Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tree-Trimming Toddlers: A Cautionary Tale

I had high hopes for Christmas tree decorating. It was Claire’s first time participating in my favorite family tradition. But tree trimming was not all merry and bright at our house this holiday season...

“I want to put this one on the tree,” Claire says, holding up an ornament.

“Sure. That’s baby jesus,” I respond.

“I want to look at baby jesus first,” she says.

“OK, Claire,” I say…

“Claire, don’t put baby jesus in your mouth…Claire, baby jesus is not for eating!”…Ah, shit, Claire, you broke baby jesus!"

'Tis the season with a toddler! I wasn't surprised when the festivities started going awry...when Claire knocked over my coffee, which proceeded to splatter on the decorations sitting at the ready to deck the halls. Nor was I surprised when I had to say “get out from behind the tree” or “leave the ornaments alone” more often than the nation sings Jingle Bells each December.

But when I had imagined decorating the tree with my daughter for the first time, the words "baby jesus is not for eating" did not instantly spring to mind.

On the bright side, our family was together and the tree came out nice. The lesson to be learned is to lower expectations and be happy that everyone survived (well...except baby jesus).


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  1. Sounds about right and multiply that by two and you know what it looked like hear when we trimmed the tree last week! Just glad we all survived it here, too!

  2. What is it with kids wanting to eat baby Jesus?! My son Ben was constantly trying to eat baby Jesus so I had to move the poor guy!

  3. Poor baby Jesus, this will be something to laugh at in a few years. My toddler loves playing with the decorations and I too have to tell him to leave them alone. His favorite ones are the guitar ornaments that my husband had growing up.

  4. The tree looks gorgeous! And maybe Claire was just trying to take communion?? Just a thought .... :)

  5. OK, what Sarah just wrote was hilarious. What can I say after that?

    If BJ is too broken for the manger, could I suggest Spider Man or a penguin? They are frequently seen at the birth of Jesus in our house. Spider Man is a good protector according to my son.

  6. Hahaha! I think we're past the eating ornaments stage but now we're onto the drape everything on the bottom two branches phase and track ornament hooks all over the house...

  7. OMG, Rachel, you have to make an image with an overlay of that quote. It would be an Internet sensation! :)

  8. That is too funny! I love it! We haven't gotten our tree yet but have put up lights outside. "Baby Jesus is not for eating" is classic!

  9. Oh my gosh I am cracking up. I remember when Abby was Claire's age and my mom had this dream of making Christmas cookies with her. She was so excited, bought her an apron and then spent the next 3 hours saying this was supposed to be fun!

  10. Oh man, that should have been the name of your post: Baby Jesus is not for eating!!! So funny. I don't even think we are going to try with Henry. He will just want to stack the ornaments or put them in a box. And take them out. And then put them back in. And take them out. ;-)

  11. Every year we have a box of non-breakables that little man gets to hang. This year he wanted to help w/the glass ones. We lost one of daddy's faves (deer in a bright orange hunting sweater) in a matter of seconds. ;) I've purchased a replacement order for a surprise gift and gently told lil man we don't want him to get hurt, so back to the non-breakables. He was happy to agree after that, poor guy!! Poor deer! ;) Your tree does look great!

  12. hahaha that sounds sooo familiar. This year we had tantrums because Goblin wanted to keep Emperor Palpatine (Yes a star wars character is Hublet's choice of Christmas angel for the top of the tree) rather than strap him to a tree branch. He then proceeded to put all his toy tanks and aircraft in among the tree branches - and promptly lost them so I had to spend half an hour scouring the tree for his toys. Sigh!


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