Shame on us. We were so busy giving gifts and pigging out on Christmas day, we completely forgot that December 25 is the birthday of something glorious, magnificent, and wonderful for all mankind.

We’re talking, of course, about the Internet. On Dec. 25, 1990, a British physicist, computer scientist, and all-around genius named Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee, with help from Robert Cailliau and a then-student at CERN, arranged for the very first successful Internet communication between a server and a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client.

The infant Internet grew rapidly into toddlerhood. By June 1993 the World Wide Web had a whopping 130 websites. A year later, that number grew to 2,738, and by January 1997, shortly after its sixth birthday, the Internet sported an estimated 650,000 websites (most of which were 100% 8-bit porn ads).

Now the Internet is 22 years and one day old, which everyone knows is the age of maximum hotness. In remembrance of the occasion, email loved ones your favorite holiday GIF, meme, subreddit, or Tumblr. When they criticise you for being a day late, look confused and mutter something about server or spam-filter problems. 

Here in the age of the Internet, using that excuse is just one of the many advantages you enjoy.

Photo via andertoons/Flickr