November 27, 2015 9:00 am

Happy Holidays – already? It’s time to deck the halls 2 hours after the big Thanksgiving feast, or for some companies, they’ve been decorated for weeks. With today’s innovation and technology the holiday season comes faster year after year. Depending on your love for the holidays, some enjoy bringing out the garland and giftwrap in November, but others believe it’s too soon. There are apps, kiosks and other innovative holiday creations to help with shopping, holiday rituals and even traveling to grandma’s house. Check out this list of things which have changed the holidays to keep up with 2015.

Touch Screen Storefronts

With Black Friday today and Cyber Monday arriving after the weekend, stores are ready for the rush of crazy shoppers and web surfers. Retail stores are setting up digital storefronts to let you shop without setting a foot inside. Just like smartphone and tablet apps, the touchscreen lets you browse products, and order right there. This is to help you get your shopping done quicker without standing in long lines. Most of the digital devices give you the option to pick-up later or have the items shipped to your house. While you’re shopping for the best deals throughout the mall at midnight, you can make a quick stop to get everything you need at select stores.

Salvation Army Donations Online

The classic jingle of bells from volunteers in red outside of most malls, strip malls and grocery stores might soon be vanishing. The Salvation Army has made it possible for you to donate online, so you no longer need to drop change in the kettles. The website gives you the option to create your very own red kettle, and have people donate. You are able to share your kettle on Facebook and Twitter to have friends and family help the cause.

Connecting to Santa

Remember when you wrote letters to Santa and you sent it to the North Pole? Now, children are just as technology savvy as adults, and are able to send emails and text messages to good ole’ St. Nick through different apps and internet sites. Santa Claus has his own social media accounts, as well as Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman. Track Santa created by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has always let you call Santa, but now you are able to see where his current location is and when he will be stopping by your house via Google Earth.

Documenting the Festivities on Social Media

When seeing friends and co-workers after the holidays, there isn’t many questions asked about how your time off was spent. With social media, people post, tweet and snap pictures and videos all day long. If you tag your cousin in a selfie that is posted on all three social apps, your other family and friends are able to see who you are with and what you are doing. Long gone are the days of “how was your holiday,” but more like “I saw the picture of your pumpkin pie dessert, it looked delicious!”

Spread holiday cheer whenever you think it’s appropriate to start. Innovation helps bring in the holiday season, whether it’s now or in the middle of December. Take time to give back, spend time with family and friends and to get all of your shopping done before your holiday festivities. It’s just the start of the season, you have plenty of time to celebrate!

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