While it's always nice to unwrap a present, it's the thought that counts. You can run to a store on Christmas Eve like you usually do, but the truth is that a lot of people will be just as happy to wake up on Christmas morning to virtual presents on their consoles, smart phones and computers.
That's right. All you need to play Santa these days is a credit card and a few minutes online.
For the Apple Aficionado - If you go onto the iTunes Store there's a link on the right navigation bar titled "Buy iTunes Gifts." You can give e-mail gift certificates, print out your own gift certificates to stuff into cards, or give specific gifts - music, movies, games, TV shows and books - that you think a person would enjoy. Be creative - you can give the teenage girl in your life the complete Twilight saga in ebook form, as well as the movies, or a complete discography to a family member of their new favourite band. You can even download a whole season of their favourite television shows. And you can give a gift that keeps on giving by setting up an allowance account that will dole out cash every month through the rest of the year.
Two of the Apps I've enjoyed lately and recommend picking up or giving are:
Infinity Blade - At $6, this is probably my favourite iPod/iPhone game so far. You play a knight attacking a god in his fortress, dueling his minions as you go while leveling up your character, armour and weapons. You're not meant to win, but to get as far as you can before you die - then come back 20 years later as the son of the previous character with all his fathers' weapons and experience. The controls are amazing, and without question this is the best-looking - as well as the fastest selling game - in Apple App history.
TuneIn Radio - If you've got decent WiFi at home and a good iPod/iPhone dock, this App is a must have for $2. You can browse through literally thousands of radio stations and bookmark your favourites for easy access. My list includes CBC Radio 3, CBC Radio 1, 3WK Underground Radio, BBC 1, BBC xTra, Indie 103.1 - the list is long and getting longer as I explore.
For the PC Primo - If the PC lover in your life is a gamer, then consider buying credits at Steam (http://store.steampowered.com), Good Old Games (www.gog.com), or Games for Windows (www.gamesforwindows.com). You could also spring for a year of EVE Online (www.eveonline.com) or Warcraft (www.blizzard.com).