Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 183,842,220 Issue: 475 | 23rd day of Celebrating, Y12
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Room in the Inn: Prepare Your Fosters for Christmas


by newenglandquizzer

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Greetings! You’re probably reading my article because you’re either a foster parent getting ready for Christmas or are wondering what in the world a foster parent is. Well, I’ll explain to the latter group first and get back to the rest of you. A foster parent is an ordinary Neopian who takes in homeless pets and feed, play with, and generally care for them, while at the same time trying to find them a loving, permanent home. Many foster parents also have access to the Secret Lab on at least one of their accounts, and foster pets are taken there every day until they change into a spiffy new color like Faerie or Chocolate. Once they think a pet is ready for its new home, they start looking for people who would be interested in adopting them. It’s that simple!

And now, on to those of you who are already foster parents. You’re probably running around like a Peadackle with its head cut off, taking care of both your fosters and your permanent pets as Christmas approaches. Of course, you don’t have a burgeoning bank account. None of us do. Every time we earn a dime, we end up spending it on more food or a little petpet for one of our fosters. But you still want to do something special for these little lostlings who are with you for the holiday season. So, foster parent to foster parent (and foster parent to the rest of you curious people), I have written a guide on how to get your foster home ready for the holiday season without breaking the bank.

User lookups

The first place to start is your user lookup. It’s where your foster pets live, after all, and they’ll happily help you spiff it up. A simple thing to do is theme everything red and green; the background, the text, etc. You could also put in a Christmassy image-background, like this snowflake or this toy background. You could even make your own using images of your favorite Christmas items or Neopets!

In the body of your user lookup, you can decorate with images of holiday plushies or Christmas trees. Images of Christmas gifts, holly sprigs, snow, or scarves and hats are great for accenting your new holiday lookup.

You can also change your avatar. There are plenty of holiday and snowy avatars to choose from; pick one you like, and your Christmas lookup is ready for the holidays!

Customization

What is Christmas without those embarrassing Christmas sweaters your mom always makes you wear? You can give the same experience to your little lost pets by dressing them in their Christmas best.

Old Christmas clothes. Many foster parents have access to the Secret Laboratory, and chances are you’ve seen and he changes color to Christmas! more than once. But since Christmas pets are aren’t very comfortable during the summer months, you probably kept zapping until they turned shadow or island or something. Well then, you still have those Christmas paint brush clothes cluttering up your closet. Why not put them to good use? (Of course, this only works if you have Christmas clothes that match your lostlings’ current species.)

Backgrounds. There are tons of Christmas- or snow-themed wearable backgrounds out there, and many are quite inexpensive. For instance, if you have a special code that was given out by Burger King, you can get the Terror Mountain Snowy Hillside Background for free! Very cheap holiday backgrounds for under 2,000 Neopoints include Holiday Giftwrap Background, Ice Caves Background, Waiting for Restock Background, and the Starry Green, Starry Red, or Starry Yellow Backgrounds.

Clothes. There are plenty of holiday clothes and trinkets to be had for under 2,000 Neopoints. Winter items like the Woollen Scarf, Brown Winter Scarf and Brown Winter Hat, the Snow Roller Crash or Item Jumpers, Snow Drift Hat, Asparagus Scarf and Fingerless Asparagus Gloves, and the Snow SPLAT aren’t necessarily Christmas, but they’ll still ready your pets for the snow. Clothes like the Decorative Holiday Hair Bow, Holiday Belt, and Holiday Mystery Island Shirt are sure to make your little lostling feel ready for Christmas, and trinkets like the Holiday Stocking Kite, Kelp Holiday Garland, and Brucey B Holiday Mug will complete the outfit. Your foster pets are dressed and ready for the holidays!

Christmas Day!

Of course, the biggest part of all this is December 25th itself. Your foster pets have been waiting for weeks, playing in the snow, visiting the Advent Calendar, and wrapping presents for each other, and now the big day is finally here! Make this Christmas one to remember with a special Christmas dinner. Hot Chocolate, Joint of Ham, Mashed Potato with Gravy, Baby Carrots, and Apple or Cherry Pie make a delicious, healthy meal for a low price.

And don’t forget the presents! While many are a little more expensive, a Petpet is a wonderful gift for a foster pet. Polarchuck, Abominable Snowball, Yullie, Jinjah, Fir, and Snuffly would all make wonderful Wintry Petpets for your lostling and cost 5,000 Neopoints or less. And if you’re giving a pet a lifelong friend, aren’t a few extra Neopoints worth it?

Books make excellent presents, and the ones that are given out as Key Quest prizes are almost all less than 100 Neopoints. And that’s quite a lot of books right there! Cheap books include Yurble Tales, Faellie Handbook, Faellie Tales, The Luckiest Babaa, Turmac Snacks, The Secret of Treasure Island, Gruslen Pop-Up Book, and dozens more.

Don’t forget the stocking stuffers! Plushies that look just like your foster pets are a good choice. They’ll have a mini-them to play with! Basic plushies (blue, red, yellow, and green) are usually inexpensive—usually less than 500 Neopoints. Other toys your foster pet might enjoy include Red, Green, or Blue Toy Car, Red, Yellow, or Blue Bouncy Ball, Deck of Cards, any of the dozens of pet-themed Keyrings, and a Wooden Toy Box to keep them all in. And, of course, everyone loves candy! Chocolate Coated Marshmallow or Pretzel, Candy Cane, Fruity Jubpops, Lemon Neodrops, or Toffee Apple are all delicious treats for under 1,000 Neopoints.

The best for last

But what’s the greatest gift of all to a foster pet? A family, of course! If you can, try extra-hard in the next few weeks to find people who are interested in adopting your foster pet, and see if they’d be willing to take them home on Christmas day. Nothing gives you the warm fuzzies more than seeing your former foster pet smiling and waving goodbye to you from the arms of their new mum or dad. Value of this Christmas gift: priceless!

 
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