One of my favorite traditions is decorating the Christmas tree. Over the years my children and husband have been part of that tradition, sometimes more involved, sometimes not. Okay, so my husband sets up the tree and puts on the lights and he considers his job done. Since the big kids began college and aren’t home until days before the holiday, that leaves me and the little kids to do the job.
As you can imagine, young children and Christmas trees get along almost as well as Christmas trees and cats! Over the years we have adapted our decorating to accommodate the younger members of our family. For the most part, our tree and ornaments have survived. That is, until four year old Beej was old enough to reach the tree.
My mother recently asked me how my tree managed to survive all these years and children until now. I told her that none of those kids were little Beej!
Within an hour of the lights being added to the tree, Beej decided that they needed some minor tweaks. Somehow he ended up wrapped up in the lights himself! I’m sure he couldn’t resist the magical feeling of being surrounded by twinkling lights!
He meticulously placed each ornament so I have to believe that there is some secret four year olds logic to the large number of ornaments hung facing the tree. Maybe there’s something special hiding in the center of the tree? And the big gaping holes where there are no ornaments? Are those branches in trouble? Did they do something to offend Beej? When I point them out, he pointedly ignores the huge empty spots and places a second or third ornament on a nearby occupied branch.
Other ornaments do not receive the honor of making it on to the tree. Or maybe they hold another special distinction because I never know where I’m going to find them!
Poor Bert looks very lost and confused about he how ended up on the kitchen counter. And this sweet little Muppet found herself abandoned on the chair with an arm broken when Beej fumbled while trying to see if she could stand on her own.
It did not take me long to realize that I had two options- 1. Spend the entire holiday season being the Christmas tree police, or 2. Decorate the tree with unbreakable ornaments and pack away the precious heirlooms.
Knowing how easy it is to make an indelible memory in the mind of four year old, I chose option 2. I would rather have Beej (and any other grandkids to come) remember that I let them truly enjoy the tree, than have my nagging voice ringing through his head for the rest of his life! Thank goodness Target seems to carry an endless selection of $3 kid-friendly ornaments!
And on the plus side, just imagine how precious those older ornaments are going to be to us when we pull them out in a few years, after having them safely tucked away!