Tip Tuesday: A Christmas Tree + A Toddler

The day after Halloween I saw my first Christmas commercial…poor Thanksgiving. Some stores break out the Christmas decorations before Halloween (ahem Lowe’s). Even the Thanksgiving parade ends with a glimpse of Santa.

Many are excited for Christmas but who doesn’t like Thanksgiving…a day (or weekend) spent expanding the waistline, watching football and spending time with loved ones while enjoying cocktails after the year’s greatest nap.

The only thing that separates our Thanksgiving from others is that we break out our Christmas décor a week before turkey day. I love waking up to that tree full of lights and family ornaments. Look at these pictures of our little elf last year. Only twelve months ago she had to be propped up by pillows to unwrap her gifts. We had no worries of her attempting to pull or yank on the ornaments…she could barely crawl!

Wondering how Lily would do with a giant tree filled with lights and glittery objects we decided to set up the tree and wait for the ornaments…and today’s tip is all about how we handled it with a crazy toddler.

Of course we could have set up the tree during her nap…but that would be too easy.

My tip: try setting up your tree first without all the trimmings. Get your toddler acquainted with the tree and lights before you add even more objects that scream “touch me” or “pull me off.” While you are assembling your fake tree or a real douglas fir give your kid something to do!

To keep Lily busy we put her in her highchair and introduced her to pumpkin fluff (read all about it from yesterday’s post). Lily would pause from eating every once in awhile as Mike carried in a new layer of the tree. She was so focused on dipping graham crackers and making a mess with her snack that she could care less what we were doing.

Once snack time was over she became intrigued with the giant elephant in the room. She attempted to crawl under the tree, but the branches prevented her from reaching the stump. Lily knows the word gentle very well. I had to teach her that word after her phase of slapping me (she loves me right?). We repeated the word and showed her that she could pet the tree. Like most activities she was over it pretty quickly.

After a few days I enlisted my mom’s help as a babysitter while I started to make the tree pretty. All of the branches that Lily could reach hold shatterproof ornaments. There are a few that can come apart, like the snowman that has jingle bells. I would rather her take a bell off the snowman than detach a wheel from my 30 year old baby ornament! Yep I have several ornaments my mom gifted me when I got married…love her! After the tree was dressed she walked up and gently rubbed a fluffy Santa ornament without my coaching…made my heart melt. She hasn’t been a saint though yanking a few off. The bottom ornaments are strategically placed on the tips of branches so when she pulls on them they come off easily and we don’t have to worry about pulling the whole thing down! My friend Emily of Emily Ley taught her son Brady to touch the ornaments with one finger only and so far she too has been successful mixing a walking toddler with a Tannenbaum!

Christmas decorating was less stressful stretching out the process to get her acquainted with all of the new tempting objects. Lily had fun experiencing pumpkin fluff (recipe here) and jamming out to the holiday tunes. Getting something actually completed without anything breaking + Lily having fun + I didn’t stress because nothing broke = a success in our house!

{Playing some of the Christmas classics while we decorate has been something I have done since I was a kid. I created a list filled with some classics that remind me of my childhood mixed in with some of my favorite modern ones. It’s not on the list but the NSYNC Christmas album is one of my favorites, that I can listen to on repeat! }

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  1. Linda Young commented:
    November 22, 2012 Reply

    When the boys were small (3 of them!) they would grab ornaments off the tree and at times almost pull the tree over! Dan saved my sanity by building a large wooden slatted gate (2 sides) I laced them together and had them braced against two walls, thus preventing the boys from getting to the tree AND the presents. I wrapped greenery and red ribbon around the top and added bows. It really looked pretty, and I could relax and enjoy the season.

  2. Katie commented:
    October 6, 2013 Reply

    Thank you for the advice. My son, Rockwell, is 16 months and i for see him being meen to the tree. Im definatly going to do this

  3. Hint Mama commented:
    December 4, 2013 Reply

    Great tip (and so smart to only put shatterproof ornaments near the bottom of the tree). I linked to your tip, and some others from a childproofing pro, in a post today on how to mix toddlers with Christmas trees:

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Lily & Bliss | First Frosty on December 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    […] yet set up your tree or your pulling out your hair keeping your toddler from breaking ornaments read this tip! There is also a great playlist of old classic holiday tunes along with some great modern Christmas […]

  2. […] ornaments with no small parts attached (think felt ornaments), and at her home (like at the home of blogger Amy Romano of Lily & Bliss and as the blog Crunchy Moms recently suggested), these non-breakable ornaments were installed low. […]

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