Giving the perfect gift is always going to be a challenge. You want it to be meaningful, so it’s not just a generic gift. You need to take into account who you’re giving the gift to and what their age is. All of those factors play a role in finding the perfect gift. Join your hosts Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard in a discussion about gift-giving. Find out how they got the perfect stuffed animal gifts for their daughters. Let your gifts be fun and enjoyable while still doing good and creating an impact to the world.
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
Meaningful Good Gifts For Kids Young And Old That Save The World Too
We’re going to share with you a gift item that you might consider the next time you need to buy a gift for someone that’s maybe hard to buy a gift for.
The kids are hard to buy gifts for. This is the thing. I’m always looking for the next best gifts out there. I want to put thought into my gifts. It matters to me. Because we’re product people, people expect those products to be really good when I buy them for them. This isn’t a birthday party-level gift because it’s a little bit more expensive. This is the $50 to $75 gift that you might want to buy for your nieces, your nephews or your kids and things like that. I even buy one for my dad, to be honest with you. I’ll tell you that story in a minute. This gift came out of an idea. One of our daughters was in school studying endangered species. She had decided to go to the World Wildlife Fund. That’s where we went to figure out which species she wanted to.
She picked the Amur leopard. While she was there, she saw that they have these gift packs. That’s what she thought it was. It’s really a donation pack. You make a donation but you also get a stuffed animal and an adoption certificate. You adopt an animal or adopt an endangered species. She thought this was the greatest idea. She was like, “This is so cool, mom. Can I put it on my birthday list?” Her birthday had passed. It was going to be a long time before she gets this gift. I said to her, “If you get an A on your report, I’ll make a donation and I’ll get you one of these things.” She worked her butt off on that report. She gave an oral presentation like the whole thing on Amur leopards. She learned all the facts about them.
We went back to the website together to buy this gift. While we were there, she was enamored with how cute it looks because these are not small stuffed animals. They’re nice mid-sized stuffed animals, good quality, plush and they’re really soft. I’ve been impressed with how well they held up because sometimes soft stuffed animals can get raunchy quickly. They get mudded and nasty but these don’t. They’ve lasted and done well. They get a cute little adoption certificate. This one is the Amur leopard and it says that you’ve acknowledged your symbolic adoption. Of course, you didn’t adopt an animal. There’s a great little fact sheet about them that comes with it. It all comes in a little envelope and a gift bag that has, “I’m protecting the future of nature.” All of it comes together so it is a perfect gift. You add your little card to the top of it and it’s all in one thing. You made a donation and you did something good for the world. You got a cute gift and story at the end of the day. I love these kinds of gifts. These kinds of gifts have meaning. It’s something that when someone goes and says, “Your stuffed animal is so cute,” she’ll tell the story about it.
It’s been interesting seeing the experience with our twelve-year-old versus our seven-year-old. Kendra, our seven-year-old, needed to have one too and have a donation. We ended up donating and adopting two different animals. To our seven-year-old, this was all about, “I get a cute stuffed animal.” She’s too young to understand the meaning behind it, whereas our twelve-year-old or anybody in that pre-teen or mid-teen level, the tweeners, would appreciate the story behind it. To me, that’s where the gift is successful. It’s important for our readers to understand that. I don’t think that the gift is going to have the kind of impact you wanted to have if it’s a much younger child who loves a stuffed animal but doesn’t understand the meaning of endangered species or you’re doing some good in the world. It’s at least harder for them to understand. What age group that this is going to have a lot more meaning for is important.
When you do that, there’s also this little bit of impression you’re leaving on the parent of that child. That’s where it might come into play to show that you care about the environment or to make a statement in a sense saying like, “I know your child loves a stuffed animal but I didn’t want it to just be any stuffed animal.” By doing that, you’re also making that kind of statement with that. Keep that in mind that it might be right for that younger age group. With our younger one, the thing is she has not let this animal go. This animal has a personality. She got a snow leopard because she wanted to be like her sister but they cannot have the same thing that is not done in this house that will be a fight about that.
She ended up with a snow leopard but we must have gone through every single animal on the WWF website. The World Wildlife Fund website was amazing. It has all the details about the animals. We went through all the stories. I tried to convince her a penguin would be cute but she wanted nothing to do with it. We went through everything. That in and of itself was at least a learning experience in the process. Even if she has not absorbed the fact that that’s what that means, this is what happened with that. To top it all off, while I was there, I bought a Father’s Day gift for my dad because I happened to see this one animal.
When I was a child, we lived in South Africa. We would go on these Safaris but they weren’t massive Safaris like when you think about going hunting or doing anything. These were like walk around or drive around in the car and look at the preserved wildlife because they would have a wildlife preservation plot somewhere. We would go and we vacation somewhere, and then we’d go and we’d do this. My dad would drive through the place. This one place we were in had a walking one. They hadn’t expected it but we came upon a black rhino, which is extremely dangerous. They will charge you. I was about 8 or 9. I was with them and he’s trying to figure out a way that he could shimmy up the tree with me at the same time when this rhino charges. It’s left this big impression on the two of us, how close we were to it and our whole life. Tom and I bought a Land Rover. I don’t remember what year it was.A good experience buying something and gifting it makes a perfect gift. Click To Tweet
It’s 2003 I think, Discovery.
My dad had bought one a year earlier and we both ended up with rhino tire covers because they happen to have them. Tough cars, tough animals. This rhino has played into our life at the time. When I saw the opportunity to donate to a black rhino, I did. The girls gave it to my dad for Father’s Day and he now keeps it in the room that they come and sleep in when they go to his and my mom’s house. Nana and Papa’s house has a black rhino all sitting there on the table waiting for them. There’s this great story behind it. He loved it. It was a great gift. He’s incredibly hard to buy a gift for. All he wants is me to send him another Barnes & Noble book gift card, which I did do in addition. Still, this was at least something symbolic that girls could give him that wasn’t a t-shirt. It had more meaning to it.
That was a very successful application of a gift to someone who’s hard to buy a gift for, where there is some meaning, connection or an experience they’ve had that this is going to mean more to them. A stuffed animal for an adult is not terribly important. You have a toy for your grandkids when they come over. You made a good point about the donation could be more meaningful to the parents of a younger child. That is a good point, Tracy. The younger child is going to be like, “A stuffed animal, I’ll play.” The meaning will be lost on them but certainly not on their parents. That makes sense.
There’s the other thing. They don’t have this on their website yet from a donation standpoint but I wish they had a $25 price point because I like to give about $20 to $25 when our girls get invited to a birthday party. Some people do less than that but that’s my window of what I usually do. I wish there was a smaller version of it because then it has more meaning. A lot of times we get stuffed animals. We get a lot of crafts or stuff at these birthday parties and they have no meaning to them. At least when you’re doing that and you’re giving a gift, it shows the parents there that you spent some time picking it out. There’s a match. You can sit your child down and pick out the right animal for your friend and do it. You do have to plan a little bit ahead because this is not an overnight ship kind of thing. It’s usually 3 to 5 days that you’ll get it. You can’t buy it at the last minute. It takes about three days to get to you.
It’s not going to come like Amazon Prime is what you’re saying.
It’s not a last-minute gift idea. You got to think about that ahead of time but it’s a great idea. I wish they had this smaller format. I understand why they don’t because everything is based on a donation basis and they need it to be valuable for them, but I wish it would because I would probably buy a lot more of them. That’s my only thing about the way that they do it. Their website is easy to use. Everything is great there. They have so many animals I had no idea were endangered. They talked about the different endangered levels. There’s a lot to learn there as an adult. It’s interesting. It’s a fun gifting and gift buying experience. To me, that’s a sign of something great. I’m going to do it again and again when I have a good experience buying it and gifting it, both things and then the recipient enjoys it. If all of those things come together, then that makes a perfect gift. This World Wildlife Fund donation fits that model.
That’s a great one, Tracy. I hope our readers enjoy hearing about that experience that you’ve had giving that gift to three different people at least.
There will be more nieces and nephews. I hope you’re not reading.
You don’t want to ruin it for them. At least they won’t know what animal they might get.
We’re going to pick special animals.
Which one they’re going to support and save could be different for everybody because there certainly are enough endangered animals out there.
Thanks, everyone, for reading. We’ll be back next time. Don’t forget that you can submit your ideas at TheNextLittleThingPod.com. Tom and I will be back with another great product.
Until then, thank you so much.