You guys. I did something shameful.
I put up my Christmas tree a week before Thanksgiving.
I know, I know. The horror. Maybe it was the snow and bitterly cold temps Indiana received this week, or the fact that we didn’t decorate at all last year, but I just couldn’t wait another minute. We had to get some jolly-goodness in our home. Stat.
I posted something to the like on Facebook, and one friend immediately requested a blog post on how to toddler-proof a Christmas tree. Way to bring my beautiful holiday dreams back down to reality, Amy. I’ve become a pro at keeping cats away from/out of the tree, but for some reason I don’t think my husband would let me spray our daughter with water every time she made a move for a shiny ornament.
Or maybe he would. We should test that theory…
Anyway, with no prior experience in toddler-proofing a Christmas tree, I’ve been left to test my own theories. I think I’m on to something, judging by the fact that tree has now been up for a solid few days and this momma is actually winning the broken ornament race.
Momma – 2, Dorothy – 1
Pretty sure that qualifies me as an expert. Here’s what I know.
Expert Tip #1 – Go slow
I decided to make the Christmas tree as un-exciting as possible by putting it up in stages. First, I got out all of the boxes of decor and just let them sit in the living room. She was all over it for maybe a day, and now I think she has forgotten they exist.
Next, we put together our artificial tree and didn’t put a single decoration on it. D and the cat checked it out, chewed on a few branches, and again were pretty uninterested 24 hours later.
Of course putting on the lights and ornaments was a tad more fun. That’s where Dorothy’s one shattered glass ornament comes from. But, in general, the plan is working.
Expert Tip #2 – Go double
I purchased a small tree for Dorothy’s room. Hobby Lobby $10 – I couldn’t leave it there. I’ve officially become one of “those” people.
I set up this tree long before we busted out the real tree. It doesn’t have any ornaments (except for a Hello Kitty Happy Meal toy), and only has battery-operated lights. She gets to look at it whenever she wants, and I’m pretty sure there’s no obvious way that she could destroy it.
We’ll call it a practice tree. It seems to help.
Expert Tip #3 – Go cheap
Fancy ornaments are enticing, I know, but they’re not so great when they crash to the floor at 7 a.m. because your toddler is rediscovering the tree. I bought a ton of inexpensive ornaments at Big Lots that I knew I could part with, and so far they are the only ones that have been sacrificed… knock on wood.
However, nearly every smashed ornament in the Cotten house so far has been covered in glitter. Red glitter is a permanent part of my floor.
Bonus tip: don’t buy glitter ANYTHING.
What tips do you have for keeping the little ones away from the Christmas tree? Seriously, though. Do spray bottles work on children?
I’ll keep you updated on the broken ornament race. Victory is all mine this year. Stay tuned for a Christmas home tour, because I’m fun like that!
You are hilarious! I’m terrified of what my son is going to do to our tree that we put up this weekend. He is a complete destroyer and mischief master. Completely out of control! When Nae was this age we gated it off in our guest bedroom which was visible to living room but in this new house its so open there wouldn’t be a chance in hell of gating this tree off anywhere. I’m worried I’ll put this tree up this weekend and be taking it down by next weekend because I can’t take it anymore! ahhahahahahahaha
Cheryl Jones says
We put our tree up a week early too! But didn’t get around to decorating it until yesterday! So far my 22 month old son has done great! He has really had no interest. BUT my 9 month old just can’t keep his hands off! One day down and I only had to really take him away three times. Not to bad I guess! We will see how the next few days go. There really is not reasoning or understanding at the age of 9 months. I think he gets it and then he gets distracted and goes right back! SO we may have to go with a gate around the tree. Only time will tell!