9 pets you CAN buy for Christmas!

It probably seems like every pet-related headline you've read for weeks is hectoring you not to buy anyone a pet as a gift this year. "I get it," you grumble, "but the kids really want an animal to love, and I can't hold them off much longer!"

We're here for you -- not with real pets, because we still think you should hold off on that until a quieter time of year. But these substitutes might help. Some make great gag gifts for office Secret-Santa pools; others, used correctly, can start to teach your kids about caring for a living pet. Still others back up your files! We hope you'll find something to love in our list of giftable pets...or at least something that will stall the kitten requests for a few weeks.