5 Tips for Decorating with a Toddler

written by Katie McMinn December 4, 2016
Christmas Tree

Pre-kids my house was completely splattered in Christmas this time of year. I had elements of Christmas in every room and I swear to you I could do it all in one day. Now two kids later, I can hardly decorate the tree in an entire weekend. If you can relate here are five hints that hopefully help you decorate this year and the many years to come.

1. Stay organized.

I have categorized tote containers, which store all our Christmas decor. Two tote container s are for garland; three for tree ornaments; one for my softies (a.k.a. ribbons, table clothes, place mats, etc.); and one and this the biggest, for miscellaneous Christmas items. Before kids, Thomas and I would lug all the tote containers up to the living room and go buck wild. Now the thing that helped me most this year, was bringing up only the tote container at a time. Only the tote that stored the items needed for the task at hand. I figured the tree was my priority so I lugged one of the three tote containers with ornaments up to the living room. Once the tree was done, three days later, we headed downstairs for the next round of tote containers.

2. Take your time and enjoy.

Don’t be in a hurry. Being in a hurry with kids makes for a very unhappy mommy…and kid actually. I was started to get annoyed mid-day because decorating the tree was taking so long. It wasn’t until I decided that we could decorate this tree until Christmas day if needed, that I notice I started to enjoy the process much more.

3. Let your kids make decisions.

I’ve come to find that Liam is happier and plays better when he is involved with the decision making. With that said, this year I let him pick which ornaments would be placed on the tree and where to place them. I know it sounds crazy. Let me divulged. I knew I wanted to do a green, white and gold tree this year, so I got all those color of ornaments, which going back to hint #1 I have me ornaments in ziplock bags by color. I placed all the gold filled bags on the floor and held two up, he picked one bag. I’d open the bag and let him pick one ornament and together we’d walk over to the tree and he’d place it on. Sometimes he struggled and I’d help, sometimes I’d hold him up and draw a big circle with my finger telling him to put the ornament somewhere within the circle. We had so much fun.

4. Make decorating a game.

I have these teeny tiny sugar plum fairy ornaments that I love and are very delicate. As I was carefully taking them out of the box Liam grabbed them out of my hand. I noticed myself getting worked up at the thought of him possibly breaking them. I got up in a puff of steam and placed the fairy box on the counter. Then I remembered that this should be fun and Liam should be a part of it all and I shouldn’t get worked up over something that is really meaningless in the big scheme of things. I grabbed the box, went to the couch and called Liam to me. I helped him gentle take out each fairy one by one and hang them one by one on my fingers, until they were all hanging. Then I asked him to point to the fairy holding the star or the present; or find the blue one. At this point Thomas entered the room and Liam pointed excitedly and screamed, “Dad, sugar plum fairies!”

5. Perfection is subjective.

Perfect is also boring. With a toddler and a baby, my tree nor my house are ever perfectly how I’d like them to be. With that said you have to cherish your kids ability to imperfectly touch just about everything. If fact, the first post I wrote for this blog, Smudges on the Door is all about this concept. When I look at the bottom of my Christmas tree and see the ornaments too close together and beading out of place I am reminded that my boys tiny little hands moved those items around and they are perfect exactly where they are.

I know the Holidays are wonderful and stressful at the same time. I hope these hints help you to realize that you can enjoy yourself this time of year. Happy Holidays.

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