If you’ve got a mobile baby or rambunctious toddler in your midst, you might be starting to wonder how a Christmas tree – in all its ornamental goodness – will last more than a minute in one piece.
This is very much my dilemma this season, as I spend my full days running around after a twenty-month-old with a mission to destroy!
While a perfectly decorated, free-standing tree may not be possible with some bubs and tots around, with a little bit of compromise and imagination, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the much-loved Christmas tree while skirting around those issues of safety and potential destruction.
1. Fence it in!
Many people opt for setting up their tree within a play pen; a great way to keep bubs and trees separate while also allowing plenty of room for presents. You could also use weighted boxes to create a barrier ( wrapped up nice and Christmassy so that it doesn’t look like you’re moving house), or even set to building your own picket fence.
2. Light it up!
Invest in some strings of fairy lights and mount them to your wall (out of reach of kids) in the shape of a Christmas tree for big festive points.
3. Downscale your tree, and place it out of reach of bubs and tots
There are numerous miniature tree options around, both man-made and live trees that are small enough to place on a shelf, unit or table top, out of reach of little hands. With plenty of love and lots of decoration, the smallest tree can make a big statement.
4. Buy a removable wall sticker
Removable wall stickers bring tonnes of character to rooms. There are abundant Christmas tree options, in all colours and sizes across many Australian brands to suit your Christmas colour scheme.
5. Use kid-safe decorations
Put aside the glass ornaments and electric lights this year and opt for non-breakables that are safe for little ones to touch, such as paper chains and plastic decorations, with no small hooks or parts.
6. Have a nude tree
Somewhere along the way it became quite fashionable to leave the Christmas tree unadorned, but I wonder if it came about because of kids – or pets! Secure your tree, and celebrate its natural splendour.
7. Go the 50/50
Decorate only the upper half, so little hands can’t reach ornaments, decorations or electric lights.
8. Grab your paper, scissors and glue and get your craft on
With some simple supplies you can get to work on an entirely different type of Christmas tree: a giant tree-shaped wall mural or poster, or perhaps build a cone-shaped tree out of cardboard and felt that the kids can decorate with pictures and paper ornaments.
9. Have a hanging tree
This is another creative option that could involve making a tree-shaped mobile and hanging it in a corner from the ceiling.
10. Have an inflatable Christmas tree
These come in all shapes and sizes, some even feature Santa on them as well as gifts at the foot of the tree. The beauty of an inflatable tree is that you can take it outside to accompany an al fresco Christmas lunch.
11. Display fake presents under the tree until Christmas eve
Hang on to all of those boxes from your online shopping sprees, wrap them up and put them under the tree. Better they are shaken, thrown and torn to shreds than the real gifts!
12. Opt out of a tree and go to town on the house!
For some, it may not be worth the worry or the effort to have a Christmas tree in the house this year. But, grab some hooks and fill up the walls with the Christmas spirit. The kids will love having plenty of decorations to gaze at.
Merry Christmas, Babyologists!