I had to abandon my initial version of this one - it turned into an entirely different rant than I'd expected and intended. Sometimes that happens, as my thoughts disappear down a rabbit hole.
'tis the season to go shopping, and as a consequence of this there has been a great deal of swapping of wish-lists. Because at this point most Christmas gift shopping now boils down to asking the person what they want, going on to Amazon, and buying that exact thing. Which isn't exactly the stuff great Christmas songs are made of, I'll grant you.
But there's a growing problem even with the Christmas list. We're increasingly moving towards a world where everything has become a digital download. Want a book? It's very likely you want it on Kindle. Want some music? That'll be MP3s, then; CDs are pretty much obsolete. Want a video-game? That'll be a "season pass" for a download. A movie? Well, we're not there yet, but we're not all that far away from DVDs and Blu-rays being a thing of the past. (Indeed, blu-rays were already yesterday's technology before they even came out. We just haven't caught up yet.)
All of which rather sucks for the whole "need something to unwrap" thing. Which isn't exactly ideal - and it's not going to change. In fact, I think we may be coming to a point where, beyond the age of ten or so, the giving of actual presents will just become a thing of the past. Which is a shame.
(As a consequence of this, one of my gifts this year is going to be a nice, shiny USB thumb drive - 32GB, if I recall correctly. Which isn't actually the gift at all, although it's a generally useful thing to have. But, instead, it's going to become a useful physical token which I can reuse as a gift at each Christmas and birthday - load it with the appropriate digital downloads, wrap it up, and there's at least something there to be handed over. Of course, it's still a bit of a cheat, but it's as close as I have to a solution.)