Pleasing pet-loving pals with these Christmas presents


dog monopoly, 3d aquarium background, vtech mobigo

Returns, regifting, and a touch of revulsion.  Receiving a less-than-desirable present might have happened to you in a past Christmas.  I remember a gift exchange in which my less-than-ten-year-old cousin burst into years after ripping open a set of bath towels acquired during a Secret Santa gift exchange.  (A kid who wants towels for Christmas?  Come on…)  Okay, now that you’ve summoned up that traumatizing holiday memory, now put yourself into the shoes of the gift giver.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be the person who gave a little girl towels for Christmas and made her cry.

If you know for sure that your friend, family member, or co-worker is an animal enthusiast, you already have a hint as to what to get them.  Here are a couple of my ideas on what to give to the pet-lover – hopefully they’ll at least lead you in the right direction!

Animal-themed board games. I’ve always thought that games were a great gift to give to a friend, particularly board games.  A game like Mad Gab or Monopoly is meant to be played in a group, so it’s always seemed to me like an invitation to spend more time together.

For the animal lover with a competitive personality, there’s a Dog Monopoly set that is pretty sweet, and if the intended recipient is a little more highbrow, a chess set with animal-themed pieces might be more appropriate.

Animal-themed video games. Even the stupidest-looking video games can be surprisingly fun.  (Just see Angry Birds app on iPhone.)  If the recipient has a Wii, why not give them Harvest Moon: Animal Paradise?  For the tech-savvy 3- to 7-year-old, try the Vtech Mobigo Touch Learning System, an electronic learning toy with both a touch screen and a keyboard.  Vtech Mobigo games like Dora the Explorer, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Pluto’s Ball make it extra special!

Stuffed animals. It’s probably a good idea to restrict this gift to children or those who love cute (unless you intend it to be a gag gift).  What would an adult do with a stuffed animal, you might wonder?  A stuffed animal brightens up a cubicle pretty nicely!

Digital camcorder. How else do those adorable pet videos get on YouTube?  Not everyone’s a camera whiz, but something like the Flip Video UltraHD Camcorder makes recording a video and uploading it to your computer a snap.

Here are some gifts you might want to avoid:

Animal-themed home decor. Everyone’s tastes are different, and animal-decorated furnishings and accessories are sometimes questionable in taste.  Unless you’re positive that the gift-receiver would love it, try to avoid it.

Animal-themed clothing or accessories. Items that are worn, similar to home decor, are highly reflective of one’s personality, so you don’t want to run the risk of buying clothing or jewelry that will never be worn or might possibly offend.

A dog/cat/parrot/gerbil/any other animal. Maybe it’s unnecessary for me to say it on this blog, but a new pet’s a big deal, and something you probably don’t want to spring on anyone.

And remember, you’re buying for the friend/relative/co-worker, not his or her pet.  So save the 3D aquarium background for next time.


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