The day after Thanksgiving, I tuck our fall décor away and begin the task of decking the halls. I’ve always enjoyed adding a little Christmas sparkle to the house, and that has not changed since the quads arrived. In the past few years, we’ve made a few changes to our décor keeping safety and functionality in mind, but that doesn’t mean our Christmas décor is lacking.
Two years ago we introduced the tradition of Elf on the Shelf, and the kids have enjoyed searching for our elf, Bop, each morning. This year, Bop appeared two days after Thanksgiving hanging from a deco mesh hammock. After briefly studying Bop, Rylin proclaimed, “He’s just a decoration!!!” Doing my best to mask any emotion, I inquired why she thought he was a decoration. Smarty pants quickly replied, “LOOK AT HIM!” She’s continued with similar remarks and inquisitive questions ever since. I’m doing a precarious dance between honesty and letting the kids enjoy the magic of childhood. I’m finding it’s best to respond to questions with, “What do YOU think?” This gets the kids to do a little creative thinking of their own, and I’ve been quite impressed with their ideas.
After breakfast the kids helped us put ornaments on the tree for the first time. They took their job surprisingly well and treated each ornament with care. They had a few interesting design choices (e.g. layering six or or more ornaments on a branch), but maintained focus and took time to put each ornament on the tree. Since having the tree up, they’ve rearranged few times, but are always good about handling the ornaments with care. Granted, we are currently using only shatterproof, dough, and plastic ornaments. I don’t think they are quite ready to handle our heirloom and blown glass beauties. The deco mesh helps fill the tree with glitz even though our best ornaments are still in storage.
We still use the seven foot tree George and I purchased for our first apartment, but it’s a bit short for our den these days. To give it some height, and restrict the kid’s access to ornaments, we put it on a sturdy coffee table. This particular table was my grandmother’s, and she used it for her Christmas tree too. A few years ago, we refinished the table and it serves as a kid’s table in the playroom.
When we moved into our house, we immediately covered the fireplace with the magnetic board that covered the fireplace at our old house. The kids weren’t quite two when we moved in, and we didn’t want them accessing the fireplace. However, they are now 3.5 years old and able to respect boundaries and understand safety much better now. We decided to pull the board off this year to see how they’d handle it. I was ecstatic to find gas logs behind the board. It’s been so easy to enjoy a cozy fire without having to deal with wood and the kids don’t mess with it at all. In fact, they ask if we can turn on the fire so they can read Christmas books on the rug.
For the quad’s first Christmas, we ordered monogrammed stockings, but had a conundrum of figuring out how to hang eight stockings. It didn’t make sense to buy eight holders, and we didn’t want to drill into the mantle. Instead, we used three industrial C clamps to attach a curtain rod to the mantle. It’s proven to hold all of our stockings and be sturdy against the most curious toddlers.
I wanted to enjoy some of my favorite blown glass ornaments, but knew they couldn’t be hung safely on the tree. I created a wreath around the dining room chandelier adorned it with my bride’s box ornament collection. This way my ornaments are out of little hand’s reach, but I can still enjoy them.
This year, I spruced up the playroom bookshelf with a basket of Christmas books and our Melissa & Doug Nativity Set. I wedged the nativity’s base on the bookshelf and the kids leave it there though they enjoy playing with the nativity pieces and rearranging them.
The girls have been doing well with keeping things nice in their big girl room. This year, they have a silver tinsel tree with pastel ornaments on their dresser, and they are oh so proud of it. The boys aren’t quite ready for removable ornaments in their room, but have a sturdy metal tree to enjoy.
While the tree appears to take center stage in our Christmas décor, the nativity is our most important piece. My parents used this nativity in their first home and passed it down to me when I had my first apartment.
How do you deck the halls? What are your favorite decorations?
If you are searching for inspiration, consider cruising Pinterest for seasonal décor. I have my own Christmas board, and BloomNation also has a board dedicated to holiday florals that is worth a peek.
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