If your child has their way, this Christmas you will have decorations, decorations and eh, just a few more decorations.
Everything from beautiful baubles, fairy lights to wreaths and trees, real or not.
In the name of a child-friendly Christmas, we have trawled the internet in search of the most clever and useful decorating.
If this is your first Christmas with a little one, and even if it’s not, there’s bound to be something here that you might find helpful.
Ban the glass
Glass baubles may be the most beautiful and delicate of Christmas decorations, but when it comes to smalls they’re also the most impractical.
There’s nothing children like more than playing around with the branches of a Christmas tree, particularly if they’re covered in twinkling glass ornaments.
Unless you’re ready to be constantly eagle-eyed, super strict and prepared to lose a few it might be a better idea to invest in some unbreakable decorations.
Or better still, make your own. Think plastic, felt, wood, tin, jumbo candy canes, paper figures and chains.
Now is not the time to be precious about co-oridnating colours and styles. Get the whole family involved – and use loads of glitter!
If you’re determined to have a real tree, and still want to use your breakable baubles hang them in the top half of the tree with non-breakable stuff at the bottom.
Tether the tree
The internet is full of videos of cats toppling Christmas trees. Children can do it too, I’m afraid.
Some bright parent came up with the idea of attaching a string to the top of the tree and then nailing it to the ceiling or wall but you might not want to damage your paintwork.
Probably best to invest in a really sturdy Christmas tree stand or… if you really don’t trust your toddler… get one small enough to put on a table or protect it in a playpen, which can also act as a present pen to avoid early reveals.
Another way to prevent your child getting too close to the tree is to pile up large, wrapped up boxes under the bottom branches (fill them with books and the like). These look great and serve as a present wall around the tree.
Watch those pine needles
In order to avoid large amounts of needles on the floor on Christmas day, buy the most recently felled tree you can. ‘Fresher’ trees tend to have more flexible needles, and therefore are hopefully less harmful.
And that roaring log fire
For those with open fires, or wood burners, this may seem like old news.
However, it’s always worth reminding that if you are going to be getting cosy around a fire this Christmas, it’s probably a good idea to get a guard.
Put those idle hands to work
Ever seen how much more protective of things children are if they’ve had a hand in making them?
Letting them help decorate the tree or other areas can inspire this same feeling of protectiveness.
They will learn how easy it is to break things, and will be less inclined to mess around with their own handiwork.
HOT, HOT, HOT
Twinkling fairy lights equal cables and plugs.
It might be a good idea to keep a close eye – of course one always should – particularly the first few days.
Whenever they reach out for any plugs or cables or sockets say “HOT HOT HOT” or whatever you usually say to warn your little ones about any dangerous objects or places. Hopefully they will get the message and get bored of trying.
If you’re really worried you can get battery powered lights with switches/ battery units that can be concealed high up the tree.
Mini me tree
Why not get a smaller tree decorated with child-friendly stuff (tat?!) in their play area that they can sabotage (or admire, depending on their mindset) to their heart’s content.
This is also a good idea for older siblings who may be a little disgruntled with their younger sibling’s path of destruction. They can have their very own tree up on a shelf in their own room that is just theirs.
We love 2D trees in our household. All you have to do is cut a tree shape out of felt and stick it up on your wall. Younger children can use felt and other materials to make decorations that they can then stick on their 2D tree.
Everyone is happy, and it keeps the children entertained for a part of the school holidays.
If you have time this is a great one to do on Christmas Eve once they’ve gone to bed.
Using flour you can recreate (using a stencil) Father Christmas’ foot prints leading from the fireplace, or window, to the tree.
It’ll keep the magic alive!
NB: May not work with sharp-eyed youngsters who may have noticed there’s no snow outside. He brought it with him from the North Pole, ok?!