The Holiday Season / Christmas Past
It's December 1985. The air is filled with the scent of freshly baked cookies and pine from your Christmas tree. A crackling fire pops across the room. You're flipping through a thick Sears catalog, circling potential gifts, and writing down addresses for holiday cards. “A Christmas Story” plays by VHS on your TV. Later today you’ll head to the local shopping mall to buy the gifts you circled in the catalog. Fingers crossed everything is still in stock…especially that Teddy Ruxpin your daughter has been begging you to buy.
Later, you wait in line with your spouse and your growing cart full of gifts for friends and family. You take several days off work before your daughter is out of school to complete your holiday shopping. Thank goodness you saved a couple of vacation days. After you wrap all the presents, you’ll head to the post office to ship some to your out-of-town relatives. Your list seems never-ending, but you’re thankful for the time with friends and family.
Reflecting on this 1985 holiday scene, we realize how much has changed. Back then, the holiday season was a nostalgic blend of stress and magic. Today, while our love for connecting with family and the joy of gift-giving remains the same, the way we manage holiday tasks has evolved drastically. Thanks to automation, the hectic holidays of the past, like in 1985, differ significantly from our current experiences.
The Modern-Day Holiday Season / Christmas Present
Fast forward to today, and automation is more integrated into our holiday routines than you might realize. Let’s unwrap how technology has redefined our yuletide experiences:
Enhancing Home Life During the Holidays
- 10. Automated Lighting: Your head hits the pillow, and your spouse reminds you that the outdoor Christmas lights are still on. Who will brave the cold to go turn them off? Now, with a simple voice command or a tap on a smartphone, that's a thing of the past. Since we’re decorating for the holidays earlier than ever, automation and lower-energy LED lights will save energy and even a little off your electric bill.
- 9. Smart Cooking Appliances & Apps: The kitchen, once strewn with timers and recipe cards, is now a haven of efficiency. With smart ovens, temperatures automatically adjust, and your most common cooking routines are saved right in the oven. The mac and cheese comes out perfection. Create a waste-free meal with only the ingredients you have on hand with AI-assisted recipe apps.
- 8. Voice-activated Assistants: These handy devices not only play your favorite holiday tunes but also settle those inevitable debates with creepy Uncle Ned about the best Christmas movie ever made (it's “Die Hard,” right?).
Family Time and Organization
- 7. Scheduling Made Simple: Coordinating family get-togethers and potluck dinners is no longer a logistical nightmare, thanks to digital calendars, and event planning apps with automated reminders. Yes, even your forgetful brother can be reminded to bring the cranberry sauce to the holiday dinner.
Travel Without the Hassle
- 6. Self-Driving Features: Most new cars today come equipped with features that make holiday journeys less stressful – think adaptive cruise control, automated navigation systems, and even self-driving mode. These driver-assisted technologies can reduce the likelihood of an incident on your way to grandma’s house.
Gift-Giving in the Digital Age
- 5. Secret Santa Goes Online: Gift exchanges are now effortlessly managed through apps like Elfster. Draw names and share wish lists without the need for a physical hat. You and your friends relax and show up to the secret Santa exchange with the perfect gift in hand.
- 4. AI-Driven Gift Recommendations: Generative AI (helps select a gift for even the hardest to buy person, saving you from the guesswork and the last-minute mall rush. Just prompt the GenAI engine with some characteristics about your recipient, and bam! You’ve got the perfect gift.
- 3. E-Gift Cards: The fallback for all of us procrastinators – bought and sent in seconds. Now delivered via automated email on your date of choice.
- 2. Automated Shipping: Online shopping for all your holiday gifts? With automated shipping, packages are shipped and delivered more quickly than ever. Even small businesses can now take advantage of automated shipping systems that take their local operations across the pond. Compare that to our 1985 example. Imagine the time you’ve saved just in this holiday season.
- 1. RPA (Robotic Process Automation) Scripts Improve Work Life: There’s no denying the time automated scripts give back to employees during the holidays. This time of year, many of us take time off, and being able to rely on a bot to deliver an accurate report to the right person on time is something we never take for granted. That’s valuable time back that you might save for online shopping! 🤫
Confession time! It’s incredibly easy to take these holiday helpers for granted. Automated technologies have become so woven into our lives that we hardly give them a second thought. For us though, the benefit is the quality time we’re able to spend. Whether that time is spent with family, or focusing on some self-care, the holidays are made better by embracing these technologies.
The Holiday Season of the Future / Christmas Future
Peeking into the future, the holidays could become even more wondrous with emerging technologies. Here are a few we’re watching.
Smart, Self-Decorating Homes: The future brings homes that decorate themselves for the holidays. With a simple voice command or a pre-set schedule, your walls and rooms transform with automated decorations, perfectly placed and tailored to your aesthetic preferences. No more climbing ladders or untangling lights; your home knows exactly how to dress itself up for the festive season.
Intelligent Transportation Systems for Safe Travel: Your future holiday travel will be revolutionized by fully autonomous vehicles, integrated with city-wide traffic and weather management systems. Your vehicle will communicate with the vehicles near you and the city's infrastructure to perfect your travel route, reduce congestion, and ensure safety.
Eco-Friendly Holiday Automation: Here’s where automation extends to sustainability, with systems designed to minimize the environmental impact of the holidays. Imagine an energy management system that actively manages and reduces energy consumption. After all the gift-giving is complete, picture a smart recycling robot that aids in the eco-friendly disposal of all the trimmings and trappings.
As we hang up our stockings by the chimney with care, it's clear that automation has and will continue to shape our holiday experiences. It’s not just about making life easier; it's about creating space for what truly matters - time with our loved ones. We can't know for sure what future holidays will hold, but centering automated technology around human experience is the best guide to ensure that the magic and joy of the holidays of years past (like our 1985 memory) remains intact. 🫂
Applying Automation to Business
As we journey through the holidays, you may wonder: what hidden opportunities for timesaving, cost-cutting, and stress-relieving could automation uncover in your business? At R-Path Automation, we're passionate about harnessing technology to make life – and business – easier, not just during the holidays but all year round.
Need a little holiday magic in your business processes? Contact us at R-Path Automation.