Decorating The Christmas Tree With Kids Is A Nightmare I Dread Every Year

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Before I had children, I would daydream about the fun things I would do with them around the holidays. One of those daydreams centered around a fun, family day spent picking out a Christmas tree, bringing it home and eating take-out together before we decorate it. We do all of that every year and I always start out with such Norman Rockwell-esque hopes but then, we take out my precious ornaments and all hell breaks loose. Decorating the Christmas tree is supposed to be fun but instead, it turns into a nightmare for me every year.

I am a December baby. That said, Christmas ornaments have always been a popular birthday gift for me. They are the one and only item I collect- I love them so much. I have ones that are older than my parents that their parents gave to them. I have hand-made ornaments that my deceased great-grandmother made 60 years ago. I have “Baby’s first Christmas” ornaments from 1981 when I was born. I also have ornaments commemorating every major event in our family’s existence- our engagement, our first home, our marriage and the births of our children. I buy an ornament for each child every year to mark something about them that particular year- a sport they played, a movie they loved. The list goes on.

Now, maybe you see where I am headed. When the ornaments come out, I start to twitch a little. The kids are so excited and of course, are not being their most gentle or careful. I nervously sip wine and beg them calmly to slow down and let mommy help but they get a little overzealous. Some of the ornaments are fragile due to their age or downright breakable. I know they are only “things” but they mean a great deal to me and the thought of one of them breaking truly sucks. We always start out ok with me handing the kids ornaments to hang that aren’t too delicate. And we always end with me getting tight-voiced and shrill telling everyone to go watch a movie so I can just do it myself.

I hate that this happens. Just thinking about it in years’ past makes me cringe. It is one of my shittiest moments as a parent every single year but I cannot help it. If any of you collect something that means a lot to you, then you must understand. I am trying to think of ways around this- such as getting a smaller tree for the downstairs family room that the kids can decorate however they like. Or separating the breakable and fragile ornaments in advance and not hanging them until the kids are in bed. It may come to one of those solutions this year because I am tired of ending up alone and upset with my ornaments and wine while my whole family is elsewhere. That’s no way to spend a day that is supposed to be fun for everyone.

Our tree will go up the week after Thanksgiving so send me all of your patient vibes. I am hoping that the kids, being another year older, will be that much easier to calm down and that we can co-exist- us and my ornaments- for a fun evening as a family.

(Image: Pressmaster/Shutterstock)