One of the best parts of Christmas is getting toys and treats for the dogs. They each have their own stocking, and we stuff them with toys, and give the stockings to the dogs to pull the things out of. Then we sit around and play and fuss over how much they like the new squeaky snake, or the bouncy rubber toy. We're total dorks, and we love our dogs.
Both of our dogs really like toys -- G, the puppy, likes things she can chew on (she manages to destroy most toys that claim to be for tough chewers, all of them except the Galileo and the Kong -- but she really enjoys shredding the other toys, so we get her some). G also likes things on ropes, or long toys like the snake that she can hold in her mouth and toss around. W likes stuffed toys with squeakers in them, and she is fanatical about little toys we call "puff" -- basically just a stuffed circle of fleecy fabric with a squeaker in it. (And I was interested to see when I looked for a link that the store calls them "puffs" too...) She carries a puff around everywhere with her for 2-3 months before it disintegrates from use. Other stuffed toys G and W love to play tug with and eventually gut them of their stuffing.
There is something purely joyful in playing with dogs -- they keep you in the here and now, in the moment. And you don't have to have fancy toys -- a tennis ball or a stick is good too -- but it is great fun when we can get them toys that they love. They also got some chews and a couple of dog cookies. It's party time at our house!