Advice, tips, and new products

Can technology save Christmas?

Chroniqueur techno

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That’s right, folks. Christmas is back this year, falling predictably on December 25 (spoiler alert: it will be back next year on the same date, too). Are you worried that you aren’t ready? Short on time to create that magical Christmas atmosphere? Fear not! Technology is here to help.

 

First things first: set your Videotron terminal to channel 553 and enjoy the soothing crackle of a log fireplace. Add a little Christmas music to set the mood. You’re off to a good start!

 

Speaking of music…

 

No matter which online music streaming service you prefer, it’s worth noting that the selection is better when you use a paid version. Check out the holiday favourites, timeless classics, Canadian singers or even Christmas rock. It’s all available ad-free and you can skip as many songs as you want. Just like that, you’re a DJ with an endless music collection. Simply connect to a quality Bluetooth speaker and you’re good to go.

 

What about food?

 

If you’ve fallen behind on holiday planning, meal management could be an issue. Unless, of course, you turn to the internet for help. Open your browser and type “holiday meal boxes” into the search bar. These three simple words open up a world of possibilities. When you order a meal box, you get just the right amount of ingredients for a specific dish, along with step-by-step instructions on how to make it. For example: pre-cooked turkey, gravy, four side dishes and dessert. Prices vary depending on the ingredients and the number of portions.

 

Organize a carpool

 

On Facebook, start a conversation with your guests to see who wants to be the designated driver and offer others a ride home. With so many transportation options available over the holidays—including Operation Red Nose, Tolérance Zéro, traditional taxis, TÉO Taxi and UBER—there’s no excuse for drinking and driving.  What’s the advantage of using an app to order a ride? You can track the vehicle’s location in real time, allowing you to see when it’s just around the corner. Some services can even accommodate up to 6 people so that all your guests can arrive at the same time.

 

Deck the halls!

 

No holiday bash would be complete without decorations! When time is of the essence, you have to get creative. For example, geeks might want to use their Star Wars or superhero figurines to make a Christmas tree— just tie ’em up with some fishing line. 

 

Next, pick up some traditional Christmas lights (ideally LED ones) and plug them into a smart outlet. By letting you control power via your phone or tablet, smart outlets save you from having to reach awkwardly behind furniture to plug in your lights. Voice control enabled plugs are even cooler. Imagine your tree lighting up whenever you say “Let there be light!” Your guests will be dazzled, for sure.

 

The final touch: Nanoleaf light panels. Combine the triangular lights to make all kinds of shapes and personalize the experience via an app. You can opt for preset scenes or let the panels automatically respond to ambient sound. Now you’ve got a light show that moves with the music in real time.

 

When it comes to having fun, technology is a wonderful ally. You’ve got to love it!

 

But it’s also important to remember that there’s no better way to enjoy the holidays than being present. The holidays are time for family, not playing electronic games or checking social media. So leave your phone in your coat pocket when you get to a party or switch it to “Do not disturb” on lazy family mornings. Technology is a good thing, but so is unplugging.

 

On that digital note, Happy Holidays!