Christmas Thoughts

Christmas TreeWith Christmas fast approaching (I’m convinced that it’s now coming around every six months!), I’ve been thinking about what it could mean for some.

On a personal level, I’ve not been concerned about any gifts I may get since I was a child.  In all honesty, I have nothing that I need so much that I would want any of my family to spend their much needed money on for my sake.  In fact, I usually become very uncooperative at Christmas time and near my birthday.  Of course, being human, there are things I would quite like to have, but I’m generally not going to divulge what they might be except under intense pressure.  This year, I’ve bowed to such pressure, but only after trying to find a sensible option.  That’s why I’ve informed my wife that I would be happy with a Kobo Mini eReader.  In truth, having looked at various such devices, I like the sound of that one most.  I do not, however, expect to get one!

It crossed my mind that many families will find themselves scattered around the world this Christmas.  It would be some compensation if these families could make use of modern technology.  Using webcams and computers, and/or other devices, it is perfectly feasible to bring families together as never before.  Of course, it’s likely that some adjustment to times of things would need to be made, but that would only require some mutual compromises.  Imagine it, if you will.  A family sits down to Christmas dinner, with a reasonably large screen occupying one part of the arranged seating.  The screen displays views of other family members from other parts of the world, also sitting down to their Christmas dinners.  The same arrangement could then be extended into the post-dinner period, including some games.  Such a coming together would, in my view, be the true culmination of technology’s shrinking our world.  Never mind business or political conferences using similar techniques.  They are simply using tools for profit or power.  Put into the scattered families arena, then technology proves a true benefit to ordinary people, in something far more significant and meaningful.

While much of this post is very definitely “off topic”, let’s look at ebooks and how they might be a positive influence on Christmas.  Of course, there’s the obvious aspect, with various well loved Christmas books being available for reading on any eReader.  Another option exists, however.  A family member could create an ebook that covered the family’s activities since the last Christmas, complete with photos.  Also, any storyteller in the family could produce little ebooks where their children, or younger nephews, nieces and/or grandchildren are the central characters, including little photos or even drawings.  These would make very pleasing gifts for anybody with a device that’s able to handle the  ebooks.  With the right software, it would even be possible to create printed copies for those without eReaders.

On the question of ebooks as presents, you don’t have to give what amounts to a gift voucher.  You could create a Christmas card that includes a CD containing the ebook(s), or even a pen drive.  I think that these would be more suitable than the more impersonal options.  There’s absolutely no reason, after all, why a CD or pen drive shouldn’t be made to look attractive in itself.

One final thought.  Apart from the personalised ebooks, similar ideas could be employed to produce personalised audio books.

~ Steve

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About Steve

An author since the age of 13 years, writing again dominates my activities. My "Imagineer-ing" blog is my primary site. Also: Beginner knitter since November 2010. Favourite knitting techniques: cable and lace. Beginner cross stitcher. Beginner jewellery maker. With the promotion of self publication and all the other work that has been going on here, Dad decided around 2am this morning (22/11/2013) that it was time to begin his next adventure. He was seen off earlier the previous evening by myself, my brother, my sister in law, and my sister, as well as his wife (our mum), and an enigmatic being known only as A Lorraine. After this time of story telling, laughing, crying, joking and mickey taking, we saw how tired both mum and dad were, and we decided to leave them under the (sometimes) gentle care of The Lorraine. When Dad found the timetable for his travels, he let Mum know gently, which woke her from her drowsing, then, with the same gentleness he showed in this universe, he boarded his favourite mode of transport, the Interdimensional Steam Train, and set off with a smile and a wave. For those of us closest, that smile was a reminder that his pain has ended, and the wave, an indicator that he will pop in to all those that knew him, from time to time. Usually at the most inconvenient and in opportune moments he can. While we are sad that he is no longer here, we are happy he now has no pain, and is experiencing more extraordinary things that his writers mind will be frantically weaving into a new story. Posted by Son Damien

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