Yes, you heard me right. It is Cooper’s birthday weekend, and he will be 3 years old on December 7th. Just ask anyone you know with a December birthday, and that person will tell you that it is a terrible time of year to have a birthday. Friends and family may cancel meeting for a birthday celebration because there are too many holiday commitments. With the busy holidays being full of Christmas recitals, holiday parties, and family get-togethers, how do you make time to celebrate a December birthday, and manage to make the day special?
Being overbooked and planning a dog birthday celebration is overwhelming when also trying to shop for presents, decorate, send Christmas cards, bake and attend holiday celebrations. How can you squeeze in any more into your holiday preparations when already frazzled and burned out before the holiday?
Getting creative is a necessity this time of year, and I have a solution . . . attend a holiday dog celebration. Yes, that may sound odd but that way there is minimal planning, and all you and your doggy friends have to do is show up!
One of Cooper’s friends gave us the idea that given the short notice, and especially since I did not have time to plan a birthday cake, buy party favors, or to send out birthday party invitations, why not ask some of Cooper’s friends to join us in attending a doggy Christmas party? It was a win/win. For the party that we attended, dog owners had to pay a small fee to attend the event but their dog got to play games and take home a gift bag worth $80 in goodies. Of course, I could try to add my own specialty items like a special birthday bandana or dog treats but the main focus would be two parties packaged in one.
Steps for a successful holiday-birthday party:
Invite Your Doggy Friends! Who wants to celebrate their birthday alone? (Well, maybe the Grinch). Make sure to send out texts or emails to your doggy friends who are sure to get into the holiday spirit. Let your friends know that it is not only a holiday get-together but also a birthday party for your cherished pup, essentially having two parties wrapped into one. Not only is this a time-savings for you but also for your friends who may not have a lot of extra time around the holiday season.
Get Festive! Dressing your dog in an ugly Christmas sweater or in a Santa Claus costume makes your dog festive and ready to socialize with other dogs. It is also a great conversation starter such as discussing why you chose a particular outfit or could discuss where you found a great selection of affordable holiday dog decorations or costumes.
Party Favors! Usually organized dog events, like holiday parties, have dog gift bags that are given to all attendees. This could count as your own party favor but make the day special for your pup and their friends by giving out your own dog party gift bag. Gift bags can be either a toy or a bag of treats but giving something to your attendees lets them know that you appreciate their time and friendship, especially during the holiday season.
Get Dog-Wild! Let your pups get crazy with slobber, jumps, and wrestling moves. It is their time for socialization so let them get crazy, and make sure to take lots of pictures. Those embarrassing photos could come in handy as blackmail someday when you need your pup to cooperate.
Send Out Thank You E-cards! Letting your guest know of your appreciation for their time is always a good thing but make the moment special by creating an e-card with photos of your two dogs celebrating. Another option would be to create an internet page with party pictures post-event for all participants to view. Everyone loves to see photos of their dog having a good time so make sure to share your photos for all to see.
Getting together over the holidays can be stressful but it does not have to be. Merging your dog’s birthday party into another event, such as a holiday party, can decrease stress for you, allowing your dog to enjoy the holidays and his birthday worry-free. With so many things happening over the holidays, fun and festive events can be just the right amount of social time that your dog needs without overdoing it.
So start checking the internet to peruse dog holiday events happening near you. Throw on an ugly sweater, sip some eggnog, and start singing (or howling) your favorite Christmas tune. Not only will Cooper have a memorable birthday but it is also the start to a very joyous and special holiday season. Have yourself a very special and wonderful Christmas, and we hope that all of your dog’s dreams and Christmas wishes comes true!