This year marked our first time hosting Christmas with my extended family. With four two-year olds in the house, we knew decorating for Christmas would pose a slight challenge, but we were up for it. Last year, we put our tree up on a sturdy table, and for the most part ornaments were out of reach. It worked beautifully. This year, everyone grew enough that they could reach ornaments even if the tree was raised, and I feared they would tip it over. I refused to put the tree in a room where it would be unseen or to put gates around it. We don’t have the right kind of gates and I was unwilling to make the investment for a short season. Also, I figured someone would tip the gate or scale it anyways. Instead, we decorated the tree with shatter proof ornaments and deco mesh. It really looked beautiful despite being a “kid tree”. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to teach self-restraint and respect. After the tree was up, we taught the quads how to carefully touch ornaments with one finger. They were pretty good about it and usually followed the rule. While the tree was up, the quads took turns snatching ornaments when no one was looking. In those instances, we instructed them to put the ornaments back on the tree. Getting them to replace pulled ornaments proved a lesson in patience and acceptance for me. Though we used shatterproof ornaments, a few perished and some needed hot glue. Aside from the tree, decorations in quad approved areas only included the mantle and nativity. That was all I could handle.
Teaching the quads to respect the tree was a monumental task so presents were stored in the study. We tucked gifts around the tree on Christmas Eve while visions of sugar plums danced in the quad’s heads. When Christmas arrived, our tree albeit rearranged many times over, was still intact and standing proudly. Whew!
Although our tree wasn’t glistening with our favorite blown glass ornaments, I found a place in the dining room for a few heirlooms I wanted to enjoy.
To accommodate a family of 16 adults and 7 children, we moved the high chairs out of the kitchen, and dined with the quads in the play room. This left better dining accommodations for our guests.
Although our living room is small, we managed to cram the entire crew in for gift exchanges. The panorama feature on my phone almost captured everyone. I simply couldn’t move fast enough while being steady to get all 23 of us.
Keeping tabs on everyone during gift opening commanded my full attention so there’s only one photo from the charades:
We did, manage to snap one photo with my parents, sister, and her boyfriend (Matt).
We typically keep our Christmas tree and decorations up until New Year’s Day. It’s so much work putting them out, we like to enjoy them for the full month. This year, I had enough with teaching the quads respect of the Christmas tree and had everything packed up two days after Christmas. In fact, the quads were so talented at ornament removal, they were charged with the task of taking ornaments down for the year. They really enjoyed this “chore” above all others they’ve been given.
I hope your holiday season was a wonderful one and that 2015 brings you peace, hope, and joy!