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Last year, while wrapping Christmas gifts for my family and friends, I also wrapped a few for my dog and cat. Yes, you read that correctly.
I understand that this might be an unpopular opinion or something that will dub me to be a “typical millennial,” but I have Christmas stockings for both of my pets and I think it’s horrific if someone (who celebrates Christmas, obviously) doesn’t. My family has always included pets as a part of holiday tradition, and stockings are included in that.
No, I’m not talking about Christmas sweaters for your animals or getting your dog’s picture taken with Santa. That’s pretty absurd (although, full disclosure, a local pet store was doing that for free last year as a marketing campaign and I totally made my dog Tony participate). Anyway. I’m talking about getting your dog, cat, bird, rat, snake, horse, goat, whatever a little something to celebrate the reason for the season. Why wouldn’t you?
Even if you don’t participate in hanging a stocking for your fur baby, surely you want to get your pet some kind of present for the holiday season. That giant dog bone? Get it. Every dog will appreciate a good bone whether is be a rawhide, plush, or plastic. That new scratching post for your cat? She’ll love it AND it’ll save your sofa from getting destroyed. Those reindeer antlers and holiday bandana? Well, that one is more for you. But come on, who doesn’t want to snap a picture of their animal decked out in themed absurdity? Oh! And one of the perks about buying animals gifts is that they can’t complain about what you give them. Win, win.
I can already envision the nay-sayers who will come at me saying, “Katie. Animals don’t know that it’s Christmas… Come on. Sounds like a waste of money to me.” Well. My dog may not know what Christmas is, but he DOES know a lot of other things. For example, he always knows when I’m cooking carrots or sweet potatoes, and absolutely knows the difference between a bag of dog food opening versus a bag of kale from Trader Joes. He also understands quality time with the people he loves, which is what Christmas is all about. Why would I want to exclude the pets from that?
To some degree, many people probably acknowledge that there’s something silly about those over-the-top presents for pets. After all, a crystal-encrusted sweater isn’t always ideal for a pet that will chew it up… BUT that’s hardly the only example of wasteful spending around the holidays, right? I recently saw someone buy a brand new iPad pro for a two-year-old, so I won’t feel wasteful buying my cat a new collar for fifteen bucks.
Some of you seriously might think it’s weird I have stockings for my pets, and you might be right. Maybe since I live alone (and hanging only one stocking on the mantel is big, tangible, depressing reminder that I’m single during the holidays — ugh), I hang two extras to fill out the space above my fireplace… But I don’t think I’m alone in saying that pets are considered family, and they should be included in some family traditions. When it comes to unwrapping presents Santa left in the stockings, your animals should be part of the fun too. Trust me, you’ll enjoy it as much as they will.
Don’t have a pet of your own to spoil over Christmas? Consider donating (time or money) to a local no-kill shelter. Or even find a perfect furry friend to give them the ultimate Christmas gift: a forever home. .