What not to give for Christmas

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies

A couple of years ago my daughter, Cassidy, wanted a guinea pig more than anything in the world. Well, she actually wanted a puppy, but seeing that her canine needs would be unmet, she instead set her sites on a guinea pig. Her small pet yearnings coincided with the holidays, so her father and I set about the task of making her dreams come true. We live in an area where, at the time, there was not a wee piggy to be had anywhere so we ended up special ordering the cavvy to be delivered to the local pet store on Christmas Eve. I ventured out on Christmas Eve to gather the guinea, feeling ever so clever about the wonderful gift we were to bestow on our daughter.

After the kids finally slumbered off that night, Matt and I assembled the guinea pig cage in just the right location so that it would be the very first thing Cassidy saw on Christmas morn. Sure enough, it was her first vision, for she ran up the stairs screaming in delight, "Mommy, Daddy, Santa brought me a guinea pig! It is just what I wanted. Except, why is she sleeping so hard?"

Oh. No. I sat straight up in bed with a chill in my heart. No guinea pig could have slept through Cassidy's shrieks. I ran downstairs and sure thing, she was lying there inert and barely breathing. What followed was not the mad scrambling of present openings, but many tears as we held the dying animal on our laps. By lunchtime she had gone to great beyond.

Although I had some initial reservations about getting our daughter an animal for Christmas, I threw common sense to the wind and did it anyway. We learned our lesson and there will never again be another caged animal waiting under the tree on Christmas morning. What about your family? Any disastrous holiday gifts?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.