Stop blaming the tech Grinch for killing Christmas

Techmas is here!
Techmas is here!

At a given point during Christmas I can guarantee you that I will get a nudge from my wife and a glare for playing on my phone when I should be engaging with my in-laws; it's as inevitable as Santa Claus, dreadful Christmas specials on the TV and the lack of batteries.

But over the past couple of years the nudge has become less forceful and the glare less ferocious, and that's because the chances are that at least a couple of other people in the household will be doing exactly the same.

For every person bemoaning the loss of family time, another is finding ways that technology can make Christmas even better. An example? My wife's best friend is in Canada for Christmas, and rather than a forlorn card she will Facetime instead.

Because all this tech has been around for a while now and all the evidence is that Santa still comes, families still get on and argue in exactly the same percentage of old, televisions still gets watched together (if not necessarily live) and there's still a place for the post Christmas dinner boardgame, I think it's time to retire the hoary old 'tech kills family Christmas' cliche once and for all.

The fears that we'll all spend the entire festive time glued to our tech have been assuaged for most level headed people by the realisation that, yes we'll spend a fair bit of time checking our phones and tablets, but that there's no reason that this spells the death of sociability.

Wiki cracker

We might be a bit more inclined to check the spurious Christmas Cracker facts on Wikipedia rather than blithely repeat them for the next 12 months, and we might well be more inclined to time-shift the Christmas specials, because we seem to have got to grips with this technology lark.

It used to be just the kids who spent Christmas demanding time on the new games machine, but these days we can all crack out the old guitar peripheral, dusty old microphone or just get our groove on in front of our swanky new Kinect or Eye.

Just a few years ago there were arguments breaking out across the globe as to who got to watch what in the post-Christmas meal slump, but with the arrival of time-shift telly, DVRs and on-demand, as well being able to catch-up on your tablet or phone, we're all a bit more relaxed about whether it's Dr Who or the Queen's speech.

All-in-all, chestnuts are still roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost may well still be nipping at our collective nose, but it's tablets and phones, our TVs, consoles and laptops providing the warm glow at Christmas - and I, for one, am quite happy with that.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.