The Family Fool
December 17, 1997

The Principal's Podium

With barely a week before Christmas, most people I know are abandoning their quest for thoughtful gifts and beginning the panic-shopping. But not the Fool's LAN Barbarian, Max Keeler (TMF Conan). (If you're related to Max, please avert your eyes until paragraph two.) Last Sunday he purchased family tree research software for his grandma, a Dremel tool for grandpa, a pipe for dad, FoolMart goods for mom, and a Java compiler for his brother. In our daily Fool HQ newsletter, Max giddily recounted this shopping expedition, which took him just 30 minutes to complete online.

Shoppers like Max are heading to the virtual mall in droves this holiday season. Sure, traditionalists argue, you can't feel whether the Pleather (tm) wallet really is as supple as calfskin, or make sure the Chia head is proportionally compatible with the other Chia body parts in Uncle Keith's collection. But heck, everything's wrapped, packed, and ready to go in the time it would take you to park the car.

This week in the Family Fool we offer our Foolish Gift Guide, Part 2, which serves up some ideas for high-tech gifts, many of which can be purchased online. Check out the money-related software for big and little Fools and the gadgets that caught our eye. We also look at ways to protect yourself against bad cyber-buys with our 10 Foolish Cyber-Shopping Tips.

And finally, I'd like to take a moment to mention our Fool Charity Fund drive, which happens to be the first online group giving effort in Internet history. Take a moment to read about this great cause if you haven't already. And remember, the holidays aren't just about giving to those we love, but to those in need, too.

Dayana Yochim
TMF School