It's been 295 years since the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians celebrated the first Thanksgiving feast in Salem, Massachusetts. That day’s agenda of gratitude and fellowship will never change. But in the smartphone era, new technology dovetails with old traditions. It's giving us new work-arounds for familiar holiday season hassles.
- The trip: over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go – but now we're equipped with GPS guidance and driving directions apps to keep us from getting lost or snarled in traffic.
- The entertainment: no more tug of war over the remote; a screen in every hand means a program for every taste.
- The meal: digital home cooking site Epicurious has a new app this season that houses a library of more than 35,000 recipes, plus cooking videos, including a series on Thanksgiving dishes that require exactly three ingredients. Leftovers become opportunities.
- Thinking of absent friends: video phone calls and posting pictures and videos have made "the next-best thing to being there" much better -- never out of sight means never out of mind.
- Next-day shopping frenzy: if you get a thrill from lining up at the door before dawn, go for it. Some of us prefer browsing the virtual aisles in a bathrobe and slippers.
- The flip side of impulse buying: is impulse giving. A good deed in keeping with the season is just a tap or three away.