Wednesday, November 26, 2008

To trim or not to trim: Keeping baby out of the Christmas decorations

We've been in major organizational mode here. Nothing like an upcoming birthday party and people coming to our house to motivate us to clean. So far, the main living space is looking pretty good. We'll have to shove all of Olivia's toys into her room for the actual party, but other than that, we're doing pretty well (except for the office, which will off limits during the party...there's only so much I can do in a few days).

All this rearranging and organizing has me thinking about what to do about our Christmas tree. We usually put it up right after Thanksgiving, while my husband is still off work and can haul all of the boxes down from the attic. Now, I'm seriously thinking of putting it off a week. I'm just not sure how to keep Olivia from trying to climb it or pulling it down on herself.

Our tree is a 7-foot behemoth that is about half the width of our living room (which is only a slight exaggeration). I love the way it looks. It is very full and looks so nice with it's twinkly lights and shiny ornaments. But it takes a full two hours to assemble and another hour to trim. Not to mention the time it takes to drag all of those boxes down. The tree and ornaments are contained in no less than four gigantic plastic bins that live in our attic. Getting this tree up is seriously an all-day deal. Which is one of the reasons we always put it up after Thanksgiving. With all that work, we'd like to enjoy it for awhile before taking it back down.

For all of the above-stated reasons, Olivia should probably be at Grandma's house while we put up the tree. I would love to let her participate, but let's be honest...she's probably just going to end up grabbing a handful of branches and dragging them all over the house, making the two-hour assembly even longer. And the ornaments...well, let's just say that a good number of them are going to have to live at the top of the tree in order to survive the season.

My biggest concern, though, is how to keep Olivia from messing with the tree CONSTANTLY. I'm just not sure I have the patience to do this daily for four weeks. Any suggestions?


Stephanie said...

Asher was almost exactly Olivia's age last year, and we had the same dilemna. One thing we realized is where you put the tree in the room makes a big difference. We put it in a far corner - not where we would normally have chosen - but it limited the access Asher had to it. I also was very serious about "no touch" in the beginning, and between the work it took to get to it, and the sincerity of my "no," he left it alone most of the time. But I would definitely put nonbreakable ornaments at the bottom.

This year we're going to put ours up on Friday (we get a live tree) while Asher is at Grandma's, and decorate all but the bottom section. He's old enough to have fun with it this year, but too young to have the patience for the hours of work that happen before the fun. I'm really looking forward to it though.

Jen said...

I usually see the trees with the baby gates around them, to protect the ornaments from grabbing. :)

Elizabeth said...

Good luck with that. You can laugh at me next year when I'm dealing with the same issues. Also, our "tree" if you can even call it that is one of the little 3' table top ones. I just haven't had the motivation to fool with a big one/real one the last three years.