It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s what they say and I know for me (the kid at heart) this is very true in our household.
But with Christmas and the festive season also comes all of those adorable decorations, you know the ones…the ones with tiny parts, the very fragile ones, the heirlooms from generations past. And if you’re anything like me then you like to have your house fully decorated with them by the end of November.
Our girls are almost three years old and starting to understand the magic of the holidays: They love Santa, Frosty the Snowman and even the Grinch. They tell us that Santa brought our tree to the house while they were napping and they move the tree decorations around from branch to branch at least twice a day.
I love how excited they get, it makes me love this time of year even more, something I didn’t think possible.
I will admit though that with twin toddlers in the house my holiday decorating style has changed a bit. Let’s just say that my mom’s homemade porcelain Christmas tree hasn’t been taken out of the box and it likely won’t for at least another five years.
For the twins’ first Christmas they were just 9 months old, they were very mobile but didn’t bother too much with the decorations, especially the tree.
The following year at just shy of two years of age they were definitely into a fair bit more, but we had gates up around the house; their toys were all upstairs and the tree was downstairs along with the low lying decorations so it was almost a non-issue.
This year not only do they understand Christmas a lot more but they are definitely more interested in being hands on with EVERYTHING . There aren’t any gates up anymore and although their playroom is now downstairs and the tree is upstairs, the whole house is fair game, which means I’m constantly re-decorating. The tree has been up for a week and I’ve already had to redecorate it a half dozen times. The girls like to ‘cluster’ the ornaments together onto one branch so that means I have to sneak in afterwards and save the heavy-loaded bough.
I’ve seen many social media posts about parents foregoing the traditional tree once they become parents, many of them fearing that either:
- the little one(s) will pull the tree over onto themselves or
- they’ll pull all of the decorations off of the beautifully decorated tree
Some tree modifications include:
- only decorate the top half of the tree
- somehow attaching the tree to the wall
- putting the tree on a table or crates so that little fingers can’t get at the boughs
- putting up a gate around the tree
I personally haven’t done any of the above, although I will admit that the bottom half of the tree tends to contain more of the inexpensive plastic-coloured Christmas balls instead of the meaningful ones.
As for the rest of the decorations throughout the house, they haven’t bothered with the artificial poinsettias by the hearth, but my reindeer display has been fixed with a glue gun already. As the popular twin saying goes “what one can’t do, two will”, so while one might not tear apart the decor, when they get together, it can be a totally different outcome.
When it comes to any dangling wires, low lying breakables or things that can topple over on them; our house has been toddler-proofed. Basically everything they can grab at is soft, fixed easily or indestructible and doesn’t contain any small parts.
So when it comes to decorating for the holidays, here’s just a few ‘toddler-proofing’ tips that might help:
- go down to their level and see what they see (and remove anything that could hurt them)
- remember to keep unused outlets covered and hide or tack down any wires
- remember that poinsettias can make children and animals sick and holly berries are toxic
- small ornaments can make their way into little mouths so be sure to keep this in mind with your holiday decor placement
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season.