It seems a bit odd to be posting on Christmas eve, but wanted to share my gratitude for something that often gets short shrift in the holiday season-the Internet.
For me, the Internet has saved Christmas from remaining the overwrought, overstated, hyper-commercialized nightmare it had been for decades.
Because of the Internet, I don't have to shop in retail stores and thus completely avoid holiday crowds of harried parents and screaming children.
Instead, I can find the best gifts for the people I care about based upon what I think they want, rather than what's available and hasn't already been snatched up.
Even better, since I order things online rather than shopping in stores, I don't have to listen to crappy holiday music for months before the actual holiday.
With iTunes I can listen to "Holly Jolly Christmas" exactly once, which is the number of times I want to hear it each year. And I can avoid "Jingle Bell Rock" entirely.
Because of the Internet, I can watch television without commercials, which means that I don't have to suffer through an endless stream of holiday-themed ads.
Because of the Internet, my relatives were easily able to pick gifts for my kids that they'll really enjoy and my kids will text them back a thank-you note on Christmas day.
Facetime and Skype let me have conversations with the relatives I care about who are scattered around the country, without worrying about long distance charges.
When I get together with relatives who live in the general area, I now have the option of using my phone to entertain myself.
I'm no longer trapped watching a sporting event that doesn't interest me or listening to some tedious conversation about people I've never met.
Because of the Internet, I also know I'll get at least one gift that I really want for Christmas because I sent my wife the URL, and vice-versa.
And I'll be enjoying myself the day after Christmas because my friends and I used the Internet to coordinate schedules and purchase tickets for a group screening of Star Wars.
In short, for me the Internet has removed 90% of the hassle of the holidays and turned ti back into something I can enjoy at my leisure rather than have crammed down my throat.
Because of the Internet, Christmas once again seems special to me, much like it did when I was a kid, and for that I'm truly grateful.