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Getting a Head Start On Your Holiday Shopping


by bittersweet52

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It’s that time of year again. The air in the mornings is getting a little nippy, and all the shop fronts have Christmas trees and twinkling lights in their window displays. Last year, I admit, I left the holiday shopping for the last minute, and it was just too stressful. This year, I have a new plan of attack. I made a nice organized list of all my pets and Neofriends, and I’m determined to find something brilliant for everyone. Before the eve of the holidays. In my preparations I decided to ask a few of my pets for advice on what make the best presents. Maybe their opinions can help you too.

Kat: Well, if any of your readers have been browsing the recent issues of the Neopian Times, they probably won’t be surprised that I consider books to be the best holiday presents of all. I may not be aspiring for the Neopian Book Award or the Booktastic Book Award, but I am still an extremely avid reader, and I love getting new books (especially since none of the books I like tend to stick around for a second reading, silly magical Neopian books). The holidays are a good excuse to splurge on some of the rarer and more expensive books out there. I mean, I wouldn’t ask for a copy of Little Book of Big Volcanos or anything (although I do enjoy those geology related volumes), but typically people have a good-sized budget for holiday gifts, so it’s not completely irrational to hope for a 10,000 or 15,000 NP book in my stocking this year (*hint hint* Bitter!). Quality, not quantity, I always say. Plus, with the discovery of the Almost Abandoned Attic, you can actually find quite a few good books for a decent price.

Rory: I don’t really understand why Kat always wants books. For her birthday she wanted books too. I have to say, books have always fallen under the category of “school supplies” to me. Getting a book for the holidays would be like getting a subtle hint that I should be studying harder. The holidays are about fun! The best presents are the most traditional presents: toys. These days, there are so many great toys in Neopia, and a large number of them are wearable, which makes them ever more awesome as presents. Just recently, the Bear became wearable. They are not only adorable and fun to play with, but they make a great accessory in a variety of customization looks.

Snulg: Personally, and on behalf of my fellow more robustly-framed Neopets, I think food and candy are the best ways to go. Who out there is really going to turn down a Chocolate Coated Candy Cane?

Bagirmis: BEEF STROGANOFF!

Rory: What do you know about food, Snulg? I’ve seen you eat junk that most of us wouldn’t ever think of eating. Don’t you think normal people would prefer a nice pair of boots or a cute plushie? Even you have a Bear that you love, right?

Snulg: Just because I occasionally enjoy an untraditional snack, doesn’t mean I don’t understand the choices of those with narrower palates. Anyway, I’m sure all the readers here caught that article a few weeks back: Delicious Hot Drinks. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect holiday gift? You could buy a variety of hot drinks and invite all your friends over on Christmas morning and open presents together while sipping from steaming mugs.

Kat: That does sound quite cozy. But I think it would be more useful to get a gift that won’t be gone in five minutes. If you’re the more active type and you don’t like books, then I think codestones and neggs are the way to go. Lots of pets like to train for the Battledome, and these stats can stick with you for life, unlike a cup of hot chocolate, no matter how tasty it may be. Dubloons would be good for lower level pets too, though once you hit level 40 you graduate from the Academy and you really do need codestones. Armoured Neggs are quite popular as gifts if I’ve been reading the currents correctly this year.

Snulg: Neggs are food...

Rory: Training may be useful for the rest of your life, but it’s work. The holidays are a time for fun. You know, clothing can be used for the rest of your life too. That’s one of the great things about the magic of Neopian clothing. They are made with such care and of such good quality that they never tatter or tear. You can buy someone a Kacheek Pyjama Cap this month and they can wear it forever.

Kat: But nobody would ever want to wear one piece of clothing forever. Styles change with the seasons. Someone might really want a Glamorous Snowflake Wig this winter, but come spring they might not want to wear it anymore. Why buy someone a gift they they’ll only get use out of one or two months out of the year? If you buy them a book, they’ll read it and that story will be with them for a lifetime, even if it’s not always in the front of their mind.

Bagirmis: Well, if I had a stick for every time I...

Maybe I should cut the transcript off there. Needless to say, there was quite a bit of debate over what the best type of gift would be for your friends and family this holiday season. I agree with all of my pets though; they all brought up valid gift ideas. What it really comes down to is this: 1. Does your pet or Neofriend already have a wish list? If so it seems better to choose something from their wish list as well as something with a more personal touch. This guarantees that they will get something they want, but it also lets them know you put some thought into their gift. 2. Does your pet or Neofriend have any specific hobbies? For example, Kat loves to read so it would make sense to buy her a book, but Rory doesn’t. Rory loves to try different customizations, so I may buy some clothing items to fill that particular gift box, but Kat doesn’t care clothes at all.

Kat, Rory, and Snulg brought up three basic categories of gift ideas that I hope can help you decide what to put on your shopping list in the next few weeks. Remember, the sooner you start your shopping, the less you’ll have to fight the crowds. And as long as your gifts come from the heart, you really can’t go wrong.

Happy Holidays!

 
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