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Giving the Gift of Ubuntu Linux for Christmas? 235

Father Christmas asks: "This Christmas I have decided to give all of my friends and relatives Ubuntu Linux CDs from the Ubuntu ShipIt service. In addition, I plan to help them backup their old systems, install Ubuntu, and then introduce them to using Linux for their everyday tasks. What sort of post-installation changes should be made to Ubuntu to make it easy for everyday people to use? What extra software packages should be installed? Should I stick with the default Gnome installation, or would KDE be a better choice? Is there anything else that should be done to maximize the utility of their systems, as well as make their first experience with Linux a great one?"
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Giving the Gift of Ubuntu Linux for Christmas?

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