By Lee Scott
It warms the heart to start the holiday season with cooking and decorating and welcoming company. This season, I have started a new holiday tradition that can actually extend throughout the year. It is setting up a charging station. Because, if you are like me, your family and friends walked in the house and immediately started to seek out the nearest electrical outlet to charge their electronic gadgets. Yes, out came the iPhones, the iPads, the Kindles, the Leapfrog pads, the PCs, the Macs and the Blackberry phones. It seemed like every family had multiple electronics that needed to be charged.
My charging station consists of a table in the corner of the living room covered with a colorful tablecloth. On it sits a 2 foot tall white metal tree that my mother used to hang decorative Easter eggs. There are several electric strips at the bottom of the tree and various chargers hanging on the tree limbs for people to use. Since it is in a central area, anyone can use it, they don’t have to run around the house figuring out where they need to plug in or where they plugged in.
When a neighbor saw my table, she sent her son over to charge his phone since he left his charger at the airport. The other positive thing about the charging station is that when it was dinner time, everyone put their devices at the charging station. The dining room was off limits. We could hear some buzzes and bings in the background during dinner, but everyone stayed at the table.
I discovered another new tradition too. In addition to the fresh linens in the guest rooms, I write out the wireless code for our Internet on an index card and place it on their pillows.
Let’s face it, there are definite advantages for having everyone charged and connected. While we were watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade someone asked, “What year did the parade originate?” Three people accessed the Internet and provided all the information we ever wanted to know about the parade. (1924, in case you wanted to know.) We were able to connect with out-of-town family members through Skype and FaceTime; and when I wanted to watch “The Grinch who stole Christmas,” someone downloaded it on their iPad.
So my suggestion is to get prepared for the onslaught of devices and chargers this holiday and set up a charging station. You might consider purchasing one of those solar powered charging stations. Or, better yet, ask Santa to bring one for you.