Christmas Shopping on a Budget
It’s that time of year again! The time where we all sit back and think about the people who deserve to know how great they are. What’s the best way to show someone you appreciate them? Well, with a token of that appreciation, of course! A gift! The problem? You just bought that Faerie Queen doll that you’ve been saving up for to put in your gallery, and now you’re completely broke.
The thing to remember is that it’s not the value of the item that’s important, it’s the thought that you put into it. Sure, you can go out and buy a hundred codestones for your best Neofriend, but what good would that do them if they don’t use the Battledome? Sure, they could sell them in their shop for profit, but wouldn’t you rather show your friend that you know what they like? Here’s a list of tips to help you find the perfect gift for even the pickiest Neopian, without spending twenty-four hours straight playing games to earn the points for it.
The Junk Collector: There are a lot of Neopians who enjoy collecting junk, whether it is piles of dung or butterfish. Ask your friends if they collect anything. If they do, buy a bunch and set up a trade, then tell them to go and offer on it. This is also useful if your friend is looking to score the Pack Rat avatar. They’ll need a lot of unique items, so any little bit helps!
The Battledomer: Simple. Codestones and Dubloons. Codestones are pretty cheap right now since Key Quest has been giving them out as prizes. Even if your friend’s pets are too high in level to use them, your friend can sell them to help fund training or new battle equipment. In this case, it’s ok since you’ve still put thought into getting something they like!
The Gallery Keeper: Check out your friends’ galleries and see what they collect. Nine times out of ten you can find something related to their theme that they don’t have for cheap, and if not, I doubt they’d turn down a duplicate. In fact, they’ll likely appreciate the effort!
The Customizer: Wearables are pretty big right now, and some of them are really inexpensive. If you’ve got a friend interested in customization, help them out by sending a clothing, trinket, or background item. Even unconverted pets, babies, and mutants can use backgrounds and trinkets! If your friend is going for the customization spotlight, every little bit helps!
The Avatar Collector: Yes, this can get pretty expensive, but there are AV items that are pretty cheap. Even if your friend already has the AV, they’ll appreciate having the items so they can use them for side accounts, or to show off in a nice avatar item gallery.
The Role Player: There are some players who are really into role playing their pets. Do a little research and find out what sort of character your friend plays, and search for some items that are related to their personality. You can always send along an explanation as to why you’re giving those particular items if you don’t think they’ll get it right away. It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to their face when they see how much thought and effort you put into it!
The Neohomer: There are a lot of Neohome items that are no-trade now, but there are also a lot that you can purchase for a very small amount of NP. Key Quest has given out several Neohome items as prizes, so they’ve dropped in price. You can also check and see if your friend still has an old-style Neohome. I’m sure they wouldn’t turn down a few furniture items to add to their classic home.
If you have a friend who has the Lab Ray, you can purchase the pieces for the Petpet Laboratory Map for them if they don’t already have it. Pieces for this map are quite cheap, at fewer than 1000 neopoints a piece.
If you know a maller, check out their shop to see what category of items they sell. Even if the items are inexpensive, they can still re-sell them for profit, and it will show your friend that you’re paying attention to what they enjoy doing on the site.
If all else fails, you can simply set up an all purpose pet care package. Include a food item, a book, a toy, a grooming item, and a wearable. Books are always a safe bet, since your friend can decide if they want to read them to their pet, or sell them for profit. Healing Potions are helpful as well, since those pesky wheels can leave pets with low hit points. Or, you can simply look for an item that you think reflects your neofriend’s personality. Of course, you can always go with the traditional, and set up a big trade full of Christmas themed items for each of your Neofriends. Some are very cheap, since they were given out from the Advent Calendar in previous years.
If you can’t afford to spend any NP at all, then you can always put your talents to use. Draw your friend a picture, or write a poem or story for them. If you’re lucky enough to know a bit about coding, you can make your friend a spiffy new user lookup or pet lookup, or even make a pet page for them that shows how much you care. Even a really nice email is a good idea, if you’re like me and can’t draw or code! And don’t forget the onsite greeting cards that are always available.
The most important thing to remember is that your friend knows that you appreciate them, and that you’re thinking of them. The simplest of gifts can bring a smile to someone’s face if the right amount of thought is put into it. If they’re truly your friends, then the price or size of a gift won’t matter in the slightest.
This is my first submission to the Neopian Times. Thanks for taking the time to read!