Electronics and technology have all but taken the juice out of traditional holidays, charging even further into the future, and sadly…the memories lost can’t ever be plugged into place again.
During hurricane Sandy a dear friend of mine lost a great deal from her home. She commented to me, that all her holiday decorating and years of raising her now adult children was gone. We lamented over all the years we had each made costumes, baked and creatively strung everything from pearls to popcorn, but still smiled through the memories. After we talked, I remember looking through old photos of my family…so many that are now gone, making them a gift in themselves. I also noticed gaps, where pictures stopped…along with traditions we once photographed, because they were either digital or emailed.
Evolution of intelligence is inevitable…or no one could read what I wouldn’t be able to write. It is also applauded, having made medical care, security and in many ways life in general better. However, if you are at least 30, you will know that there was a sacrifice in the process, and family life is not what you once knew.
I realize it isn’t just the computerization of our lives that has changed. Family structure, divorce and single parenting have also played a hand in it all, along with the aging Baby Boomers like myself, who remember and alone, now hurtfully wish we could find it again.
Those like Martha Stewart, who continue to craft and bake, along with the help of television and magazine coverage still get the overall effect. However, the full impact is lost, just like a drop of water in the ocean, because there is no domino effect giving life to the celebration.
Looking at the Halloween decorations on my front window…which, as anyone who knows me will tell you, should be up all year. I noticed there are no pumpkins carved on my steps and the sewing machine sits idle along with sequins, feathers and glue. That aside, I did get a Jib-Jab to the ribs with a mini Halloween production, and daily, my Facebook page offers images and greetings to remind me of the holiday today, with pictures of Halloween costumes I won’t see in person, next to a bowl of candy, which unfortunately I will know up close and personal.
As Christmas approaches, we are also reminded by the increased cost of postage, that an email, image or electronic card is the more sensible way to reach out, and thanks to Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart boxes of anything can be ordered and dropped on the doorstep with a Drone and not a groan. We’ve forgotten the bemoaning as we carried in holiday goodies from the car, selecting and dreaming through each one and the magic they made to those we loved.
Even most treasured Christmas pageants at church are gone, replaced by choir music and basic scripture, all of which can be downloaded…no need to wait for a midnight service or the impish faced angel that held a glittery box by a nativity. Somehow I see a pathetic Charlie Brown special in all of it, from the empty mailbox to Linus and his blanket, both knowing the truth.
I remember in business when we were able to first screen calls. Placing on hold those we wished would go away, taking instead the ones vital to the moment that were enabled. We knew we would be wasting less time and getting more done. Now, however, we see our calls through a screen, and Skype memories or watch short video clips from a phone, soon to be forgotten once they are no longer vital. The traditions we are making now are what need to be placed on hold, and stepping back in time, when we actual made time…that is what should be the business at hand.