Holiday traditions are important, so people put lots of effort into maintaining them. Some of my buddies cut down a fresh Christmas tree every year, some bake cookies to exchange with friends and family, and then some brave all that is merry, bright, and stressful about the holidays for one little picture of them sitting on a jolly guy’s knee.

You know what I’m talking about: Pictures with Santa.

I love Santa just as much as anyone else, but going to the mall around Christmas is not my idea of fun. Chasing squirrels? Yes. Driving around with mom for 30 minutes to find a parking spot? No.

And for me and my four-legged friends, Santa is only available one day every season. We all have to get there and stand in line at the same time. It’s crazy!

Luckily, mom decided to set up photos with Santa and Mrs. Paws right here at the shop! No mall madness or long lines. We encourage you to make an appointment, of course, because Santa is a pretty popular dude, but you can be spontaneous, too. Clothing is also optional – but only for my four-legged buddies.

I won’t lie, though; my favorite part of picture day is seeing what everyone wears. For some reason, the holiday spirit brings out a certain “je ne sais quoi” within people. Normally sane friends – both with four legs and two – will wear some of the most beautifully hideous clothing during their photo shoots. I’ve seen sweaters with glittery snowmen, light-up Christmas trees, and Santas with googly eyes. And, once I even saw one that had the NY Giants logo! Gross!

Part of the fun is wondering if they are wearing it to be funny – or if they really like it.

The best story I’ve ever heard about Christmas attire came from a really good friend of mine, Erin. Erin is a collie, and she grew up in Pennsylvania – or as Pennsylvanians always say, “P – A.”

Erin’s family decided one year to really step up their annual Christmas-picture game. They hired a photographer to take pictures of them on a beach… in November.

One weekend, Erin’s family traveled from all over the east coast and met up in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It was like a mini family reunion! Even Erin’s granny was there, and she was at least 90. Everything seemed fine until Erin’s mom presented everyone with their attire for the photo shoot. Being the nice person that she is, her mom purchased all the clothing in the right sizes so that no one would have to worry about getting it themselves.

What were they going to wear, you ask? Tan pants, a white, collared shirt, and a green sweater.

This special green sweater was unlike anything Erin or the rest of her family had ever seen. It prominently featured mallard ducks against a gray background, taking off in flight – in a repeating pattern. Now this pattern was only on the upper part of the sweater; the rest was just green with white triangular accents.

Everyone had the exact same sweater, in their size, including Erin. Her mom had one specially-made for her out of a smaller size so that she could match the rest of the family.

Erin’s mom was so pleased with her selection that no one had the heart to say anything about it to her. They put on their outfits and headed to the beach.

This is how Erin described the scene on picture day to me:

Imagine nine people, in matching duck sweaters, on the beach in Rehoboth – in November. The photographer had the group in some really awkward poses (because their attire wasn’t humiliating enough), and even asked for them all to jump up at the same time once – including granny, who is lucky she didn’t break a hip!

Then, as they finished up and left the beach, they all made their way to the sidewalk. They were waiting to cross the street, at the crosswalk, and people started honking at them. Erin says she doesn’t know where all the cars were coming from in the middle of fall, but it seemed like there were 50 of them. All honking.

And she said she thought to herself, “Yeah, we deserve that.”

Now, of course, Erin and her family have a cherished holiday memory that they can enjoy forever. The picture of everyone jumping turned out beautifully; her mom keeps it on the mantle, year-round.

If you would prefer something a little more low-key this year, though, come out to The Barkery for a photo with Santa and Mrs. Paws. We probably won’t ask you to jump, but you’ll still get a nice holiday keepsake.

If your whole family comes in wearing mallard sweaters, the picture will be on me.


dog treat cookie club, gourmet dog treats


The Barkery is New England’s favorite go to bakery for gourmet dog cookies. Join our dog treat of the month club, Kiki’s Cookie Club to sample our 12 varieties of dog treats and special seasonal dog cookies. We also have a self-serve wash for dogs. Contact us today and become a part of our dog pack!