Looking back at the last few days of holiday celebration and gift-giving, it hit me how much things have changed. For instance, my father sent me an e-mail with the code for an Amazon gift certificate. In years past he would mail me a Christmas card with a check inside. And when we were giving out gifts, after a huge holiday dinner on Christmas Eve, my sister-in-law Cindy told my wife and I our gift hadn’t arrived yet from Buy.com.
Is the convenience of the Internet making gift-giving less personal? Or is it just stripping away the hollow pretense it had before? I think giving someone a gift card is the easy way out. And a thoughtful and unexpected gift is one of the best things in the world. Yet, this opinion doesn’t make me a better giver: at the office party I gave away a gift card for iTunes — a non-object you can trade for other non-objects.
In what way has modern technology and convenience changed your holiday experience? And is it for the better?