Do Pets Make Good Gifts?

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PuppyTo the millions of pet owners across the globe, pets are more than just furry friends around the house. Pets put many people in a good mood and can also make for a valuable addition to families with children, instilling a sense of responsibility in kids they might otherwise never learn.

But pets are also a very personal choice. Such a reality makes giving a pet as a present during the holiday season a difficult proposition — one that requires careful consideration of the pros and cons before making a final decision.

Some things to consider for your Pro and Con list:

The Pros

* Companionship: Pets make fine companions, and many people think giving a pet as a present during the holiday season is a great way to put a smile on a lonely friend or relative’s face. However, when giving a pet in the hopes it will provide companionship, be sure to find a pet that’s known for liking attention, such as a golden retriever, and not a pet that doesn’t require much care or appreciate the attention.

* The surprise element: Oftentimes, when a family pet dies it takes awhile before the family is ready to get a new pet. However, if sufficient time has elapsed, the surprise element of a new pet at the holidays can make it one of the more memorable holidays ever.

The same can be said when giving a child their first pet. For moms and dads who have decided the kids are ready for their first pet, the holidays make a great time to surprise them with a Fido or Morris of their own.

* Cost: Particularly in the current economy, not all families can afford to adopt or buy a new pet. While they might be able to afford to feed and care for a pet, the initial costs (some adoptions can cost several hundred dollars) might be well beyond their budget. For gift givers who can afford the costs of adoption or the purchase price from a breeder, giving a pet can be a gift the family will greatly appreciate.

The  Cons

* Personal choice: Pets don’t take long to become a member of the family. And that’s often because pets are a deeply personal choice made by the pet owner and his or her family. Giving a pet as a gift might be a nice gesture, but many people would prefer to pick their own pets.

Kitten* Timing: Not all families are ready for a pet. Even parents who want to add a pet to their home should consider if the timing is right. Are kids ready for the responsibility of a pet? Is the family ready to add another member?

Timing should also be a consideration for those thinking of giving a pet to someone they don’t live with. It might be a nice gesture to give newlywed friends a pet, but they might also be trying to have a baby and might not have the time to care for a pet.

* Allergies and additional health considerations: Not everyone can have a pet in their home. Many people are allergic to animals. It could prove a disaster to give a kitten to someone who is highly allergic to cats. Shoppers who are unsure if a friend or loved one has a pet allergy should avoid giving a pet as a present.

In addition to pet allergies, another medical concern is some people might not be physically capable of caring for a pet. Dogs, for instance, need to be taken on daily walks or, at the very least, taken outside to relieve themselves. What’s more, training a puppy is no small task. If a friend or family member does not appear capable of caring for a pet, consider a different gift.

So what do you think? Do pets make a good gift?

Ladies: How about a manly gift basket for your boyfriend or husband?

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Couple

Buying gifts for your man, be him a husband or boyfriend, can be easy or hard depending on the  guy and how much you like shopping. But how many bottles of cologne, sweaters, and ties does one guy need? As women we appreciate thoughtful gifts so if your man is following our guidelines and putting some thought into your gift you should return the favour and also offer him a gift you’ve selected just for him.

Raising Expectations

Guys are pretty simple (give them a case of beer and the TV remote and they’re good for hours) and generally have lower expectations than us women when it comes to gifts (not all, but generally). However, his Christmas gift can be a time when you show him what he means to you.

Gift Basket

Some ideas

You can offer him a fun experience, like tickets or sky diving lessons. What guy doesn’t like tickets to a hockey game or concert? He might even take you!

You can make him homemade gifts. Make him a special meal, knit him a sweater, pour your love into something hand-crafted. Or if you’re like me and not overly talented in these areas, you leave the creativity to the pros. Many hand-made items can be purchased online. But that kinda defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

A manly gift basket, that you arrange yourself, can be thoughtful and fun. You can include his favourite yummy treats, luxurious shaving cream, his favourite magazine (men seem to love Maxim, I’m not sure why), even some cologne. Once you find a suitable manly basket (if such a thing exists) start shopping for his favourite things until the basket is full.  Or skip the basket and use something more manly like an ice bucket or a golf cooler bag.  The sky is the limit; be creative!

Here are some ideas for your manly gift basket with personalized touches:
BBQ Set

Engrave a BBQ Set case. includes 22 peices. Click to buy.

Golf Flask

If your guy is a golfer who likes a beverage on the course, this golf flask is ideal. Click to buy.

Zippo

How about a personalized Zippo? Engrave his name across the top. Many designs to choose from. Click to browse.

Classic Pocket Watch

Your renaissance man will love this classic pocket watch. Lots of space to personalize with engraving. Click to buy.

 Many more great ideas for your husband or boyfriend can be found on our website. Stop by today!

Valentine’s Day Facts & Figures

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valentine's

Every year, couples get together on Valentine’s Day to express their affection for one another. This February 14, consider the following interesting facts and figures when celebrating Valentine’s Day.

* According to research from Hallmark, more than half of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased within six days prior the holiday.

date* There are more single men than single women. For every 100 single women in their 20’s, there are 119 single men in the same age group.

* Dating service establishments continue to be popular means for meeting a prospective soulmate.  Nearly 1,000 dating services, which include online dating Web sites, exist and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue annually.

* Hallmark research indicates that more than 140 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year.

* 43,322 people were employed by establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2004. California was home to 136 of those establishments, leading North America.

* The average North American person consumed 25.7 pounds of candy on 2005, which actually represents a significant decline from 1997, when Americans consumed roughly 27 pounds of candy on average.  What will the number be this year?

*According to Stats Canada, a total of 146,242 couples tied the knot in 2004 in Canada.  In the U.S., there are roughly 2.2 million marriages per year.

* In Canada, brides and grooms are getting older. In 2000, first-time brides were 31.7 years old, while grooms proclaimed their first marriage vows at an average age of 34.3.

* The number of stems of roses produced in Canada was 13.7 million in 2008. This represents more than a million bouquets of a dozen roses each.

Interesting eh’?

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