Been there, done that: three times over. There were years when our Christmas tree had to be “fenced in” with a baby gate to keep the baby out of it. I’ve been recommending the Superyard for years as a holiday sanity saver.
If you’re not inclined to put the Christmas tree in the playpen, there are some things you can do to keep it more child-friendly.
- Breakable ornaments must be kept out of the reach of little ones–and little ones can reach quite a bit higher than you think they can.
- Decorations that look or smell like food are super-tempting to small children. Those cinnamon-and-applesauce ornaments, for example, smell delicious but are not edible.
- Ornament hooks can poke curious little children in the eye and scratch their hands and faces. Get some thin ribbon or even yarn in red, green, silver or gold, and hang your ornaments with ribbon loops instead of metal hooks. (Bonus: you don’t have to remove the loops when you put away the ornaments, because yarn and ribbon won’t scratch them!)
It’s also important to accept the fact that with small children in the house, you’re not going to have a picture-perfect tree. The picture above is my youngest son at the age of 2–the year he gathered up every (unbreakable) ornament he could get his hands on and hung them all from the same branch. The branch was bending from the weight of all of them, and every so often, one would slip off. But he was so proud of himself for “helping.” Now that he’s 9, my tree is much prettier, but it does lack the charm it had during his toddler years.
Enjoy the weekend, and join us again on Monday for the beginning of Relaxation Week!