Living in the country has taught me at least one thing. City folks often prefer to go far out of their way to shop in a city. As I have been living in the country for the past couple of decades now, my family does not have access to local shops commonly found in the city. We have become accustomed to online shopping for speciality items.

Shopping online does require you to have a credit card, or at the least a Paypal account hooked up to your bank account. In the case of a credit card, you don't even need a real "credit" card per se. You can get pre-paid or secured cards in which you can fund as needed and you never owe. Aside from this inconvenience and the fact that everything has to physically be shipped (and therefore you must wait!), online shopping has much to offer.

Many may prefer to do much of their shopping in person. The entire experience of shopping during the holidays does contain charm after all. Beyond that though and we have many stresses to deal with :

* Traffic
* Crowds
* Winter road conditions (in some places)
* Competition for shelf stock
* Line ups
* Commission Sales employees (in some cases)

Typically a mixture of online and offline shopping should make for a balanced result. Supporting your local shops is important after all. However, it's not always possible to find what you're looking for locally and the Internet is quite the candy store by comparison.

Taking this a step further, what if you were to purchase Digital gifts? The kind that can be downloaded instantly, or on Christmas day for example. Suddenly there is no shipping involved. No packaging required. Costs are reduced. The instant gratification of a download removes much of the waiting for physical products to arrive.

There are many forms of digital gifts available online. Video games, music, e-books and pdfs, courses, membership sites, software, videos and much more. When trying to find that special something for a loved one, you'll be presented with an overload of options online. An interesting option for (older) kids is to provide them with pre-paid credit cards and allow them more direct access to these offerings. The modern day equivalent to a gift-certificate.

The Internet is changing the world in many ways and being able to find, purchase and download digital gifts online is changing Christmas. It's taking at least some of the challenges of the holiday and reducing them. Having more time and energy during Christmas is quite interesting to some.