Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The Perfect Gift
My mom has a giraffe.
My nephew has a tiger.
My niece has a polar bear.
A close friend has a beautiful gray wolf.
I have my very own star.
These are just some of the cool gift ideas for the person on your list who has everything.
My mom is infamously hard to shop for. Every year I ask what she wants, and every year I get the same response: "You know what I could really use? A new wind sock." Or some variation of that answer. I like to give thoughtful, distinctive gifts. Something that shows you were really thinking of that person and wanted to get them something special and memorable. A wind sock, though lovely and decorative, doesn't quite fit the bill.
A couple of years ago I had the idea to sponsor an animal at our local zoo. Henry Vilas Zoo is a small, free zoo in Madison, Wisconsin. It survives completely on donations. Through their website you can sponsor an animal. They have several different animals to choose from (it changes periodically) and it makes a neat gift. Mom got a lovely photo of "her" giraffe along with a certificate, information about her giraffe and a stuffed animal. (That I'm pretty sure became a dog toy. Everyone wins!) A lot of zoos offer this kind of program. Check around to see if you can sponsor an animal at your local zoo.
Inspired by the success of this endeavor, I decided that I would do something similar for other people on my list who are notoriously hard to shop for. Since my brother's kids aren't close to the Vilas Zoo, I explored some other options. The World Wildlife Fund Has a great program for "adopting" animals.
WWF has a huge selection of animals to choose from. For as little as $25 you can adopt an animal and get a neat adoption certificate, photo and a species info card. If you spend a bit more you get a plush animal, a gift bag, a framed certificate...you can spend up to $100 and get a really neat, personal gift.
My husband may be getting a Platypus this year, in an effort to help him overcome his fear of them. But that's another story.
There are other organizations that offer animal adoption programs as well. Or, how about a gift membership to the International Wolf Center?
Or adopt and feed a cat at the Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue.
Have someone on your list who just isn't into animals? Why not get them something a bit more "out there" and have a star named after them. Years ago I received my own star as a gift from the International Star Registry. It's still one of the coolest gifts ever. I have a framed certificate and a map showing me how to locate my star (I think I need a better telescope then what I have available, but it's out there, and it has my name on it!)
There are a lot of other options available as well, just do a little looking around. Most of the places that I have worked with in the past have gifts starting at around $25, so you don't have to break the bank to get a very cool, unique gift.
I'm off to see about adopting that venomous platypus. Perhaps even a Jedi platypus with a lightsaber.