Cyberkisses

Missed the last posting date for Australia, America, Europe ... Britain? Fear not, you can now redeem yourself right up until the big 25 with a virtual Christmas card to anyone, anywhere who has an e-mail address. Scotland.net's Christmas Pages is at the classier end of this growing new market, with cards divided into Traditional (stained-glass windows from churches such as the Holy Rood in Stirling), Scenic (a wintry Princes Street in Edinburgh, snowy Loch Duich and various other landscapes heavy with the white stuff) and Wildlife (pheasants, robins, stags and more). The method for sending virtual cards is pretty much the same everywhere. In this case, once you have matched the card to the recipient, simply click on it to customise it further from the range of festive borders and seasonal greetings and then fill in your details and those of the person you're sending it to.

Somewhat cheesier offerings can be found at the American SantaClaus.com - variations on the eponymous Santa, plus Rudolph, snowmen and other familiar images. But it's a fun site for children, who can join the Santa club, chat with the bearded one and even get a Christmas card signed by him personally (for $9.95).

An even tackier site - well, this is the season that taste forgot - is Cyberkisses, which offers animated "kissing cards". Here you can choose from individual lipstick-red smackers - ranging from "deep wet kisses" to "kissing your boo boos" - or a series featuring a little penguin and snowman in Santa hats who shuffle towards each other and appear to rub noses. The latter are ranked from "friendly Christmas hugs" to "Merry Christmas M'Love".

And finally, if the written word and miscegenating snogs just aren't enough to satisfy, you could try going to NatureTeam's Digital Postcard Service, where you can send your greetings in everything from Italian to Esperanto (in which case you will be sending a postokarton digitalan), and upload your own images and add a musical soundtrack, too. "Oh, I wish it could be Christmas every day ... " Jonathan Dyson

http://www.scotland.net/christmas/ Scotland.net's Christmas Pages;

http://www.santaclaus.com/cards/index.htm/ SantaClaus.com;

http://www.cyberkisses.com/ Cyberkisses;

http://www.all-yours.net/postcard/dp.html/ NatureTeam's Digital Postcard Service

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