Letting my toddler decorate the Christmas tree, and other festive firsts

December 10, 2014

eliza tree 2

Christmas is all about tradition, isn’t it? All the comforting and joyful things you’ve always done and always do, over and over. This year we’re also stirring lots of firsts into the Christmas mix. It’ll be the first in our new house and first Christmas dinner we’ve hosted. And, of course, the first one with our newest family member.

As we moved house the week before C Day last year and then went away, we didn’t even get the decorations out. So I’m determined to really make the most of it this year. We always get a real tree, and get out all the decorations we’ve collected. It’s a glorious display of nostalgia and non-matchery. But letting the toddler decorate the tree…good idea or not?

This year we were sent some new decorations for our Christmas of firsts. We went for the soft white popsicle line lights, which was handy as it turned out our old lights didn’t survive the move. These lights can also be used outside so I’m planning on stringing them across our patio in the summer, a la 80% of Pinterest.

John Lewis Christmas tree lights

We also got this pair of chalkboard baubles that come with their own chalk; how clever? Love that children can draw on them *cough* terrible artwork all my own…

chalkboard christmas tree decorations

….and we can add our own messages.

Merry Christmas ya filthy animal chalkboard bauble

Initially we were also going to be sent an indoor reindeer. We had a choice of a couple and were actually sent an outdoor illuminated one by mistake. We were about to send it back when we thought we’d see what it looked like when lit up. And surprisingly, we all went ‘oooh’ (doesn’t it look like a Harry Potter patronus?) Plus we realised Eliza would love it – and she does, so much so that she has named it Macaroni (?) and it now lives in our dining room.

Light-up Christmas reindeer

And on to the tree decorating…

toddler decorating a christmas tree

As this year is the first where Eliza’s really aware of what’s going on, we wanted her to play a big part in it. I read on that it’s good to let toddlers help decorate – then, the big thing, *not* move things round when they’re in bed. I liked this idea, but would it work? And more importantly, how would it look?

She actually ended up picking the tree too (and did a great job) and then doing most of the toddler-height decorating. It’s a bit random – it explains why there’s a massive clump of gold streamers, wonky garlands and three giant acorn decorations grouped together (the pom pom garland is also John Lewis, and I had planned to hang it on the wall, but no, on the tree it went). I have to admit I did take the streamers off, twice, but she put them straight back on. But we never have perfect trees, and we all love it.

Pom pom garland

Thanks John Lewis for helping with our festive firsts. What’s different about your Christmas this year?

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