owambe this December now😭 I need to party💃💃💃
— Olaide Adejare (@Yidella_) November 30, 2018
Also, apart from decorating your homes with Christmas decors, people spend as much time to dress up their accounts and profiles. Updating Facebook cover picture with Christmas wallpapers or giving Instagram display photo a Santa art is becoming an online Christmas tradition.
Instead of opening your window to yell, “Merry Christmas” once the clock strikes midnight, all you need to do is update your wall, timeline or status. You could take some time to craft a touching and thankful WhatsApp, Twitter or Facebook status and make sure you are the first to drop a post. Then you spend the next hour or so refreshing and going back and forth between social media to reply, retweet and check for likes and views.
A VERY RARE PICTURE OF YORUBA DEMONS ARRIVING AT AN OWAMBE😎😎😎 pic.twitter.com/FfcVjnKLRw
— KASUN-KAJI 🇬🇧 (@Tishi_Lee) February 19, 2018
What about showcasing the owambes (flamboyance and luxury) and Orishirishis (delicacies) on your timelines? Nowadays, Christmas is not complete without these.
Recommended Post: Are Smartphones Really Making People Smarter?
What do you think? Is technology is making Christmas much more fun? Do you think it is making some families farther apart or virtually bonding families beyond borders? What are some other ways you think technology is reshaping Christmas?
Tell us what you think in the comment section.
If you’d like to get featured on our Entrepreneur Spotlight, click here to share your startup story with us.
Get latest Technology news, reviews, business-related content with a deliberate emphasis on the African narrative and insightful analysis in Nigeria – straight to your inbox.