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Be prepared when giving certain gifts

READ MORE: Be prepared when giving certain gifts

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- 'Tis the season to make magic happen, but some surprises are better if they are well thought out.

If you are planning to surprise someone special this Christmas, there are important things to consider before you do, because it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Studies shows that the purchase of pets rises greatly during the holiday season. Although animals are a great gift and can bring a lifetime of happiness, New Hanover County Animal Control says it's important to consider all the factors before buying an animal.

"People don't understand the responsibility that they're taking on when they get a pet," Animal Control services manager Jean McNeil said. "They're thinking, 'Oh, it's cute, it's fuzzy, it's warm. Let me take it home,' and they get it home and they're like, 'Oh, my goodness, it's chewing my shoes up.'"

McNeil said people tend to buy impulsively during the holidays, and after the celebration is over,
the pet may be too much for the family to handle. She recommends if you want to give a loved one a pet, wait to take the person who will own the animal with you so that they can decide what best fits their needs.

McNeil said an alternative to having an animal under the tree Christmas morning is to wrap up accessories, like a leash, the recipient will need when they go and pick out that perfect pet.

Bikes are another gift that is very popular during the holidays. Jim Mincher, owner of Two Wheeler Dealer, said it's important for riders to be prepared and to consider the different options available.

"They should buy a bicycle that fits their child properly," Mincher said. "It's much like buying shoes. You don't wanna get the wrong size shoes. Bicycles are exactly the same."

Mincher said it's also important to make sure your child has a helmet and a parent nearby when they are learning to ride.

And what about a Christmas morning trip to the driveway and a shiny new car? Insurance agent Ron Barber says it's very important to insure the car as soon as it's purchased, because accidents do happen, even on Christmas.

So this Christmas, be prepared for anything you might deliver as you play Santa.

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