Innovative gifts that can be ordered on the Internet can help to avoid shopping and dropping from the stress of loud, crowded stores. Plus, Web 2.0 presents can be tailored to individuals' tastes. Here's an assortment of some of the brightest gift ideas from Webware's writers.
This collection of gifts for Internet addicts, such as goodies for Second Life avatars or a year's worth of Web hosting, can enrich both virtual and offline worlds. These 20 sites crank out customized T-shirts, so friends and family can wear your heart on their chests. Feeling crafty? Etsy's online merchants hawk one-of-a-kind items from far-flung artists.
Still not sure who wants what? Online gift registries aren't just for weddings and baby showers. GiftGirl and various "shopcasting" services display the presents that people have already picked out themselves. The only catch is getting giftees to sign up and fess up to their true desires.
Generosity, no object
Who wants to unwrap another Santa robot or snow globe and then decide where to hide it for the next 11 months? For those who wish to unclutter the season, these paperless presents include a year of free movies, spa certificates, and donations for do-gooders. Software gifts can also unstuff those stockings.
For those who live in the material world but wish to lessen their footprint on it, CNET's green gift guide offers high-tech, low-carbon novelties. It's out with the old gadgets, in with the new--but how will you make room to stash the new gear? These sites ask for your tired electronics, recycle them responsibly, and pay you tidy sums for them.
Coping with the end-of-year assembly of cousins and in-laws can be stressful. Seven Web 2.0 ways the family can play should keep people focused on fun instead of bickering over how to baste the turkey. And UStream videos can put families face to face with loved ones serving abroad in the military.
So, you promised to buy everyone drinks if they flew into town this year? With your friends together again, these gift cards for bars hold you to your word.
(See also: CNET gift guide 2007)