Although our pets and children bring us great joy, especially during the holiday season of reflection and cheer, they can also be disastrous for our decorations. In particular, cherished and breakable Christmas tree ornaments often bear the brunt of curious children and pet antics.
There are clever ways to pet-proof and childproof your tree without sacrificing style or tradition.
Decorate with non-breakable items
The simplest way to avoid broken ornaments is to decorate your tree without them. Given that a tree extends to the floor or close to the floor where pets and little children reside, avoiding the placement of breakable ornaments low down is key. This doesn’t have to translate to never displaying your treasured breakable ornaments. Instead, opt to hang them elsewhere, higher up, such as across your mantle.
On your tree, you can use stylish non-breakable decorations. These might be elegant tassels, metal bells, ribbons, tinsel, garland, plastic ornaments, or strings of beads. Using the strategy of choosing a color palette, for example, only gold and silver or only shades of blue, will provide your finished tree with plenty of visual impact while maintaining safety for your pets and kids.
Use a decoy tree
Another tactic to preserving your traditional Christmas tree that is decked out with breakable ornaments is to have a separate decoy tree. This decoy tree can be full of fun distractions. For example, it can have dog toys or cat treats, or baby toys and an edible Cheerio garland.
The decoy tree can be placed in an overt and open location for your pet or child to access, while your delicate tree can be placed in a corner or out of the way. It is a happy compromise.
Only decorate half-way
Another method to preserving your breakable Christmas items is to only decorate the top half of the tree with breakable or treasured ornaments. The lower half of the tree can be decked out with non-breakable things, such as tassels, metal bells, ribbons, tinsel, garland, plastic ornaments, or strings of beads.
This can result in a less harmonious tree in terms of colors and theme, but it negates the need for a decoy tree. This can reduce overall decorating costs and the need for extra space.
Other tips and tricks
- No matter what direction you decide to go for decorating while pet and childproofing, it is wise to use secure ornament holders or hooks for any breakable or cherished ornaments.
- It’s also smart to place your tree over a tree skirt or carpeting to soften the fall of any ornaments your pets or kids knock loose.
- If you do opt for a traditional tree with breakable ornaments all the way down, use a sturdy baby gate and corner placement to keep the pets and kids at bay.
- Be consistent in saying no when your kid or dog crosses the boundary. You can distract your cat by placing a toy with catnip elsewhere in the room.
- Ensure your tree is held in place securely at the base so that if your mischievous pet or little one does gain access to it, they won’t have it topple over onto them. You can also secure the tree to the wall or another piece of furniture.
- Don’t place presents under the tree until the last minute as presents are a huge attraction to pets and children. It’s like adding a beacon to the base of the tree.
Remember that children don’t stay little for long and pets can be taught over time. There may be only a handful of holidays in which pet-proofing and childproofing are required. However, it’s best to err on the side of caution and use the tips above to ensure a safe and happy holiday.
Shop now for:
- Metal bells
- Plastic ornaments
- Strings of beads
- Dog toys
- Cat treats
- Baby toys
- Cheerio garland
- Ornament holders or hooks
- Tree skirt
- Sturdy baby gate