Tis the season for family, get togethers and, of course, shopping. This year I have decided to embrace the mobile lifestyle and use my smartphone and tablet to keep me better connected and organized. No easy task this time of year for a busy mother of three.
First on my digital list was to move beyond the standard holiday card, which not only serves to wish family and friends good tidings but also to show how much my kids have grown. New for me this year: a holiday video that I created on my tablet, uploaded to a video sharing site and will send the link in an email.
I am certain that Great Grandma Sadie in Arizona will certainly appreciate not only seeing how grown-up the kids are now, but also enjoy being able to hear them on her computer. For those not inclined to make their own videos, a quick and easy way to deliver some holiday fun is with JibJab, which allows you to personalize a holiday video with pictures of your friends and family.
On the shopping front, I’ve already compiled lists and stored them in my email, making them easily accessible on my phones wherever I happen to be shopping that day. For those gifts that get shipped, my contacts are filed electronically in my smartphone, making it easy to find that address or ZIP code when I’m in the store or post office, or shopping online.
Electronic receipts make gift tracking and the inevitability of returns much easier as well. With many major outlets offering both paper and electronic versions, I am opting for a digital receipt so that I can easily send it to the recipient after the holiday in case the gift is the wrong size, wrong color or just plain wrong.
A word of caution regarding electronic receipts - one day after work I stopped at a local toy store to get a jump start on my holiday shopping list, and opted for an electronic receipt. By the time I got home, my nosy 11-year-old had already looked through my email on my tablet and was able to recite each toy I had purchased and asked for whom the gift was intended. Mental note taken, it is time to either change the password on my home email or set up a separate email account for electronic receipts to avoid the inevitable digital snooping.