Letters to Santa have taken a technological turn

Technology has revolutionized University of Arizona students’ holiday wishlists.

Grace DeJong, El Inde Arizona

Everyone remembers writing letters to Santa and their parents, listing the gifts and toys
they wanted most. Ask around today, and you’ll find that very few Christmas lists are created by pen and paper.

Thanks to the share-ability of most apps and documents, people can send the exact items
they’re hoping to find under the tree from their family members and friends with a click of a

With her four older siblings spread out across Arizona, Reagan James turned to Google
Slides for an organized method that ensures her family members will purchase gifts she actually

“I send the Slides presentation to my family in mid-November, giving my mom
ownership, so I can’t see what gifts my family members are going to get me,” said James, a
junior at UA.

Her Slides presentation has not only a festive, Christmas theme but also gifts categorized
by price and ordered by most to least preferred. Stocking stuffer and gift card ideas round out the

“When one of my family members buys an item, they delete that gift’s slide, that way
none of my family accidentally buys me the same thing,” said James.

Over the past few years that she’s shared her Slides presentation, James says she has
received exactly what she has wanted.

Kirk uses colors to show her preferences for the gifts on her list.

Delaney Kirk prefers a hyper-linked Google Doc to share with her friends and family.

“I make a key at the top of the document with different colors that represent how much I
want each thing,” said Kirk adding, “One color is ‘I really want this,’ and another color is ‘I like

Kirk, a UA freshman, puts down details, including size and color, next to the color-coded
links to each item.

Simple apps, like Notes, programmed into Apple devices can act as an organizational
strategy for holiday wishlists.

Keeping his list at his fingertips, UA sophomore Colin Dempsey creates a Note on his phone with a bulleted check-list. The list is split into two sections, items and clothing.

“My parents are both accountants and they like when things are straight to the point, especially during the busy holiday season,” said Dempsey.

Dempsey waits till his list is complete and both of his parents are in a good mood to share
his Note, making it collaborative.

Dempsey uses a simple Note for his wishlist, adding check boxes for additional organization.

And then there’s Rosa DaSilva, who prefers old school. She finds more ease in jotting down gift ideas on notebook paper than creating a document or presentation.

As a senior, DaSilva spends enough time on her computer and phone doing schoolwork.

“When it comes to anything extra, it’s very convenient to just keep a piece of paper in my
bag and quickly scribble it down when something I want comes to mind,” she said.

To get her list to her family at home in Colorado, DaSilva takes a quick photo of her
list and texts it to her mom and siblings.

El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.

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