Presently taking the easy online option

I AM sorely tempted to let my fingers do the walking when it comes to buying Christmas presents this year.

The spending splurge has not even started yet for me but my feet are already aching at the thought of a new study which suggests that bargain hunters will be walking 30 miles shopping in the run up to Christmas.

And while doing this they will wait an hour and a half on average in queues.

Eight out of 10 women find shopping trips an enjoyable day out. But this figure drops to little more than four out of 10 when it comes to men.

The saviour to all this is the internet. Men, it seems, are getting out of traipsing around the stores by becoming the new aficionados of online shopping.

Talking about new technology, I was surprised to read a new claim that older generations are more tech savvy than the youth.

It is hard to believe, what with youngsters these days having computers before they can walk, but 72 per cent of over 55s claim they understand basic internet jargon compared to only 61 per cent of young people.

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We are talking here about terms such as bandwidth, wi-fi, cursor, router and download. Please don’t ask me to explain them. I would have to get one of my children to do that.

But more than a fifth of those aged over 55 say they have taken lessons on how to use the internet. This compares to only eight per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds.

And that could explain why seven times as many younger people than older ones have attempted to use their normal screen as a touch screen. Even I know that won’t work.

The Scrooges in society may be considering an unusual way out getting out of buying any Christmas presents by avoiding the festive season altogether.

It used to be that everyone wanted to be home at Yuletide – just about everything was shut down on Christmas Day except pubs which men could escape to for just two hours on the 25th - but now I learn that there is small band of anti-social types who deliberately miss the holiday.

They do it by taking a long-haul flight on Christmas Eve. The distance travelled and differing time zones mean they do not arrive at their destination until Boxing Day.

These people, who must hate pulling crackers and opening presents, have been dubbed “carol wingers” because they take flight from carols and all things linked to Christmas.

If you really wanted to get away from it all, you could try Mars but even there you may find a touch of home.

The Mars rover Opportunity which has been trundling around on the red planet for nearly eight years looking for signs of life has come across slivers of a bright material.

It looks very much like gypsum which is used to make plasterboard. So, who knows, perhaps Martians long ago had little boxes to live in just like we do now on Earth.