Sunday, December 04, 2011

A Computer: The Perfect Holiday Gift

'Tis the holiday season and there are decisions, decisions, decisions. The choices are limitless--teddy bears, game systems, bicycles, books, educational toys, toiletries, gift cards, travel and the list goes on. At the top of my list is a computer--preferably a laptop. If you have a computer and an internet connection, then with the click of a finger you can do just about anything at the fraction of the cost. And then, you can explore what to do next.

I am a lover of zoos, and mind you there is nothing like the real thing. But the next best thing is an hour at the online San Diego Zoo. I can actually watch Yun Zi and Gao Gao, the great pandas, live on the Panda Cam. Another favorite is the Honolu Zoo featuring an entire page of exciting zoo video shorts.

Online museums are another example of the ability of a computer to bring excitement, history, and relevence into our lives daily and at our convenience. My personal favorite is the online Smithsonian Institute--there is just so much at this site.

Looking for fun and games--there is plenty of that as well. I have a special liking for sites that combine fun with learning. Sites such as GameGoo, Who Wants to Win $1,000,000, and Puzzle Pixies provide hours of learning and fun. Nixing the educational slant and going fullblast fun, sites such as and Yahoo Games provide plenty of entertainment. Another favorite place is You Tube--I have sat at my computer for hours watching old videos of Nat King Cole, Elvis, Sam Cook and others who died before I was talking. There are also the old Saturday Night Live clips. Of course, young folks will enjoy the likes of Justin Bieber and Beyonce.

Let us not forget the world of shopping. Its a great place to get deals and research items that you are thinking about purchasing in a brick and mortor establishment. I'm an avid and eBay Shopper, but the traditional retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target , Bloomingdales, FAO Schwarz and many more have an online presence as well.

The one thing the computer doesn't do is get you out in the fresh air and moving those body parts so by all means buy those bicycles and visit some of the places discussed but a computer certainly worth considering as a holiday purchase.

Lastly, if you're going to be online then do it safely. The FBI's "A Parent Guide to Interent Safety" provides tips on keeping you and all your loved ones safe with this wonderful toy.