It's that time of year. When your Facebook newsfeed is filled with pictures of fireplace mantles and Christmas trees. And some of you have serious skills. I mean, you've obviously been watching your HGTV and can tinsel up with the best of them. But, we have a 2.5 year old and 14 month old at our house this season…which means OUR Christmas tree looks SUPER special. And I don't want you to be jealous. I'd hate to be a stumbling block in that way so I thought I'd bless you with some tips for how you, too, can achieve the look of my stunning Christmas tree.
PRO TIP #1: Bare Boughs
Little ones don't ever put shiny things in their mouths and are always very gentle with their hands. Except THE OPPOSITE. So first we have to determine our bare boughs zone. This zone is typically from the floor to a child's highest reach + two inches and wraps all the way around your tree. If you have an actual child in your home, then measure accordingly. And the + two inches matter, people! Do not simply assume the zone is from the floor to your child's highest reach and so be deceived. Toddlers acquire new skills every day and they may learn to jump or stand on tip-toes this Christmas. Which would be precious and certainly worthy of commemorating but preferably with a picture, not a broken treasured ornament. If you don't have a toddler in your house, then make your zone four boughs high from the floor, because this is clearly a science.
Once you've determined the bare bough zone, here's the tip: don't put any ornaments in that zone. For there is nothing quite as irreverently majestic as a Christmas tree that isn't fully clothed.
Bare naked beauties.
PRO TIP #2: Bending Boughs
Those of you with older toddlers, let them participate in the tree trimming. If you don't have a toddler, borrow one. Only then can you tap into their natural aesthetic genius and spatial awareness to mine for designer gem moments like this: three ornaments hanging out together on one rock star bough.
How many ornaments can one bough hold?
PRO TIP #3: Keep It Fresh
Part of what makes my tree's design so cutting edge is its ever-changing nature. To duplicate in your home, give an older toddler the artistic freedom to rearrange the ornaments when you're not looking. But be forewarned: ornaments that you previously hung outside of Baby's reach with care may find a new home within the danger zone. The risk is real.
Our poor skiing penguin was moved to a baby-reachable limb and has now lost three.
PRO TIP #4: Less Is More
Finally, if you want the carefully-crafted look of "luxe simplicity" (trademark pending), then after you've put up your ornaments in the specific ways outlined above, be done. I'll allow a tree topper and maybe a skirt, but no fancy garlands or popcorn strings or candy canes or bows or wrapped presents under the tree. Just no. Stop it. I said BE DONE.
So that's it! Follow these tips and you'll have a Facebook-post-worthy Christmas tree in no time.
BONUS PRO TIP:
Lovingly display on the coffee tables of your home festive vignettes of fragile decorative pieces and then come to your senses and move them all to the same kitchen counter, out of Toddler's reach. This is the definition of a cluttered mess, er I mean...high visual impact.