I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, had lots of incredible food, and spent a great deal of time with family and loved ones.

But it’s Christmastime now.

No holiday gets kicked to the curb quicker than Thanksgiving. Before you can polish off that drumstick, it’s Black Friday, the day we all turn into bargain-hunting scavengers. And were you aware that today is Cyber Monday, the day people return to work and purchase gifts online with their office’s high-speed connection? Soon, we’ll rename the 12 Days of Christmas to the 30 Days of Shopping and we’ll have a name for every day.

I wasn’t brave enough to venture out this year. Can’t deal with the long lines. Or the riots. So I stayed home.

But now there’s no putting it off. Soon, I will have to buy Christmas presents for my kids. My son will be easy; he’s only nine months old, so a few bright and shiny objects will make him happy.

My daughter? She’s a bit trickier. She wants everything. We were planning on getting her a motorized vehicle, but she wouldn’t be able to ride it until spring (plus, we could get it at least half the price of retail at a yard sale). She would love to have more princess stuff but she has enough gowns and crowns to outfit several royal families. Plus, that crap makes my wife and I gag. And don’t get me started on Dora.

That’s why we’re going the educational route this year. We’ve decided to get her either a V-Smile or an InteracTV. And that’s where you come in. Have you had any experience with either of these devices? Is one better than another? My daughter is three, but I would like something that can advance as she does. Or is there something out there now that’s better than either of those? Any suggestions/comments are very welcome.

Yeah, I know. I should just buy her educational software for my computer. But I’m not ready to give up my last bastion of freedom.