Advent Unplugged is about enjoying the holiday season with minimal stress. For me, this meant doing some serious soul-searching about my Christmas tree. I adore my Christmas tree. It symbolizes the essence of all that is magical about the holidays. I have been collecting ornaments for my tree since birth (thanks, mom!) and many of them are absolutely exquisite as well as being packed with sentimental value.
The problem is my son, who possesses a joie de vivre which the casual observer might easily mistake for suicidal tendencies.
Several weeks before the start of Advent, I started having a recurring nightmare in which Buggie tried to climb the tree and I stood rooted in place with horror, watching the whole thing come crashing to the floor.
I couldn't let that happen.
Rather than spending the next four weeks in a state of panic, I took a deep breath and gave my tree over to my children this year. I created the Unbreakable Tree.
Every single ornament adorning the (surprisingly-realistic-looking) artificial boughs of my tree has been deemed "kid-friendly." Even the ones up high. (See above-referenced nightmare about falling trees.)
I was actually surprised by how many nice ornaments I have that won't shatter into a million pieces if they should happen to come flying off their perches. Brass and sterling reindeer, a carved wooden moose on a sled, rattan woven angels, and engraved pewter bears all made the cut.
The lower branches still house the truly indestructible ornaments -- like the stuffed fabric angel who bears a striking resemblance to a sumo wrestler, the plastic Care Bears on a toboggan, and the carved wooden turtle -- and the children have permission to touch those. I try to encourage my offspring to leave the ornaments on the tree, but I'm not drawing lines in the sand because then I'd have to spend all my energy enforcing the "no removal" rule!
And my beautiful, fragile ornaments? Well, some of them are hanging on a small (real) evergreen that is sitting on top of my dresser, well out of range of small inquisitive beings. And the rest were packed back into their boxes after I lovingly took each one out to admire it briefly. They'll come out again when my littles are a bit bigger.
Do your kids and your Christmas tree coexist? What works in your house?