Step away from the tree

Normally I like to think this blog is all about finding ways to embrace living with young kids, but sometimes I’m happy to admit defeat. And when it comes to decorating my Christmas tree, it’s a whole different ball game.

I can deal with toys around the place (admittedly the wooden ones only as the plastic’s hidden in cupboards and boxes). Children’s artwork on the wall? Not a problem at all. And I can handle messy toddler doodles all over my beautiful blackboard wall. But let my children decorate the family Christmas tree? You must be having a laugh.

Over the course of the last couple of weeks I’ve seen dozens of Christmas tree shots posted to blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and I’ve noticed that we parents can be divided into two camps: those that hand over the decorating control to their offspring, and those of us who don’t.I envy the other camp. They nimbly dodge the pressure to show off their decorating skills and instead they get to bask in the creativity of their kids, chuckling affectionately at the erratic arrangement of baubles. But for a control freak like me, there’s no way on this earth I could look at a badly decorated tree for longer than, ooh, about ten minutes.

And so today, after a wonderfully frosty trip to a local tree grower to pick the perfect Christmas tree, I found myself hiding in the playroom, with the sound of plastic bauble after plastic bauble hitting the laminate floor in the living room ringing in my ears. I’d thought I was up to it. I thought I could relinquish control, a control I’ve held tightly onto for over two decades – I was prepared to give up my role as The Person Who’s In Charge Of Decorating The Tree. Two three-year-olds were let loose on my beautiful tree.
After the 12th bauble was hung on one single branch, my decision was made. We popped out, and I dashed into our local garden centre where I bagged myself a sale bargain of two, suitably hideous, LED lit mini trees. Presenting one to each twin with a flourish, I talked up how amazing it was to have their own tree to decorate. Thankfully they got the subtext. “So,” said Ez, “the big tree is Mummy and Daddy’s?”  She was so near and yet so far. No kids, the big tree is Mummy’s and Mummy’s alone.

Step away from my tree.

The answer? A tree for the kids and a tree for me

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12 Comments

  1. Julie
    December 13, 2012 / 9:08 am

    Oh, I can very much relate to this, although it’s normally my husband + the kids against me, so I’m outnumbered 3 to 1. A husband who still has all the Christmas tat from his own childhood…
    Let us also not talk of the yearly argument about tinsel. *shudder*

    • Heather
      Heather
      Author
      December 16, 2012 / 6:43 pm

      Yeah, I suspect I may still get beaten into submission when the twins get a bit older…

  2. December 13, 2012 / 11:55 am

    I actually love you. I went on the radio the other day and admitted I couldn’t give up the control and kept moving baubles my toddler was putting on the tree. Then I also admitted that her homemade decs (in all sorts of splodgy colours) don’t make it onto the tree but get on the wall instead. I was called a bad mother with the words, “How could you? SHAME ON YOU!”. Oh dear…

    • Heather
      Heather
      Author
      December 16, 2012 / 6:45 pm

      I have also been on the receiving end of similar comments from friends and co-workers, but I don’t care! At least we’re crafting with our children in the first place. Surely that counts for something?!

  3. Michelle
    December 13, 2012 / 12:10 pm

    This is me all over! I am so OCD about the tree being perfect that not one bauble can be out of place. You can imagine how this went down, when I decided to throw a birthday party in my house and all my under 4 years of age nieces and nephews came, not to mention my 4 year old daughter who was happily egging them on! *Steam coming out of ears* I did however, let my husband help me this year, being 8 months pregnant, there is only so long I can stand at a tree which dwarfs me to the ceiling!

    • Heather
      Heather
      Author
      December 16, 2012 / 6:47 pm

      I think I’d have to have left the room rather than witness a gaggle of 4 year olds assaulting my tree! And I’m sure you were giving your husband strict instructions all the way along?!

  4. December 13, 2012 / 12:13 pm

    Laughing away here, we have two big Christmas trees, one is mine and all silver, white and glittery and one is the kids and is evry colour under the sun!

    Good move to buy them their own.

    Mich x

    • Heather
      Heather
      Author
      December 16, 2012 / 6:47 pm

      Your tree sounds lovely Mich. The kids’ tree? Not so much. 😉

  5. Snafflesmummy
    December 13, 2012 / 8:25 pm

    Why have I not thought of getting the children a tree on their own? I don’t let them at my tree, I don’t even out their school made secs on it. I feel like a bad mum but I can not sit there night after night looking at an awfully decorated tree.
    Would love to see your finished tree

    • Heather
      Heather
      Author
      December 16, 2012 / 6:49 pm

      That’s the thing isn’t it? One of my favourite things about Christmas is sitting in the living room in the evening with the fairy lights twinkling on the Christmas tree. I know I just wouldn’t be able to relax properly if it didn’t look right to me! I’ve just posted a pic of our tree on IG, but I’m sure it’ll make it onto the blog later this week too.

  6. December 13, 2012 / 11:45 pm

    Why didn’t I think of getting them their own trees? Brilliant idea

    • Heather
      Heather
      Author
      December 16, 2012 / 6:49 pm

      Glad to be of service. Happy Christmas Mari!

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