How to decorate a Christmas tree with a toddler
Build up the excitement about the Christmas tree for weeks. Point out other Christmas trees that you see and tell them that they’re going to get one too. Tell them how much Santa likes Christmas trees. Ask them if they want to get a tree every day before breakfast. They’re going to be so into this.
Go to your local supermarket to pick out a tree, because you’re afraid to drive any longer than five minutes with a tree strapped to the top of your car with jumper cables. Ask the toddler if they’re ready to get a Christmas tree. They say no.
“But we need to get a tree for Santa!” you say.
They start crying because they’d rather go to the supermarket and push around one of those mini shopping trolleys.
You don’t need anything from the supermarket.
Abandon the tree and take the kid to a cafe. Distract them with lunch before making tree attempt #2.
They refuse to get out of the car.
Send your husband out to get the tree while you sit in the car with the grumpy toddler.
Get the tree home and take out the decorations. Put on a Spotify Christmas playlist and a Santa hat. Let the festive fun begin!
The toddler announces that they’re taking a nap. At 4pm.
Attempt to wake the toddler at 5pm.
Attempt to wake the toddler at 5:15pm.
Finally rouse the toddler at 5:30pm. They are NOT happy. Abandon your decorating plans. Abandon your evening plans too, since they’re clearly going to be up all f-ing night now.
Get the decorations out again the next morning after breakfast. Put on the holiday tunes and the Santa hat. The toddler insists that you remove your hat and wear a wreath on your head instead.
Just go with it.
Give the toddler some ornaments to put on the tree. Discover that this is actually quite a tricky thing for a toddler to do. The toddler gets frustrated and spends the rest of the morning making piles of ornaments instead, while periodically shouting at the cat, who is trying to eat all the ribbons off of said ornaments.
Finally get all the ornaments on the tree. Stand back to admire it. The toddler points out that the tree is being “a bit messy.” Spend the next 20 minutes sweeping pine needles off the floor. Realise that you’re going to be sweeping up pine needles every day for the next month. As yourself if this whole Christmas tree thing is really worth it.
Then the toddler says, “It’s a really, really nice tree. Santa is going to like it. He’s going to come in and bring jingle bells. He’s not scary.”
And you think, yup, it’s worth it.
Also, the idea of a strange old man breaking into your house actually IS a bit scary. But it’s really nice that your kid doesn’t see if that way.