Kid-Proofing the Christmas Tree

Filed under: Holidays

Growing up, I always had a Christmas tree. When I was little, I don't recall considering pulling it over or removing (and eating) the ornaments on it, but those of us with kids know those are the serious risks we take when we engage in one of the most sacred of holiday traditions. For many of us, Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a tree. It's not just the place under which all the presents live; it's the thing that brings the family together in what can be a rather chaotic holiday.

So, what to do? My son will be nearly two years old this Christmas. We'd really like to put up and decorate a tree but it exhausts me to even think about constantly keeping him from pulling off (and eating) the lights, tinsel and other decorations. One idea is to get a smaller tree and perch it atop something high. Another idea is to keep the tree in a room off-limits to the kids. That's safe but not really any fun for the children, who delight in seeing the glowing lights and sparkling tinsel (and trying to eat them). You could also fore go a tree all together and hang garland on the mantel. Garland can be decorated with ornaments as well, just in smaller scale.

Still, there is something about having a tree during the holidays. We've tried to find a fake tree as we worry about the effect pollen and mold from a real tree (yes, they're covered with both) will have on our newborn, but we can't seem to find one less than 6 feet tall that could easily be perched atop our wine cooler--which is just high enough to keep little hands off of our lower hanging branches. Some friends suggested keeping the ornaments off the lowest branches, or even trimming those off. That may look funny, but I suppose it would be safer. Another thought is to simply put away any breakable ornaments, those you really care about, or those that might break or become ingestible--you know, small parts that can break off, that sort of thing. Forget about the tinsel and the lights. Make edible Christmas decorations like cookies. Not exactly healthy, but better to ingest sugar than metal or glass!

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Seriously, I am thinking we'll have to do without a tree until the kids are six or something for fear they'll pull the tree over on themselves or eat the ornaments!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.