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I Belong: Meet Cassandra

Meet Cassandra | District Leader, Northern Virginia

I LOVE the Holidays! I start the countdown the day after Christmas each year and begin thinking of what we can do as a family the following year. Christmas has always held a special place in my heart – from the true meaning of the season and celebrating the birth of Jesus – to making the time feel special and bringing my family together -it is the highlight of the year!

We have many traditions that were started and built upon from my childhood. I tend to go all out on decorating and taking time to make the house feel special for the family. I usually begin decorating around November 1st – it takes a while to transform my home into a winter wonderland with typically 5-7 trees and décor in all rooms. From the Advent calendars with tiny chocolate goodness to the big holiday meals, cookie decorating, and gingerbread house decorating contests, the fun rolls throughout December.

Santa’s elves always place a special delivery on the front porch sometime after mass on Christmas Eve. This delivery of new matching pajamas for the entire family (including the pups) signals that we need to prepare for bedtime because Santa is nearing the area. After changing into those special pajamas, we all gather around the main tree and open one gift – over the years, my boys have tried hard to find the smallest gift to save all the bigger ones for the big day. Christmas day is for family, and we tend to lounge around in our new PJs and enjoy our family time as gifts are passed and opened with joy. We prepare a full traditional meal of ham and turkey and all the fixings. I absolutely love the entire process and celebration, but mostly seeing the love and joy that being with family brings.

PetSmart has made the holidays even more enjoyable! I get a bit giddy from the first red and green that hits the store. It’s so fun to look at all the wonderful things we have to make our pets feel like the family they are. I genuinely appreciate the passion for people and pets that PetSmart covets. Being a part of the PetSmart family has given me the time to devote to my family celebrations with great balance. I have experienced the holiday seasons at other retailers that mandated six or even seven-day work weeks during the holidays, which made it difficult to make the magic happen. Even though it remains a busy time of year, PetSmart has helped me bring the festivities home in an energetic and spirited way. I appreciate the focus on people here at PetSmart and wish you all the happiest Holiday Season.


The Belonging Program’s “I Belong” Series harnesses the power of empathy through storytelling. This series is intended to give associates a greater sense of understanding, a bridge to gain new perspective, and a way to build connection to each other.


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