I know I keep banging on about the benefits of physical media, but with Christmas just around the corner, it’s a drum worth beating again. And here’s why…
Picture this: It’s Christmas morning and a somnolent family gathers around the tree. The excitement is palpable. Brightly wrapped gifts are exchanged. The youngest child’s lip quivers when she discovers there are no presents there for her, even though she’s been good for goodness sake. A bauble falls from the tree like a teardrop, striking the carpet.
She has what she wanted, but feels strangely empty inside as she retreats to her father’s study and starts up his computer. She opens iTunes and selects Frozen, watching with compromised contentment – the strains of Let It Go sounding more like a lament.
The moral of this sad story is that a digital download of a movie or TV series for Christmas isn’t exactly exciting – especially if you’re a five-year-old – when compared with a physical copy wrapped up beneath the tree.
Something that can be squeezed and rattled, that might be The Complete Harry Potter Collection, or an unexpected surprise.
An abundance of gift cards for streaming services will no doubt be given and received this year (in boring old cards), but there’s nothing quite like the thrill of anticipation and the subsequent sigh of relief when you discover that steelbook or boxed set you’ve been coveting is beneath the wrapping and sitting in your hands instead of on a hard drive.
Films and TV series, as well as vinyl, CDs and games, are the perfect gifts, especially if you’ve left the Christmas shopping until the last minute. The last quarter of the year is traditionally the time the studios unleash a killer line-up of home entertainment releases, and together with the existing catalogue of titles, you’re spoiled for choice.
Why give your granddad a pair of socks or a bottle of Old Spice aftershave when he could be guffawing at the exploits of Mrs. Brown? Help the Tigers supporter in your life assuage the hurt of this year’s Preliminary Final loss with a Grand Final Collection of Richmond Premierships. Listen to your mum happily warble along to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again after a glass or three of Sauv Blanc. And let your kid sister proudly show off her Disney Princess Collection to envious friends.
That’s Christmas Day well and truly sorted. Stockings will be bulging and the base of the tree laden with presents. The digital age has killed a lot of things, but the spirit of Christmas can still prevail if you gift somebody a physical copy of their favourite entertainment format, not a virtual one. You’ll be guaranteed a very Merry Christmas.