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"If the world was all golden retrievers, there would never be any arguments," Dan once told me. Who knew I was married to such a wise philosopher? Whether the furry source of love and joy in your home is a dog, a cat or some other critter, you know exactly what he means.

Those of us who are crazy about our pets know they make our world a better place. So this year, we are giving our beloved pets their proper due, showcasing them in our holiday decor.

For the first time ever at Nell Hill's, we have created an inspiration Christmas tree at the store that is an homage to pets. We knew we had to do it when we found the most wonderful line of pet-themed holiday decor at market this year. Animal ornaments. Ribbon featuring a paw print. Be still my heart.

Normally, our pets like to have a hand in our holiday decorating. A customer had me rolling with laughter as she described how her cat redecorated her Christmas tree. She decorated her tree with an array of ornaments that included tiny red birds covered in real feathers. The next morning, she spied a little red pile on the floor below the tree. In the night, her cat had climbed the tree and carefully removed each and every one of the red birds, without breaking or rearranging any other ornament!

Our cat Couscous is pretty tame when it comes to stalking fake birds. But my sister Judy's horrible cat Pickles is not. Judy came home from work to find the decorative pheasant in her beautiful holiday centerpiece had been removed and gutted. You have to know that Pickles is the Meanest Cat in the World. When I visit Judy, I don't dare leave my room during the night because that darn cat will hiss at me.

Not content to stop at dog and cat tree ornaments and ribbon during our holiday buying spree at market, we snatched up garland featuring plaid dog bones and pets. Glass pet ornaments. And, the most ridiculously adorable stuffed animals. Oh. My. Gosh. I loved these cuties. We added them to our fun pet-themed tree, too. For a New Year's Eve celebration, we also got pet-themed poppers.

Whatever makes your heart happy, whether it's your pets or something else altogether, find a way to celebrate it this year in your holiday decor.

This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at marycarol@nellhills.com.

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