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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree with Children Around

I debated whether or not to put a Christmas tree up this year. Jonah, at 14 months, is very curious and likes to pull everything out of everywhere. Still, it's not quite Christmas without a tree, at least not for me. So I decided to go ahead.

Our tree, in all it's glory, is right in the middle of all of the toys, because that's really the only kind of open spot in our apartment. I use the bigger toys to kind of block off the tree, and it actually works pretty well.

You may notice that the bottom of the tree has fewer ornaments than the top. That's because the only ones in the "Jonah zone" are either soft, or sturdy enough that I don't think he'll break them. (I have only been wrong about one so far, and the hot glue gun fixed that).
When decorating a tree with young children, it's best to put the ornaments on while the kids are sleeping. Otherwise, they will immediately pull them off as soon as you put them on. I learned this the hard way. Also, realize that the first few days are going to be spent saying "no!" and "don't touch!" a lot. It's been a few days since I put the tree up, and Jonah is finally used to it. Curiosity is natural for little kids, and if you're okay with them exploring the tree, let them. I'd rather have mine be a little more hands off.
I decided this year to leave some ornaments off the tree. You know those glass balls that shatter when they drop? Not up there. The really heavy ceramic angels that have to hang from the sturdy bottom branches? Not so much. I would rather have those safe and sound in a box for a few more years, knowing that I can hang them for many years after that.
Some of the best ornaments for the bottom of the tree are homemade - check out my 20 Days of Homemade Christmas Ornaments over at The Deal Seeker for some ideas to get you started!

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