It's December , and I'm a stickler of etiquette. So now I am allowed to play Christmas music. My amazon music play list is coming along nicely thank you ! To dust off the Christmas jumpers and accessorises , I have earrings, sunglasses, Santa hats , etc. And of course 'Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la' !! Thats not just me singing along to my play list. I get to decorate the house with sparkly stuff. Wonderful wee heirlooms taken out of bubble wrapped boxes, tacky battery operated Santas that are motion sensitive , fairy lights that twinkle, stockings hung over the fireplace. It's a red and green and gold and silver explosion ! And the Tree .... But I have a wee one, 17 months , so its different sort of tree trimming and decoration fest this year.
How I have kind of solved my problem is , I have two. I learned very early on in my nanny career in other peoples houses babies and baubles , toddlers and tinsel don't mix ! So I have one that I get to decorate like Monica out of friends, all pretty and with the stuff that is sentimental attached to it and the other one in the playroom that is fibre optic which means it lights up all on its own and changes colour. Hours of fun. She, my wee woman can touch and have things we aren't too attached to , on it. But if you're not got room or weren't gifted a 2 nd tree ( thank you uncle Joe ) here is some yule tide advice that you can heed to help you and your family safety enjoy the holiday season.
Depending on the age of your wee one , things need to be baby proofed for them at Christmas as much as any other day of the year. So ornaments of any kind , on the tree or around the house need to be out of reach. Or secured that they , your wee one cant pull it down and in turn what ever was anchoring said item up there. Im thinking stockings . Ours are tided to the fire guard. Kind of makes a nice change than looking at the bars as such! Family hand me down snow globes and things are safely up on the mantle piece away from wee ones fingers. No picture frames were used and then pulled down or pins that can get lost were required to secure stockings to mantle piece. I found window stickers in a pound store and have decorated a wonderful jolly Christmas scene on all the glass panels in the house including the mirrors. She can look literally but cant touch and cant get them off. Yahh.
With your tree think , can it be assembled out of wee ones reach. On a higher, stable table? It might look funny but its safe. Cords from the lights are up out of the way or popped in to cord safe tubes . Lights on a timer need to be switched off at the wall for fire hazard safety and babies pulling on them. All of my teens have pulled the tree down on themselves in their younger years ! Only saved at the last minute by Dad so it does happen ! If it's a real tree , think how heavy that is if it comes down. So if you're taking down painting to pop tree in front of , use some good strong cord to secure the tree to the wall with the hook of the now vacated picture? We have , that suckers not moving anywhere !
Natural curiosity of your wee one what ever their age will be to want to touch and help. So I have all the baubles up higher than her reach. And plain branches down below. It's a tree of two halves as such. All pretty up top. Anything that is breakable even if accidentally dropped for a small person height must be avoided. The baubles shatter and pieces go everywhere and are razor sharp on wee ones skin. Lights need to be pushed in to the tree and hidden away from wee fingers to pull on. Tinsel is a choking hazard as it comes apart easily and into small pieces just perfect for toddler taste tests. Presents need to be popped underneath at the last minute as not to be unwrapped too soon. I have extra large Santa sacks that all my kids gifts go in to as we have a wrapping paper free Christmas.
I know some people its easier to just NOT when it comes to having a tree at all with wee ones about. But there are some great alternatives such as get a length of the fake tree, that you might use to loop around bannisters etc . Your local garden centre if its worth its gravel , will have a xmas shop dept selling the stuff. You can have pinned to the wall instead, like a flat Christmas tree. Another is a life sized tree made out of felt that sticks to the wall. Wee ones have lots of fun rearranging the felt stick on ornaments every day . Some places suggest a gate around it or large boxes to keep it at arms length. My toddler just sees that as an assault course and a challenge accepted ! So I cant recommend. I have it in a room that she quite simply isn't allowed in for the season unaccompanied. We have also invested, in outside lights and decorated a few of the trees and bushes in the garden , who says the tree has to be inside. It's a victorian idea from only around 200 years ago. Previously there was no such thing as a Christmas tree in your house. So go back to basics and find suitable vegetation. Maybe don't put all the trimmings and especially not the presents in this weather. But if you have one out side the main window or have potted plant that will do. Decorate and position it to light up your room from the outside.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year and exciting when they are little. They can if pre crawling they just sit and marvel at the lights. Once they are mobile, you need to think ahead for their safety , but with forward planning it need not be impossible to have your Christmas cake and eat it too. It might not be the most beautiful Christmas tree on the block , but its yours. You can be safe in the knowledge that you did your best for everyone to survive the holiday period. ....
Speaking of people surviving the Christmas break , Do check out my blog on inlaws coming to stay.