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Christmas Trees and Toddlers: A Guide

Harold the Christmas Tree chatted casually with Gilda the taffeta curtain, blissfully unaware he was about to be stripped naked and strangled with his own tinsel.

 

Those of you who came to see if I left any PopTarts alive after breakfast this morning can leave. They’re gone. They didn’t put up a fight. They were delicious, slathered in nothing but the hope that all the calories evaporated, before they engaged my ever-flagging metabolism in one of the saddest duels in all of mankind’s history.

The PopTarts were all like, “On guard.”

And my body was all, “Meh. I surrender”

The rest of you may stay and learn why you should never have a toddler and a Christmas tree. What? You insist on having both?

Ok. Let me go get the extra PopTart I hid from you, and let’s get started….

A Parent’s Guide to Having A Christmas Tree and a Toddler

by

Paige Kellerman
(Wrangler of tinsel, herder of candy canes, weeper at loss of material objects)

 

1.) The Call of White Christmas
Sure, you have toddlers. They’re destructive. But what you also know is you just finished watching a holiday movie of your choosing. For me, it’s always White Christmas or Charlie Brown Christmas. And you think, “I, too, deserve to be dipped below some sort of Hollywood, fabricated, cardboard cut-out of a softly iced, decrepit barn.
I deserve it.
We’re getting a tree.
I’m also teaching Husband how to dance. But I want to be the Vera Ellen. Rosemary Clooney was lame. There …I said it. (Ok, she could sing. But we’re not having this discussion right now.)
2.) Real or Fake?
It doesn’t matter because toddlers don’t care about the origins of what they destroy. We always get a real tree. In fact, it’s waving at you guys from behind me. Settle down tree.
The reason our tree is always real is the delightful smell, and because we love picking small needles out of everything. (Douglas Fir leavings, the stuff romance is built on.) The twins aren’t old enough to know the difference. They simply know it must die. Repeat after me…
“The type of tree I pick does not matter. I will find my toddler inside it, like some sort of demented tree sloth at 2am, regardless.”
3.) Ornaments
Throw them all away. Do it. Just grab one of the billion plastic shopping bags you have around the house. And, instead of declaring, “I have no idea what to do with all these bags because throwing them away is bad for the environment, but I’m also too lazy to recycle,” say, “Tis’ where I shall throw all my ornaments.”

“But, I want to put up my hand-crafted, stained glass, miniature Santa made by Peruvian monks.” You say.

And I say, learn how to decorate with toilet paper. Toddlers like nothing better than hiding ornaments in their pants, and letting the whole stash fall out when you least expect it, a great way to give you a heart attack.

i.e. “We used to have a beautiful, crystal rendering of “Eight maids a Milking Shoot the Partridge in A Pear Tree for Dinner,” until it fell out of Jake’s pants.”

4.) GarlandsThese seem innocent enough.

“Oh, Howard. Would ya just look at the way that fluffy gold stuff just evens things right out?”

“I know, Marleen. You should try to weave some into a girdle.”

…right up until the time you look over to see your daughter has climbed under it, declared, “I’m a decoration,” and begun to run forward. Best to scrap them.

5.) Presents

So you convinced yourself your toddler was actually good enough to merit a gift this year. Lies. But you don’t have to worry. Those presents are hidden until Christmas. What you do have to worry about is the three-tiered Precious Moments cake stand you bought for Great Aunt Ida.

Do not leave any presents under the tree, unless you associate, “Christmas Cheer” with “We talked her down off the roof of the convenience store, but we can’t get her to let go of all the mini donuts she stole. Something about not making her go back home. The whole thing’s just disturbing.”

Banned List:

Tree toppers
Table Centerpieces
Christmas Stockings made from anything other than tarp
Candles, luminaries, your famous “Flaming Good Time Wassail Punch”
Fun
Snow
Anything with bells

Note: The one thing that shall redeem the toddler is their unique ability to be more excited than everyone else on Christmas day. So, as you stare at your bare house and tree that morning, try to remember that this too shall pass, and next year they’ll be even more capable of taking the light display off the house.

Paige Kellerman blogs about marriage, babies and gin at www.paigekellerman.com. You can reach her at paigekellerman@gmail.com.

She also hides out on Twitter and Facebook.


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