After enjoying time catching up with family, watching football and eating too much food on Thanksgiving, many Americans like to work on their Christmas lists in preparation for Black Friday. With the annual ritual of finding the best deals on the hottest holiday gifts, many often neglect one of the more beneficial gifts we have in this modern world of ours – Innovation.

Innovation continues to provide us all with better stuff at lower prices, making people’s Christmas mornings all the better for it. But, can we measure exactly how much bang for our holiday buck we are getting compared to years past?

One way to do it is to look at Black Friday sales from the past. Thankfully, the internet has archived Black Friday sales flyers going back to 2004, saving one author many trips to the library. Comparing a sampling of the most prominently featured sales items from Best Buy, Kmart and Target flyers in 2009 to the listed price online today, we see significant decreases in price with significant upgrades in quality.

Here are some of the items in 2009 along with their cost:

●Samsung 46-inch 1080P TV – $1599
●Sony Blu-ray Disk Play – $149
●500 GB portable hard drive – $80
●Sony Handycam – $250
●Portable DVD player 7 inch – $50
●32 GB iPod touch – $300

●Total Cost – $2428

Getting all these items certainly would have been quite a haul in 2009. But, what would the same items cost in 2019?

Comparing items across time can be difficult, especially with technology. For example, the smallest sized screen for a portable DVD player on was 9 inches compared to the 7 inches offered in 2009. Likewise, the video quality of Sony’s Handycam and Samsung’s TV have significantly increased. Nevertheless, if you wanted similar items for this Christmas, here is what they would cost today.

●Samsung 50- inch Smart TV 4 k – $280
●Sony Blu Ray Disk Play – $68
●500 GB portable hard drive – $50
●Sony Handycam – $200
●Portable DVD player 9 inch – $66
●32 Gb iPod touch – $150

● Total Cost – $814

The 2019 versions of these products cost only 1/3 of the price they did in 2009, and that doesn’t even account for increased quality or inflation. What a difference 10 years can make in terms of shrinking family Christmas budgets!

Of course, these changes in price don’t even account for new devices on the market. What people had on their Christmas list in 2009 was dramatically different from what they have in 2019.

For example, 2009 was the dawning of the smartphone era, with the iPhone 3G competing with Blackberries and slide phones which were also popular at the time. Today’s smartphones have combined many of the devices from our 2009 bundle on a single device that fits in our pocket.

Let’s take a look at just a few of the items they combined.
●Garmin 205 GPS – $99
●Insignia digital camera – $50
●Sony Handycam – $250
●Portable DVD player – $50
●3.5-inch pocket TV – $80
●32 GB iPod touch – $300

●Total Cost – $829

Today’s standard iPhone 11 costs only $699, a savings of $130 to have all these devices in your pocket! Of course, this doesn’t even consider the fact that the iPhone can make phone calls, surf the web and use apps like Netflix and Disney+. Factoring these features in makes today’s smartphones look like an even better deal.

As innovators continue to create new technologies, as well as improve and lower the costs of existing ones, consumers are seeing massive benefits. Christmas shopping is just one instance where these benefits are clear and comparable.

So, as you use whatever device to make your list and check it twice during the Thanksgiving holiday, say thanks to all the innovators who constantly strive to bring you better quality at a lower price. Your Christmas budget is thankful for it.