Change is the only constant thing – a line that makes us to think and ponder. With the gongs of the church bells and the chimes and jingles of Christmas festival getting louder, not to forget the soul-stirring carols, it’s time to experience the rush of excitement as we get set to ‘soak’ and ‘drench’ ourselves in the spirit of the many-century-old tradition that radiates warmth all over. Doesn’t the iconized Santa Claus festival reflect a global warming of a different kind? Hasn’t Christmas become a festival that has over centuries gained a global character? Or is it more apt to say that the December month festivity achieves newer tones and textures with each passing year? Like learning which has broken the confines of classrooms and blackboards and coming to terms with virtual realities, Christmas is an ‘indulgence’ that everyone voluntarily gives into to bask in the yuletide spirit that has become the hallmark of this world-wide popular festival.
Greetings, gifting, bonding, caring and all other aspects related to Christmas have undergone a sea of changes. A paradigm shift has taken place. From being faith-based, the festival has attained a secular fabric thanks to the era of liberalization, globalization, and digitization! It is no longer about haves and the have-nots. It is as if the celebrations have got a new octave that is as pronounced as it is inclusive. This post is an attempt to observe and take cognizance of the notable changes that are gaining visibility enough to make it relevant if not thought-provoking to the readers. Consider it a tribute from a learning organization to a celebration that ushers in a wave of grace, gratitude, gifting and much more.
Like the dynamic nature of learning we have surely noticed how a simple act of greeting one another during the festival has changed. Let us now explore key features and take a ‘stock’ of what changes in the current eco system continues to add special effects on Christmas, making it a merrier one each year.
For starters, time has become as centric to greeting and connecting as it is to learning! If in the bygone era, effort had to be taken to meet people (near and dear ones, colleagues, friends) to greet, then the landscape has changed to a digital phase of existence where the emphasis is to make connectivity effortless. Virtual has become real. Of course, there is an effort required to learn how to use and leverage technology! So, in a constantly changing technology-driven world, the immediacy factor comes to the fore as everything, including connectedness, is instant and borderless in a globalized world.
The link of relations, especially during festive seasons such as Christmas, is operated and maintained through electronic and technology networks. A wired world is at work. E-greetings have become the norm, so to say. For, it gives people a choice of expression with multiple characteristics. Instead of eagerly waiting to hear the steps and sounds to spot the snow-clad booted red and white Santa, today’s children are glued to smart phones and computer screens to book their ‘goodies’ online! Hmm… seems as if the picture and pose of Santa with a sack full of goodies is a thing of the past.
Who can forget those colorful boxed packages tied to decorated Christmas trees along with stockings and the relevance of the mistletoe? Well, there is a twist to gifting too with Amazon, Flipkart and the likes of them offering an array of gifts to spenders who have now variety in thought and action! The option of wire transfer through payment gateways is another interesting element that makes Christmas purposeful.
People peer through the digital ‘Window’ to find out newer and trendier ways of connecting with loved ones. What with the novel creative experiments with tools and technologies to greet innovatively! The ultimate goal is to leverage the latest digital technologies to make greeting messages powerful, colorful, and resplendent and as personalized or customized as can be. For those who choose to go paperless, it also is an opportunity to show care and concern for the environment. According to a practitioner, organizations and individuals tied to charitable causes only opt to send greeting cards to raise funds. Digital signatures and e-cards are what work.
Look at the transforming template of interaction. Gone are the days when people travelled miles and miles to be with loved ones despite inclement weather conditions and other hurdles. Face time is in. Words like user experience and embedded features are creating newer layers of socializing.
The feasting together, wining, dining and travelling have all taken a different spin. Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, LinkedIn, Viber and the seemingly endless list of applications available are adding different dimensions to the tradition. Chatting, texting, video conferencing, skyping, i-padding, and i-phoning are making the linking and syncing more easy, smart, and relevant. With the adoption of social media and the rapid digital strides being made, the network of relations is expanding enough to spread the cheer of Christmas to locations that were previously difficult to reach.
The pitch of celebration in Christmas is reaching a level that turns the focus to the inception of goodness in every thought and act. The flavor of celebration can only get better each year as Christmas is an annual tradition with an immortal soul. Versions will vary from time to time but the conversations will always revolve around the heady spirit and the magical body that the festival has come to symbolize!