The holidays are a special time for me every year; I reach a level of giddiness that’s usually reserved for five-year-olds on their birthday. With everything going on in the world right now, my heart has been doing more hurting than celebrating, and I’ve lost some of the joy that usually surrounds Thanksgiving and Christmas for me. My mother and I were discussing this pain on the phone one day and she offered a suggestion: Go ahead and put up the Christmas tree.
“Mom, Thanksgiving isn’t even here yet. I don’t put up the tree before Thanksgiving. One holiday at a time.”
“Just trust me. Put up the Christmas tree.”
“Okay, okay, I’ll try it.”
Feeling a bit like a crazy person, I closed all of the blinds and windows so that my neighbors couldn’t see the crazy lady getting her tree down a full week before Thanksgiving. I hauled the massive tree out of the attic, made space for it in the living room, put it up, and plugged it in. As per usual, mom was right.
There’s something about the glow of twinkle lights that assures you that everything is going to be okay. There are very few things that have the same effect on me as the lights of Christmas tree, all of them touching on nostalgia or areas of comfort, like the smell of my grandmother’s famous chocolate pie in the oven, or the sound of my dad singing in the kitchen in the morning when I visit for the holidays, the same song he’s been singing since I was in diapers. While most of these are tied to my childhood memories, some are new comforts I’ve built in my adult life with Zack and our pets. As I unpacked the ornaments we have for our tree, I realized how many of them are tied to these comforting ideas for me. Each loved one has an ornament that symbolizes them, and special memories are immortalized there as well. Rather than have a picture-perfect coordinated tree, our tree is a hodgepodge of us, and that’s something I love about it.
We adopted Fulton, our American English Coonhound, in April, and haven’t gotten an ornament for him yet. Naturally, I went to Etsy to find one; he’s a huge part of our life and our daily joy, so he needs a spot on the tree. I found so many amazing pet ornaments in the process that I had to share at least a few:
BrooksPeople felted dog ornament
BrooksPeople makes amazing hand-crafted felted dog ornaments that are made to order. I love the texture of these, and that you can find the breed that matches your pup, or just get an adorable dog for your tree (Trust us – We’re the last people to judge if you just want a tree of adorable pet ornaments.)
You can find this Boston Terrier ornament, as well as BrooksPeople’s other creations, on Etsy. Most ship in 3-5 days, arriving just in time for everyone putting their tree up at the socially accepted time. 😉
craftsbyAdrienne mixed media custom pet ornaments
When I saw the playful design of craftsbyAdrienne’s custom pet ornaments, I couldn’t help but giggle. These hand-made pet mini-me’s are formed with “paper mache, acrylic paint, recycled cardboard, fishing line, [and] love.” They usually take about a week to craft, still making it well in time to adorn your tree.
To get started, check out the ornament listing.
Kaz Foxsen pet ornaments
This is the perfect Etsy stop if you have pets other than cats and dogs, as the shop features designs for birds, ferrets, horses, and more. These wooden ornaments are perfect if you have cats or other creatures who may knock ornaments off the tree.
You can find this German Shepherd as well as countless other breeds and animal ornaments in the Kaz Foxsen Etsy shop or get a custom design of your pets.
SilhouettesbyLena breed-specific ornaments
If your tree is more glitz and glam than red and green, Silhouettes by Lena may have the perfect ornament for you.
These breed-specific (cat ornament available as well!) silhouettes with gold flecks add a nice touch of sparkle.
Lena offers 166 AKC dog breed designs, 3 cats and a horse option, so you’re sure to find designs that fits your pet family.
Mooseberry Paper Co. ceramic ornaments
If your Christmas tree is about clean lines and design, these simple and elegant personalized pet ornaments from Mooseberry Paper Co. may be just what you need.
Find the ornament that fits your pet and customize with their name and information; be sure to hang these ceramic ornaments where your pets won’t easily knock them down.
WeirdWeiland cross-stitched ornaments
We try to support small and local businesses as much as possible, especially with all of the amazing creations coming out of Atlanta. WeirdWeiland is no exception.
Cross-stitched accents in the home have been on trend lately, but these adorable ornaments can be enjoyed for years to come.
Keri, the artist behind WeirdWeiland, will custom-make and stitch your ornament to fit your cat, dog, or exotic pet based on pictures you send with your order.
While a Christmas tree decorated with adorable animals won’t solve the world’s problems, it can still be a small beacon of hope and joy in your home, and you can help make the season for an individual artist or craftsman when you add hand-crafted ornaments to your tree. We’re still deciding which design to go with for Fulton’s addition, but the idea of having our sweet boy have his own ornament is an excellent happy thought that helps me get me through the day.
Do twinkle lights have the same effect on you? Are your pets on your tree? Tell me about your holiday plans in the comments.
All photos are copyright and sourced from to the original artists.