But, do we shower them with gifts on Christmas and their 'birthdays'? Honestly, no, we don't. Does that make us bad pet parents?
Here's the reality - our pets don't know the difference. Only Olive has ever had an inclination to play, and we kept her in stuffed animals when she was still willing to play with them. Emily just looks at us blankly when we throw a ball or offer her a toy to play with. And Molly, she will give us about a minute, yep, a minute, then she turns away and grooms herself.
All three pets are treat focused. They do love their little nibbles! But, getting them treats and wrapping them up as presents...seems so superficial to me. I mean, Emily has no idea why that wrapping paper is there and could care less. She just wants what's in the box!
I see my friends showing off photos of their dogs and cats in their Christmas outfits, by the Christmas tree, and I feel a little jealous. It's all so festive! We stopped being festive quite some time ago. We don't even have a tree. What I mean is, we don't decorate a tree for Christmas. Not even a ribbon or wreath on the door. Every year I say, "This year I'm going to decorate again." But I never do. I say 'again' because back in the day, our house was decorated. Not overly so, but we had ribbons and ornaments and a big tree and a wreath on the door. I remember if fondly.
At our house, the dogs don't notice that it's Christmas. The neighborhood is alive with bright colors and beautiful lawn ornaments, but they aren't noticeable during the day so much. And it's too cold to take Emily out after dark, so... the festive nature of our neighbors is lost on her.
Much of the gaiety and festive nature of the holidays comes from tradition. I don't think Tom and I have a tradition. When he and I met, our kids were grown, they all went off their separate ways, and we didn't bother with holiday trappings. When Emily and Olive, and then Molly, came to live with us, well, they never experienced Christmas and we didn't really celebrate it (yes, we still do the family thing and love it, but here in our own home... not so much), so they don't miss it. It's not something lacking in their lives.
I wonder though...I wonder if we might not get back into the Christmas spirit next year...when we are truly settled in our dream home. When we can relax and enjoy the sounds and tastes of this wonderful time of year. Yes, I wonder if next year might be the year of bringing back the warmth and joy of Christmas.
Just maybe... (however, we will not dress the dogs up, nor will we spend thousands on Christmas gifts...one treat and toy each...that's it!)
Here's a Christmas picture of our late, great Chester in reindeer antlers. You can see by the expression on his face, he is less than thrilled.
A Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night!