Well, so many people think a pet makes a great birthday or Christmas gift and that can be the case. I just hope before you make such a decision you know you are making a choice that may be around for years to come and you need the finances to back that choice. Sometimes that Christmas puppy is not the best plan because Christmas can be loud, scary and dangerous for dogs. Also you need to realize "dogs don't have problems, dogs have PEOPLE problems." I get very angry when I hear people complain "how dumb that dog is" when the REAL PROBLEM comes in your laziness to not train the dog. You don't want the dog to chew the socks? Well, don't allow them to "play" with the sock when they are puppies. Puppies become dogs and just like children need to be taught. A sock will always be a toy IF you start it out that way.
Oh yes, another sentence I hear and just cringe,"we bought them a pony." Wait, what? Now, did I hear that correctly? How sweet, an animal most know nothing about and not to mention costs quite a bit to feed. Let me get this straight, you bought something that needs quite a bit of care? Don't get me wrong gang, I know little to nothing about the equine, but what I do know is, their feet need care, don't feed them hay that is or has been wet, and they must eat (quite a bit I might add). Then here we are just a month or two down the road and Johnny or Susie isn't riding that pony anymore. Did I mention the family can't afford to feed the pony? Exactly! Take those children to the zoo folks. At the zoo you can have a great family experience and use it as a learning tool.
The moral of my story today: Animals are great! Heck it's been proven they can be therapeutic, but they need your time, care, and financial support. These needs are not temporary or short fleeting because these needs exist throughout the life of the animal. With that said, possibly the stuffed teddy bear is looking like an excellent choice right now.