A really good gift is thought-out and personalized

Life is a quest.

It is a quest for knowledge. A quest for love. A quest for material possessions. And a quest for the perfect bottle of wine to share with your cat.

That’s right. According to a story on UPI.com, a company called Apollo Peak is promoting a non-alcoholic, beet-based cat wine that comes in two varieties — the red “Pinot Meow” and a white “Moscato.” The company assures consumers that their wine contains natural ingredients, and no alcohol. but some cats may experience symptoms related to catnip.

So, now, while you are sitting on your couch watching chick flicks with your feline companion, you can both kick back with a nice glass of wine and get lost in the magical world of romance and possibilities. Until someone shoots you a text asking what you’re doing — and reality hits you as to what that answer would look like if you were to answer truthfully.

And, just like that, a Christmas present that was intended to be personal and thoughtful has turned into something that can make the recipient question nearly every decision he or she has made in life. And that, dear readers, is the risk of being thoughtful at Christmas.

I’m kidding. Well, about that last part. Of course you should be thoughtful with your gifts. That’s part of the fun with Christmas, right? Finding a gift that you think is personal and unique just for that individual — something that you know will make the person feel as if they are listened to and appreciated for who he or she is as an individual.

If you have a friend or loved one who enjoys wine and has a close relationship with a cat, then that’s a great gift. On the other hand, if you are buying for me, that gift would be a bit of a dud. I don’t like wine. I’m not particularly fond of cats. And there isn’t a single part of my being that would appreciate the gift or gesture.

So, while sticking to this UPI.com story about some odd holiday gift ideas for the people in our lives, I’m going to try to attach each gift to someone I know who would appreciate it.

• The “Piqapoo” is a hands-free dog bag that fastens to any dog’s tail to collect their feces as they walk. Honestly, I can see me giving this to any number of dog-owners I know, but I am going to earmark this one for our managing editor, M. Patricia Titus. She owns a dog. She has a son. She works long and odd hours at the paper. If I can save her the hassle of having to bend over even one time to have to pick up something as unsavory as what comes out the back of a dog, I’m going to do it.

Plus, I want to watch her face as she realizes I bought her something called “Piqapoo.”

• Nordstrom has long been one of my favorite stores in the planet — based almost entirely on their top-shelf customer service. This year they offered a “Medium Leather Wrapped Stone” on their online store for the price of $85. To be clear, it is indeed a rock. In a leather pouch. And it costs $85.

Breathe. Let that roll around in your mind a little bit.

What I wanted to write in this space is something to the effect of, “Who in the %#*@ would spend $85 on a rock in a leather holster?” And then I read that the item sold out on their site, so I’m left wondering, “Who in the %#*@ spent $85 on a rock in a leather holster?”

I’m targeting this to my lovely daughter, Riley. For starters, I apparently have no issues regarding spending too much money on her. It’s what I do. Also, she has a strange affinity for all things rock. If there’s one person I know who will truly appreciate a rock in a leather pouch, it’s her.

• The fine people at Kentucky Fried Chicken developed a line of “Extra Crispy” sunscreen. The story read that the restaurant chain offered 3,000 free bottles of the SPF sunscreen designed to smell like their fried chicken. The company also warned consumers that the sunscreen is a “real product” and not food, so people should not eat their sunscreen.

My first inclination was to order two of these — one for Shaun Lambert, our technical director, and the other for Ryan Saxton, our former sports reporter who now lives down in Australia. Both of these individuals live for their next meal, and I couldn’t imagine anyone being happier about smelling like food than these two guys. But I realized that the smell would drive both of them mad, and they would violate the orders to not eat the sunscreen.

I couldn’t have that on my conscience.

Therefore, I am gifting this to Ocean View Mayor Walt Curren. Hey, he’s mayor of Ocean View, a leader in the historical explosion of the poultry industry as we know it. Also, I’ve been looking to get in a line about Curran for a while now.

• Cabin Creek, Colorado. It just sounds quaint, right? Well, it is apparently a “ghost town” now (and I was a little disappointed to learn that this means the town is abandoned, not that there are cool ghosts running around). The town has a service station and motel, and was listed for sale on Craigslist for $3,500 this summer.

An entire town? With a service station and a motel? Oh, the possibilities are endless. I’m going to be very generous and gift this to our old friend Bob Bertram, the guy who basically did a little bit of everything when he worked at the paper. I can see Bob checking people in to the motel with a smile on his face and then running down the road to put on a hat and greeting them at the service station, then giving them a speeding ticket as they left, but being a sympathetic judge when they show up in court before they leave a bit more confused than when they got there, only to become more perplexed when they saw him cutting the grass... Enjoy, Bob.

This town was made for you.