Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The Joy of Giving
By Melissa L. Kauffman, Editorial Director BIRD TALK and BirdChannel.com
Share in the adventures of Melissa Kauffman's experiences in bird ownership in Life in the Bird House
This time of year always brings the question – should I or should I not get my cockatiels presents for Christmas. Like everyone, I am on a tight budget. Most of my family lives in other states, so I’ve have to buy practically everything online and ship it. Although this keeps me out of the malls, I never get to see the happy look on their faces when they unwrap their most current strange gift from me (I believe in being unique). I don’t have kids. I have my husband, the dog, the guinea pig and the cockatiels. Now, I have bought the dog some choice yummy bones for Christmas in the past. She sees it, her eyes light up, she grabs it and runs to some corner where she spends hours and hours gnawing. The guinea pig squeals with delight when he receives any type of vegetable. He could care less about any toy he gets. So he’s easy. The cockatiels, well they don’t really care either. It takes them a few days to warm up to the toys, so getting them toys for Christmas isn’t fun. I do get some holiday-themed bird toys ahead of time just to hang around their cage – but really that is more for me than them. I’m sure they don’t look at the pinata and think, “That looks like Santa, it must be Christmas.” Instead, they think, “There is a big red object that must be destroyed, I will tear it apart.” See, no holiday spirit in that.
According to the 2007-08 American Pet Product Manufacturers Association (APPMA) National Pet Owners Survey, 75 percent of bird owners surveyed bought their bird a gift in the past 12 months, usually at Christmas and for the bird’s birthday. I am not opposed to getting Natty and Carlisle a Christmas gift. I love them and Christmas is about showing your love and appreciation. However, since my cockatiels don’t respond in any way to a gift, it kind of takes all the fun out of it. Let me point out however, that I buy my cockatiels a lot of stuff, so they wouldn’t know it is a gift, but rather just more items I give them. Regardless, I’ll probably get them something anyway and feed them lots of yummies in teeny, tiny portions so at least I know that I am trying to show them how much I love them. After all, just their living, breathing and, being in my life, is gift enough for me. Which brings me to another thought, if my cockatiels could go shopping and buy me a gift, I wonder what they’d get me?
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