I am so looking forward to our first Christmas with a baby, and one of the fun things will be watching her curiosity at the new lights and decorations in the house. She normally notices a bit of extra fluff on the floor, so she’ll definitely be fascinated by extra sparkly things.
However she’s also at that perfect age to create a tsunami of destruction very quickly. She’s at the cruising stage where every object at the right height is used to pull herself to standing, so low tree branches would be a tempting target. She’s also still putting everything in her mouth so pine needles and baubles would be straight in.
Therefore I think a traditional tree wouldn’t be the best for a relaxing holiday, so I’ve come up with 5 alternatives that create the Christmas atmosphere with hopefully less of a health and safety nightmare.
1. Chalkboard tree
I copied this idea from Pinterest where it was done by someone more talented at drawing than me. I gave up art in favour of sciences as soon as I could at school. My husband complimented me on my reindeer drawing, but it was meant to be a rocking horse, so that shows how good I am.
It didn’t help the chalk surface wasn’t very smooth. It’s a piece of plywood I painted last year with magnetic chalkboard paint to block off an empty fireplace. The first few coats were smooth but not magnetic. By the time I’d added enough for magnets to stick it was a bit lumpy. This gives a nice rustic effect on the tree but made the rest a bit shaky.
Despite that I’m pleased with how it turned out. Yes it’s basic and looks like a child’s drawing, but I don’t want my Christmas to be perfect, so it represents me.
2. Felt Christmas tree
This one was made by my mother using felt with double sided adhesive strips. We could position the decorations where we wanted, so had the tree dressing experience without an actual tree. It’s bold and bright and so far resisting little hands tugging to stay on the wall.
3. Wooden tree
This is a little wooden tree from Paperchase I’ve had since I was a student to decorate a small room. The decorations are too small to be safe for babies, but coupled with some fairy lights round the window it makes things look festive, and is safely out of reach.
4. Mini tree
This is a regular artificial tree, it’s just really small so it can go up on a side table safely out of reach. To be honest I thought it was going to be about twice the height, but misread the description, so it was too small for most baubles, but I had some mini ones I could use.
5. Pine cone lights
This is another sparkly feature that can be placed out of reach. It’s an Ikea vase stuffed with pine cones and fairy lights. You could also use baubles instead of pine cones, or just lights on their own, and a variety of vase shapes and sizes.
So which does my baby prefer? Well she’s been looking the most at the lights round the window, but honestly she was more fascinated with the empty plastic box for the lights than anything else. But at least the place is starting to look festive ready for our first family Christmas.