Everybody has seen cute pictures of those lovable chubbies on TV, and who hasn't played a game of "Hungry Hippos?" Every kid wants one! It's a yuletide tradition, just like bunnies for Easter. But sadly, each year most of the Hippos that Santa brings through the front door (that's not an easy thing to do by the way) end up unwanted at the local shelter! A two-car garage is NOT "lots of room" to play and Hippos eat as much as 150 pounds of grass a day. They can chow down on an entire suburban neighborhood in a week. And while your teacher may say Mr. Hippo is a vegetarian, don't be fooled. The beast can be very aggressive and may attack you even if you are simply trying to give him a treat and some cuddles. "Hippo-allergenic", and "no-shed" take on new meaning when they've chased your partner up a tree after flattening the gardening shed!
So please this year, give your child an age-appropriate toy. Please tell them they really don't want a Hippo for Christmas.