How to Safely Decorate for The Holidays When You Have Children

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I loved to decorate for Christmas in my “BK” years.  You know, before kids.  I could put out all of the delicate and expensive decorations during that time in my life.  Five children later, things have changed.

I remember laughing when my friends who had children told me that I’d be putting away the delicate and expensive things until my children were teens. In my “BK” years, I was so sure that my children would be different than other people’s children. I am here to confess that my kids aren’t any different than my friend’s children and that my life has changed due to the fact that I have kids.

Here are some decorating tips we’ve learned over the years which may be helpful to you.

Put Away the “Good” Stuff

I have ornaments that my mother bought for me before she passed away.  It’s tempting to put them on the Christmas tree, but I resist the urge to do so.  I know that I’d be constantly monitoring the tree to prevent the inevitable from happening.  It’s not worth the stress.

Make it Safe

I used to decorate the house with holly and poinsettias too.  Since we now have a gaggle of animal “kids” too, I no longer decorate with items that could be poisonous if ingested.  I’m also careful about using Christmas lights.  Some lights are very hot and can burn young children if they are touched. 

I avoid inexpensive glass tree ornaments too.  I learned this the hard way on year.  My cat liked the sound they made when they shattered on the tile floors.  It was very difficult to get all of the shards up off the floor and my one child stepped in a glass shard I had missed.

Since we have animals and young children, we wire the Christmas tree to the wall so it doesn’t topple.  I’d recommend this to all parents.  Just make sure to put the wire high enough so that no one is hurt by the wire! To make this safe, we actually put the tree against the wall and wire it to the wall that way.  I’ve known of people who have put their Christmas trees in playpens to keep the tree and the kids safe. I’ve also met people who have wired their trees to the ceiling because they had a large family of very lively children.

Avoid Edible Looking Decorations

I’ve seen glass ornaments and decorations that are made to look like candy.  Many young children have difficulty understanding that the glass candy cane ornament really can’t be eaten even though it looks like a candy cane.  I spent one year explaining this concept over and over to my child and she still didn’t get it. This year, my girls are old enough to understand that the candy cane is glass and I doubt they’d try to eat it.  My son is just 18 months old though and I’m sure he’d love to try to eat glass candy canes!

Nothing lasts forever.  In a few years, you’ll be able to decorate with the delicate and expensive items, I promise you.  Until now, stay safe and stress free.  Put away the items that aren’t kid and pet friendly–you’ll be glad you did.

Do you have tips for decorating safely?  If so, please post.

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