7 Brilliant Ways For Including The Family Pets In Christmas And Holiday Cards This Year

by Karen Belz
Karen Belz has written for sites such as Bustle, HelloGiggles, Romper, and So Yummy. She's the mom of a sassy toddler and drinks an alarming amount of Sugar-Free Red Bull in order to keep up with her.

Every year, there are two groups of people. There’s the group who get their holiday cards out during the first week of December.

And then there’s the group who take their holiday photo at the last minute. It’s a good thing that nobody will ever judge a card for being a couple days late. December gets really busy, so it makes sense if cards get pushed aside — especially if you’re the type to personalize them.

Decades ago, it was common for families to actually send out a letter with an update of how the family was doing. But these days, since most of us are on social media, it’s easier than ever to get updates on the people you know.

So just sending a card with a picture is often good enough. And honestly, that photo should probably be good.

That opens up a bunch of other questions. How should you pose? What will you wear? And will you actually get a good shot that flatters everyone?

When you send out a Christmas card, it’s hard not to include your fur child. Even if they don’t photograph all that well, they’re part of the family — and deserve a little recognition. Most families just pose in a group photo with their dog. While that’s completely fine, there are other ways you can use your pup (or your cat, if they’re good with cameras) to show off your creative nature. Here are just a few.

Dress up your dog like a reindeer.

This idea will never not be cute. All you need is a pair of fake antlers and you’re good to go. Another popular choice is Max, the dog who belongs to the Grinch. In an effort to make Max resemble a reindeer in the popular Christmas-stealing scene, the Grinch puts a single antler on his head. Know who’d also look cute with a single antler? Your dog.

Put some pajamas on your dog.


You can easily do a family pajama motif for a comfy yet adorable photo. And don’t forget to include your pup. Sure, dogs don’t necessarily sleep in pajamas, but they definitely look cuter in them than humans do. Wearing pajamas around the house on Christmas morning (… and Christmas afternoon, unless you’re going somewhere) is a tradition for many families. Why should your dog sit this one out?

Surround your dog with presents.

Surround your dog with presents.

Just make sure those presents are safe for dogs, in case yours goes wild and tries to open them up in the midst of the photo shoot. This picture is a guaranteed win, and it’s fairly easy to create. You might just need to wrap a few gifts ahead of time.

Catch your dog playing in the snow.


Try to pick a time when the lighting is perfect, and capture your dog in his natural element. If there’s snow on the ground, even better. There’s nothing greater than watching dogs play in the snow, and if you catch it on camera, it’ll make a great card. This is also a good idea if you know your cards will be late but still want to celebrate and send relatives something.

Make sure your dog is always part of the action.

Actor Jason Biggs often has a fun holiday card that includes everyone, even his dog. Jason and wife Jenny Mollen nearly created a movie poster, and their pup Gina is a big part of it. Fans of Jason and Jenny know how important Gina is to their household, and it’s obvious in this photo — especially since she gets more face time than their children. “You *all* are killing it but Gina takes the prize, sorry,” a fan commented on the shared post.

Don't be afraid to use dog sweaters.


Unless you know your pet absolutely hates clothes, there’s no shame in dressing them up in their holiday best for a photo. And there’s also no shame in matching your dog. In fact, color coordination can be very cute for a family portrait. As a bonus, the sweater will keep them warm all season long.

Decorate your dog in lights.

Decorate your dog in lights.

This isn’t a great idea for jumpy dogs, but if your dog is usually pretty chill and nondestructive, it’d be a really cute photo. If they won’t mind being dressed up in winter gear, you can easily take them outside and stage a photo that makes it look like your pet is decorating the house for the holidays. Just make sure to avoid candles and fragile ornaments.