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This X-Mas will be the first time I’ll have to travel to be with my parents. I have always lived close to them, but now that I’ve moved to North Carolina, we have members of the family spread across the East Coast.

One thing we started doing these last 5 years was to shift from a everyone-buys-everyone-a-gift kind of X-Mas (very expensive if you have a lot of relatives), to a buy-something-simple-but-not-more-than-X-amount. This has cut down our expenses a whole lot, and we were able to really enjoy the holiday for what it is, and not the commercial behemoth that has become.

This year we are trying the Secret Santa approach. But how do we draw the names when we don’t live close to each other??? Easy: Secret Santa meets the 21st Century with Elfster! This free service will let you quickly organize and schedule your event online, and all participants get their secret santa’s names via email. There’s even a wishlist feature, so you can let people know what to get you. It amuzes me that my whole family is now connected through the internet! ;)

Speaking of gifts, X-Mas came early for me this year. My good friend Nathan Eckenrod surprised me the other day by upgrading me to a PRO Flickr account!


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