I love, love, LOVE Christmas decorations. Sadly, so do my children. And if there is one thing I know, it’s that 14-month-olds and most home decor do not mix. The dilemma: how was I to go about decorating for the holidays while keeping my children (and my decorations) safe. I know there are plenty of options for gating off your tree, but I have two toddlers on my hands. They may be little, but they are smart. One will distract me while the other quickly and quietly gets into something they know they aren’t supposed to have. I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.
If you want a truly toddler-proof Christmas, there is only one rule you need to follow:
Keep everything (this means the tree, too!) out of reach.
I started with a 3-foot pre-lit tree. Since I live in a small space, I was able to get away with a small tree. I’m ashamed to admit, but I actually bought my tree on Thanksgiving. I was one of those people who waited in her warm car in the Target parking lot. Once the line died down, I avoided the electronics department, grabbed by 1/2-off mega blocks set for the twins, a $12 coffee maker for myself, and headed over to Christmas decorations. Aside from the crazy people with giant flatscreen TVs in their carts, it was actually a fairly pleasant experience. But as any mom knows, a trip to Target by yourself is practically a vacation! But I digress.
Tree. Oh, yes, the tree. 3-feet, pre-lit. I grabbed a set or ornaments in metallic tones. Easy.
The candles next to my tree are electric. I don’t light real candles much any more, especially not on a piece of furniture (the back of the kitchen counter seems like a safer place for a holiday baking scented candle). I bought remote-controlled candles at Kohl’s a while back, and I love them. All the candles in my living room can be lit with the press of a single button. And I don’t have to worry about little fingers getting burnt.
A red accent pillow adds a winter-y touch to the living room. It’s also the only one of these decorations my little ones get to touch.
Next: the little bookshelf in my kitchen that I use to store little toys and bibs for mealtime. I keep “mommy’s toys” on the top shelf – far out of reach of curious hands. The little red reindeer are actually piggy banks from the Target clearance section from last year. Yes, piggy banks. Random.
Last, but not least, don’t forget about hanging ornaments. Trade out pictures in frames for holiday printables. You know the ones that you re-pin, but never print? Hang wreaths over doors. They’re not just for outdoors, you know. And my personal favorite – hang ornaments in your windows.
No, I don’t have a giant tree in my living room. No, my home doesn’t look anything like the pictures I admire on Pinterest, or in magazines. But I’m happy. I have a cozy, festive, and safe environment for my children during the holidays. Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!