Boulevard Of Broken Crap: Survival Odds For Your Ten Favorite Christmas Decorations

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broken christmas decorationsTrying to decorate your house in any kind of festive holiday way can be tricky when your kids are still small. Of course you want to help them catch that old Christmas spirit – but you also want them not to smash Great-Grandma’s antique hand-me-down nativity set, or even just that cute Santa-face serving dish you got on sale at Target last January. Not sure whether to hang that garland or put up that wreath? Here are the survival odds for ten of your favorite Christmas decorations.

Candy canes: 4/10. If you hang these on your Christmas tree, one or two may suffer as casualties, but they should be safe for the most part … until the kids discover that there is sweet, sweet candy underneath that plastic wrapper. After that, you’re SOL, unless you hang them all on the top branches of the tree. (Assuming your kids aren’t still so desperate for sugar that they climb the curtains to get at them, at least.)

Nativity scenes: 2/10.  There are exceptions to this ranking: we have a nice, hardy wood set, which has endured so far, despite some manhandling by the kids. But if you have the traditional ceramic figurines, well, hope you enjoy replacing poor Joseph’s head with a Play-Doh facsimile. And I’m sure that Little People Batman figure will be a good replacement for the Baby Jesus: no crying he makes, especially now that he’s in a zillion pieces on the living room floor.

Stuffed animals: 8/10. A nice fluffy Santa Bear or stuffed Grinch should be fairly safe, even when receiving a pile-driver from your maniacal three-year-old. Just watch out for the kind with plastic eyes of the sort that can be yanked free and swiftly swallowed. 911 calls are not very festive.

Decorative cookie tins: 9/10. Even if your six-year-old uses one as an impromptu soccer ball (and hopefully Santa is bringing her the real thing for Christmas), the worst it’ll endure is a few dents. And even dented cookie tins are still perfect for fulfilling their primary Christmas-cookie-holding purpose.

Mistletoe: 1/10. Pros: festive, traditional, and normally in doorways high out of the reach of young kids. Cons: kind of creepy and extremely poisonous. How much do you trust your ability to securely fasten that sprig to the door frame? I say skip it, since the possibility of your kids harming this decoration is roughly equivalent to the possibility of your kids harming themselves.

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