Have you ever looked at a Christmas tree through the eyes of a toddler? All those twinkling lights, glittery tinsel and sparkling ornaments all look so enticing – you just want to eat them all up, or stick them up your nose – whatever your preference! So the question remains, how do you keep your tree safe from those marauding tikes whose soul purpose is to pull off every decoration within arms reach?
Anyone who read my post yesterday ‘Baby Jail and Other Safety Ideas’ will know that I used a playpen to keep my kids contained when they were young. The first few Christmases our toddlers were out of harms way when they were playing in their ‘baby jail’. Then as they got older and were wandering around the house I was left with a dilemma – how do I stop them from pulling the tree down onto themselves, electrocuting themselves with fairy lights and choking on ornaments? That’s when I came up with my brilliant plan – I put the Christmas tree in the playpen. I raised it up on a small side table so the munchkins couldn’t reach the bottom branches, then put it at the back of the playpen, so that I created an exclusion zone the kids couldn’t enter. As a bonus, they couldn’t touch and feel the presents underneath either!
I was reminiscing about this the other day as we put up our Christmas tree for this festive season. As my kids have grown up, the tree is no longer only decorated on the bottom branches. This year the kids decided to have a colour scheme on the tree, so all hand made ornaments made from paddlepop sticks and cardboard were left in the box.
I think back to Christmases past and how I couldn’t wait to have a beautifully decorated tree the kids wouldn’t touch. Now that those days are here, I feel nostalgic for mangy handmade decorations and the tree stuck in solitary confinement!