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Articles: Stay Connected this Christmas

“There comes a time at Christmas,
And I really have to ask…
If this is feeling merry,
How much longer must it last?”

The above is the first verse of my favorite Christmas song by Blues Traveler, simply called “Christmas.” It’s a poignant tune that at once explores the joy and sorrow at Christmas time. It considers the many traditions celebrated at this time of year, and its subtext speaks to the ironic quarrels over trivial things, like the recent outrage over the color and design of Starbucks cups.

Seriously people?

Regardless, the song has a very clear message:

“If it’s Hannukah or Quanza,
Solstice, Harvest, or December 25th,
Peace on Earth to everyone,
And abundance to everyone you’re with.”

Those lines always bring tears to my eyes, no matter how many times I replay the song over and over. Yuletide is a time that carries high emotions for many, and they aren’t always joyous ones. While some are celebrating the glorious birth of the Son, others are celebrating the rebirth of the sun. While some are celebrating the rededication of the temple, others are celebrating family, friends, and culture. While these folks are celebrating something meaningful in their lives and beliefs, other aren’t celebrating at all. They’re mourning the loss of a loved one. They’re drowning in their own loneliness and despair.

Bottom line, the holidays can be joyous, complete with wishes of peace and goodwill, but they can also be a staggering lonely time for those who will spend the holidays alone or away from family. Like too many this year, I won’t be home for Christmas.

Each jaunty holiday tune on the radio reminds me of what I’ll be missing this holiday season. No presents under the tree. No magnificent Christmas feast. No kissing under the mistletoe. No 24-hr marathon of The Christmas Story. No retelling of old tales and sentimentality of times long past.

Nope. Not this year.

Even though I won’t be present for the presents or chugging chocolate martinis, I am not sad. Not really. Because even though I’m miles away from my family in Texas, thanks to Apple and the Internet, I will still be able to share in festive family fun from afar.

Facetime will allow me to watch my nephews open gifts and participate in the joy of their discovery. I will get to laugh with them and share my love with them. What was only a dream even a decade ago now is not only possible, it’s common.

People video chat across the miles to keep in touch with family, for work meetings, to prosper in long-distance relationships. Things like Facetime and Skype have given us the ability to talk to each other for free. Long gone are the days of long distance bills and cutting conversations short to save money. Now there are lots of ways to talk to each other for free (or at least for no extra money than your normal internet bill). See your loved ones through apps like Facetime, which comes included with every OSX and iOS device.

Other apps like Google Voice and Talkatone, to name just two, enable us to have a phone number that works over the internet. You can even use that internationally! Your friends call a local number from their phone, and you can answer it in Italy or France. Just as long as you have access to WiFi. All for free.

Lucky for you, PowerMax has loads of used iPads and iPhones, not to mention computers, on which you can connect with your loved ones this holiday season. Treat yourself to a special yuletide treat with a new iOS device or computer, because you deserve to pamper yourself. Plus, you can revel in the holiday joy and laughter of children through the magic of Facetime, and then you can turn it off and enjoy a glass of Chianti in the sweet silence that follows.

The next time someone on your Facebook Feed is complaining about how Starbucks is erasing Christ from Christmas because they don’t have snowflakes or Christmas trees or wreaths on their cup design this year (side note: the Christmas tree and holiday wreath are both actually pagan symbols for the Solstice, as is the Yule Log and Holly), remind yourself of Blues Traveler’s wise words:

“If it’s Hannukah or Quanza,
Solstice, Harvest, or December 25th,
Peace on Earth to everyone,
And abundance to everyone you’re with.”

May you all find peace.



ChristineChristine is a Technical Support Specialist and Content Writer for PowerMax. Follow her articles as she posts great Tech Tips, helping you get the most of your Mac apps as well as write about some common technical issues and how to fix them. Find what you’re looking for in the categories on the right.

If you have a tech question or issue, please don’t hesitate to contact Christine for help.

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