It was Clarisa Baldwin who first coined the expression "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas." The popular phrase signifies that pet ownership is a lifelong commitment not to be considered on impulse. As we are well on the way to Christmas, we remind all people interested in adopting or buying an animals about all the responsibilities involved. If you want a pet you need to make sure you're also able to look after it with the resources you have and the time allowed by your daily routine.
Christmas is a time of giving and receiving and the new year is the time to return those gifts, but retunring an animal? NOT COOL. So here is the sensible thing to do if you were thinking animal as the thing your friends or kids want the most.
In the case of a dog you could get a collar and leash and a book about dogs. The collar is the promise you'll get them one (and an easy way to set a limit on size), the book is the condition. That is, they only get the dog is they finish reading the book. If they do finish the book and when they finish the book, ideally one that tells you how to look after a dog, they still want a dog then it no longer an impulse decision but one taken responsibly. If they never finish the book they would have probably lost interest in the dog too, but in this case you can always return the collar. A lot cooler than returning a puppy.