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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Toddler Tricks - 69: Don't Break Christmas

Problem: It's time to break out the holiday spirit, by which I mean decorations, but your young children will obviously break every single item that can be broken. And this will take just minutes, not weeks. Christmas is a dangerous holiday. Trust me, I know. Pine needles prick, glass bulbs shatter, and that creche your grandmother handed down to you that's been in the family for ages is missing the Baby Jesus. Dear God, why, Christmas, why?

Solution: Lots of them. First, fake tree. Seriously. No eyes being poked out is key this holiday season. No crying toddlers with needles sticking out of their curious palms is important to everyone's sanity. Second, and most importantly, plastic bulbs. Keep everything that is glass packed up. Seriously, don't even take them out. Don't do it. I know your hands are itching. I can just put this way up here, you think. Surely nothing will happen to it, and it's tradition. Fight the urge, it will only end in tears. Plastic everything. I know from experience. My first Christmas with the kids, I thought the few glass bulbs I had from family would be okay. Three shattered bulbs and two babies with (thankfully) no cuts or glass swallowed later, I took them off. Don't be like me. You can even use string instead of hooks if you're super worried. I just used the hooks. They're covered in that green rubbery stuff these days, so I figure they're safe enough for three year olds. If yours are two, you might want to consider string.

Now, have the kids help. Have them hang up some of the safest ornaments while you go through and baby check everything else. Of course, at the end of that phase, the tree will look like this:

But you can easily rehang. By the end, you'll have a good-looking tree that's toddler safe. And don't worry. You'll get your Christmas back. Just wait a few years.

Of course, the next morning, my kids woke me up utterly ticked that there were no presents under there, even though I thought I thoroughly explained it to them last night. Be prepared for a few days of that, too.



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