When I get free time, from work and from my assignments, I like to spend it completely offline. While I do keep some tabs in my Firefox browser open while I surf the Internet, after a certain time I close them all. In fact, I relish when I don't have to check my email and when I don't have to be available. Are you going to spend any time offline this holiday season?
While I do carry a cell phone, when it comes time for the holiday season, I like to be less available. I check my emails less frequently and don't really log into Facebook. It makes life simpler and lets you concentrate on what's important.
If your work involves technology in some facet, as a designer, as an IT worker, or as a writer, emails usually mean that you've got more work to do, so it's a welcome respite to be unavailable for a while. During the working week, it's almost impossible for me to do so, but on weekends and when I have complete days off, I like to switch off.
Eschewing tech this weekend will give you the opportunity to spend time with your family and relax. Hopefully, you're already doing this. If you are going to be hosting family, you might want to consider enforcing a no cell phone or smartphone rule at the dinner table.
You could also ask your dinner guests to check their cell phones at the door, but ultimately, the way that people have integrated smartphone technology into their daily life, depriving someone of their mobile seems to be a faux-pas, even though it's meant with the best intentions.
Forcing your guests and family to switch off their cell phones by using a digital signal jammer is a bit extreme. This was mentioned by a reader on Sonia's post, and I have to say that I had thought about using something like this as well. From the dinner parties we have had, cell phones have never been a problem. For some people, at family gatherings, using a smartphone is a welcome respite and a way of escaping when they are getting bored.
All in all, we wish you the best over the coming holidays and hope that you spend a grand old time with your family and friends.