Continuing on the book review theme (books always make good Christmas gifts), you might want to check out Zamba. This is the true story of a lion who was raised from a cub and lived his entire life with Ralph Heller, his owner. He starred in movies and TV shows, but he also slept on the bed (one specially made to accommodate both lion and human) and rode int he car (a convertible, resulting in head-turning!)
This book was an enjoyable and easy read, and surprisingly good considering Heller's first book, Modoc, about an elephant, was not nearly as interesting. I think the difference is that in Zamba he is writing from his own experience, and in Modoc he is telling someone else's story. He is best served to stick with his own experience as he tells it far better.
If you are interested in lions, or just animals, I highly recommend this as a nice read. It was interesting to see how Zamba behaved in different situations, and it's clear to see that Heller was a compassionate animal handler in Hollywood who put the welfare of the animals first in an era when many other did not.
You can read more about the book or order it from Amazon here.