Christmas stockings are a peculiar tradition -- hanging up socks over the fireplace so they can be filled with candies, gift cards, tchotchkes, and any other small gift that you can fit into a sock. Strange though it may be, it's certainly a fun facet of the holiday, and one worth sharing with our four-footed friends.
People frequently get their pets a little something to get into the spirit of the season, but oftentimes the stocking is overlooked, which is sad, since filling a stocking -- even for a pet -- can be a ton of fun! Here are a few ideas to help get your pet Christmas stockings off the ground.
The first step is to get the stocking, and while you can totally run out and buy one, it is just as easy to take an old tube sock and some glue, slap a little tinsel and some puffballs on it, and call it a day. That's not to say that you should just throw decorations on a sock all devil-may-care -- making a stocking you are proud of can be a fun Christmas crafts project. Just remember, it's whats on the inside that counts.
Here comes the really fun part -- getting all the trinkets and treats to fill your pet’s stocking. The real key to this step is this: think small! Leave the dog beds or scratching posts for under the tree. Depending on whether you're putting together a stocking for a cat or a dog, the gifts inside might change.
For cats, you can throw together a couple catnip toys (or loose catnip), some tasty treats, and a laser pointer, for hours of crazed chasing fun.
For dogs, a few chew toys, maybe a rawhide bone, some treats, a fun collar, a Greenie treat or two, and you’re done!
Now you're ready for the last step -- hanging that pretty pet stocking with care. There are a few different methods for managing this, for both those with and without an actual fireplace. If you do have a lovely mantel and want to keep it traditional, putting a few screw-in hooks is as easy as a trip to the hardware store. If you don't want to bore holes into your walls, there are plenty of different stick-on, no-residue hooks you can pick up. Once you have the hooks all set up, it's just a matter of hanging the stocking, which couldn’t be simpler -- just loop and droop.
And there you have it! You have successfully integrated your furry friend into the Christmas fold. Just make sure you don’t take credit for the stocking -- cats and dogs love Santa, too!
More on Pet Holiday Preparation
A Guide to the Best Christmas Gifts for Dogs
17 of the Coolest Cat Christmas Presents
Pet Safety for the Holidays Infographic