So you want to put a pet under your Christmas tree, or you want to herald Hanukkah’s eighth night with a furry companion. Whatever your motivation, the problem you will always encounter is the issue of wrapping a pet and presenting it as a gift. It is something unfair to the animal and unrealistic to you to physically give a pet as a gift. Despite being ideal and magical, we can’t just wrap a kitten or puppy and place them waiting under the tree. You know a cat wouldn’t stand for it, and neither would a dog.
There are alternatives to physically giving pets as holiday gifts, though. You can still celebrate the holidays with a slobbering dog or fancy cat for your loved ones, and the other ways will be even more memorable than the thought of unwrapping the little addition themselves.
A couple simple but great alternatives to pet-giving are photos or certificates. Most animal shelters can provide photos of their resident adoptees, and this would make a wonderful substitute for the furry one. You can frame a photo of the lucky rescue, wrap it like any ordinary present, and voila! You are able to give a pet, with all the excitement of unwrapping it, without physically endangering the animal. The recipient will be able to see their new companion, and won’t be able to help bursting with excitement at picking up the little addition.
A certificate could do much the same, though an older recipient would definitely benefit more from the certificate’s implied gift. What an adoption certificate signifies may very well be lost on the younger children.
So, giving pets as holiday gifts vicariously through photos or certificates works great and can make for some very thrilled children or loved ones. If you really want to give them an unforgettable experience, though, you have one other option. Scavenger hunts have always been an exciting means of spicing up an event, and that definitely applies to your holiday festivities. If you want to give a pet for the holidays, framing a scavenger hunt around it can be an amazing and fun way to do it without physically doing it.
It can be as few as 3 steps, or as many steps as you want. Instead of wrapping the pet, start by wrapping a hint. This can be a pet-related item of some sort, a pet collar or chew-toy, and a clue to lead them to the next item. Plan out your clues and hide the items around the house. This will give the gift recipient a fun and unexpected adventure for their holiday. The next gift can be another pet-related item, like a food dish or scratching post, and another hint to lead them to the following gift. Do this as much or little as you want. Let them begin to piece the picture together: a little pet item here and a little pet item there. By the time they are almost done they will be sprinting from one hiding place to the next with their anticipation, just wondering when they’ll open a cupboard or look under the bed and see their holiday dog or Hanukkah cat waiting for them with eager paws and wide eyes.
From personal experience, scavenger hunts can make a holiday. They can compensate for low points or for a holiday with only a few presents. They’re fun, and getting the recipient caught up in an activity will be a brilliant way to give a pet for the holidays without actually giving a pet, so to speak.
Whatever you end up doing, though, know that you don’t have to wrap your pet to give it. Have a happy holiday, and get creative!