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By Jim Gerland and Mark Winer

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Let your fingers do the shopping
November 25, 1995

Well its November 24th, the day after Thanksgiving and the first official shopping day for the 1995 holiday season. After all the turkey we ate yesterday, we can't imagine getting into our vehicles and fighting with the crowds to make our holiday purchases. Unlike the previous years we're not totally unprepared, we've actually made our holiday lists - now it's just a matter of getting the gifts. Amanda is into Barbie dolls, Jim really needs a new laptop computer case, we told Eliot who lives in Las Vegas that we would fly him in for the holidays, and of course Michelle always loves those holiday chocolates. Also, unlike years past we have the Internet to help us out with our shopping. We're out of bed with coffee in hand ready to begin the shopping craze that has all of us stressed out.

First of all, we need to get Eliot and those plane tickets taken care of before all the flights are booked up. A quick jump to American Airlines at (http://www.amrcorp.com/) puts us in front of the registration desk. All we need to do is put in the date of the flight, departure and arrival cities to get all the available flight schedules complete with flight numbers, stops, meal information, plane type (Eliot hates to fly on small planes), and we'll make sure the movie is a good one. One simple call to the American Airline 1-800 number and we're done. Now we'll have to focus on the shopping. Didn't we see the Barbie Doll collection at JC Penney (http://www.jcpenney.com/)? Yep, there it is, she'll love the Cut 'N Style Barbie, and price doesn't seem bad. Not that we waste time window shopping, but what was that over in the boy's department? Great!! The Apex One NFL Hooded Jacket for Matthew. All his friends have one and it'll make a great gift. We don't want to disconnect our Internet connection to call the JC Penney 1-800 number, so we'll write it down and make the call after we get done shopping.

Next on the list are Jim and Judi. Jim has been using that old computer briefcase for years, L.L. Bean (http://www.llbean.com/) has a great Black Sportsman Computer Briefcase. There's also a selection of monograms, the diamond style looks like Jim's taste. On the way we noticed the Norwegian Sweaters, but none of the colors really stand out. But wait, there's the slippers that Judi was talking about. Another 1-800 number to note or print out an order form, fill it out, and send it in.

We seem to be making pretty good progress: the Sharper Image (http://www.sharperimage.com/tsi/) has an interesting collection of gifts including gift certificates. We'll remember this in case we end up a gift short with no time left. Also the Sharper Image site has the capability for us to order electronically through the Internet.

For Michelle it's chocolates and flowers. We'll just step into Godiva Chocolate (http://www.godiva.com/) for a moment to see what's on the shelf. The holiday truffle assortment looks perfect. Godiva also offers customers the ability to order by way of an electronic form that is sent directly to them over the Internet. We'll note the 1-800 phone number as we look for flowers. Around the corner is FTD Online (http://www.internet.net/), once at this address we scroll down a bit to the specialty stores and click on FTD Direct. There's no doubt about the gift - it's long stemmed roses all the way. After ordering we can come back to check the status of our order in the status area.

If you don't have a shopping list take a look at the Warner Bros. Studio Store (http://www.studiostores.warnerbros.com/). Here you'll find great ideas for all your family and friends. We ordered a Bugs Velvet Vest for Robin and Jennifer. They really love all the different characters. There was a great denim jacket and the characters looked cool on the back. Maybe we'll use some of our holiday money to pick this up after the new year.

It looks like Ron and Sharon are the only two left on the list now. A couple of clicks and we're standing in front of the Spiegel (http://www.spiegel.com) site. The polo shirts look great for Ron, we can't decide between all the colors, so we'll buy two. Sharon has been wanting a nice cashmere sweater so well take a look at the selection. They even have a mock turtleneck style, she'll love it. On our way out we noticed a Barbie Doll watch. We'll get this instead of the doll for Amanda, she'll have a lot more fun wearing this around.

Well look at how the time flies when your shopping. It's been an hour and we're ready for our second cup of coffee and danish. Hope you have as much fun shopping as we did, and if you're up to your neck in long lines at the counter, try out the Internet through your home or office phone line. Take care, we have a few 1-800 phone calls to make before lunch.

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