Everyone wants their family to enjoy the Christmas tree. The problem is, small children sometimes want to enjoy the tree a little too much. Just like the family cat, Christmas trees do not enjoy babies pulling their limbs. The cat might hiss, but the tree might fall.
Christmas tree safety is something to consider when the wee ones are not quite old enough to fully understand “no.” Or in the case of my children, just pretend not to hear it. Here are 10 Christmas tree safety tips to help you have a worry-free holiday season.
1. Give Kids Their Own Tree
Each year, I give my kids their own tree(s) and they can decorate these smaller trees however their heart desires. I let them know that sky is the limit.
The rule is: mommy can’t touch their tree and they can’t touch mine (without supervision). This works great in my house. My daughter has her own artificial tree in her room as we speak.
2. Use Shatterproof Ornaments
Wait until your children are a little bit older to hang the antique glass ornaments down low. Consider hanging them from a light fixture, perhaps.
If small children are going to be involved, shatterproof ornaments are your best friend. In the child’s defense, ornaments do look just like toy balls. It does seem totally logical to want to grab and throw them.
Tip: Check out my other post for an example of kid-friendly ornaments. My kids and I had fun making some for a Pokemon-themed tree.
3. Gate Off Your Christmas Tree
Put that baby gate to good use this Christmas. Your curious toddler can still enjoy your tree, just not get up close and personal. You can gate off just the tree or an entire room.
4. Zip Tie Your Christmas Tree to the Wall
Here’s a Christmas tree safety tip you might not have heard of yet. This is especially true for trees that end up in corners. Oftentimes, I will use zip ties to anchor my tree to the wall. All you need are clear zip ties to attach around the tree, and then a nail or cup hook to attach to the wall.
5. Use Florist Wire for Heavy Ornaments
I have a tree with vintage Fisher-Price ornaments inside. This acts as a double temptation to small children. But, it also acts as a bigger knock-on-the-noggin threat. If you are decorating your tree with heavy objects, consider using florist wire to attach the items to the tree. They’re much more durable than your average Christmas tree hooks.
Tip: For more tips on how decorate with heavy decorations, Check out my post about ornament weight.
6. Make Sure Your Tree has a Sturdy Base
Treetopia trees come with a sturdy base that really distributes the weight of your tree evenly. Make sure you use the base that came with your tree. You might be tempted to do something cutesy, like stick your tree in a basket or urn.
If small children are involved, make sure you have the original base on your tree as well, and your tree on a flat surface. On top of that, making a decorative barrier around your base is a great idea.
7. Set Up a Small Tree on a Raised Surface
Tabletop or 4 feet Christmas trees are the perfect opportunity to showcase those delicate glass ornaments. This is one Christmas tree safety tip that saves you time since there’s much less foliage to decorate. The chances of little Sally destroying a tree on a table are much less likely.
8. Choose the Area Wisely
If you really have your heart set on a designer tree and say, the grandkids are coming for just a few days, choosing an out-of-the-way room for your Christmas tree is the best option. Kids are drawn to sparkly things on trees like a moth to a flame.
If you have your tree in the family room where everyone will be, the parents will spend their entire visit avoiding that room with the children. If they do venture in, they will be playing defense in-between conversations with Aunt Gertie and Little Billy’s attempts at crushing your glass ornaments.
9. Turn Off Your Christmas Tree Lights Before Going to Bed
This is one of the most important Christmas tree safety tips ever. I always unplug my Christmas tree at night before bed; I’m old school like that.
I also recommend unplugging them before you leave the house, especially if you have added things like old-fashioned bubble lights that get hot. Fire safety tends to be more of an issue with real trees, but it’s something everyone should be aware of.
10. Take Care That Your Tree isn’t Top-heavy
I love a giant tree topper as much as the next guy, but be cautious of making your tree too top-heavy. You can go big on top and still go lightweight. Why not try making one using light materials?
Tip: Check out my post on tree topper ideas for inspiration!
So, parents and grandparents, relax and enjoy Christmas. You can rest easy knowing you’ve followed all of these tips, and your tree is as sturdy as it is beautiful. Remember: kids are only young once. There will be plenty of time to bust out those glass ornaments and ditch the baby gate in years to come.