How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Christmas Tree Decorating by Child Age


Christmas Tree Decorating by Child Age

Our lives go through a lot of transformations when we have kids. Body, mind and soul. And home. And car. And bank account. You either know this already, or can easily imagine.

In the beginning, Baby’s First Christmas can launch holiday excitement into the psychotisphere. “Extra efforts” aren’t made, “extreme measures” are taken. New parents might even go nutty as an almond log and wrap up a couple of boxes of diapers just to juice things a bit.

The tree changes once the little one can stand, though. Ornaments go mysteriously and systematically missing like the cast in a teen horror film; so they get placed higher and higher on the tree. Or perhaps they’re swapped out entirely with plastic or plushy ornaments after a sleepless night spent replaying the sound of a decoration breaking like an egg made of razors.

As your kid gets older, don’t ask what it’s a picture of, just smile stupidly and tape it to something or stab it proudly onto a branch of the tree. Have a blast stringing popcorn or crafting something together. It can make for one ugly tree, but it also makes it their tree. Bling!

They grow up so fast, in no time you’ll realize it’s been a few years since they hurled a toy or themselves into the tree. Might be time to replenish your now-devastated stock of decorations. Once your kid becomes a teen, you might even find yourself sweating over printouts of an “inspiration tree” you found on Pinterest as you scour the web for limited-edition, artisan ornaments that resemble shark nipples.

(This is not a confession, but it may turn out to be.)

By the way, sharks don’t really have nipples. I know. I was really disappointed, too. Happy holidays!


Help Decorate Our Facetree
It needs your thumbs up.

Instructional Diagrams
These aren’t sparkly, fluted or blinking, but you’ll love ’em anyway.


43 Responses to “Christmas Tree Decorating by Child Age”

  1. Aleta says:

    Oh too funny! I laughed so hard at “egg made of razors”. Your writing is fantastic!

  2. smac says:

    Awesome! It’s so true, too… I remember our tree going through those stages, except the “toddler” one… we never left the bottom empty.

    BTW, there’s a typo in “kids” tree: ornatments.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Jennifer says:

    How do you combine all of these trees into one?

  4. Linda R says:

    I LOVE the bent over tree from school projects.

  5. Ahna says:

    We’ve in the toddler phase for three years…lol and we’ll probably be there another 2 years. (We have 3 under 3) … Lol too funny.

  6. The toddler tree is EXACTLY what our tree looks like! It started out as the KID tree, but it’s our first christmas with a dog, and between him and our 3 year old…it’s been a gradual evolution into the TODDLER one.

    I suspect that my kids think, “Don’t touch the ornaments!” means “See how many you can break!”

  7. Susana Cunha says:

    This is great, and so true. Our tree this year is a mix of the toddler (for the second time) and the kid.

  8. Stefanie says:

    The toddler one is so priceless! And yes. When they get older you can barely even afford to get a tree the gifts are so damn expensive.

    • Andy says:

      Yay! Ha ha! Sooooooo expensive. We have been know to pack gifts into huge boxes with bricks in them so it doesn’t feel like the holiday b-movie The Incredible Shrinking Gifts or something.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Ours is the “stubborn and curious 2 year old” tree.
    No ornaments are safe because he moves a chair
    To get to the higher ones. So we just have lights
    On the tree and strung ornaments from ribbons
    Hanging from the ceiling.

  10. Rita Arens says:

    We are at the school-aged kid tree right now, and you are SPOT ON. I am totally getting blown glass artisan ornaments in about three years.

  11. eyewink says:

    Classic! I’m at the baby stage, Thanks for the heads up on whats to come. Really looking forward to the train wreck school craft ornaments… You guys never fail to give me a laugh!

  12. Juho says:

    Nice one, but we have a different version of the toddler tree – the helpful toddler tree where the toddler just loves putting more and more ornaments, but can’t reach very high. As a result, the lowest branches are filled with ornaments to the point of breaking while the mid and top branches are almost bare in comparison.

  13. Casey says:

    love it- I sent it to my dad who is training his granddaughter not to tough.

    btw- typo in toddlers. It’s “boughs”, not bows.

  14. Becca says:

    My tree looks exactly like that second tree! I didn’t even decorate it! My 5 year old and 3 year old did, but the entire bottom of the tree is bare so the 1 year old won’t get everything!

  15. Kit says:

    This is awesome! I cried laughing so much!! We have two trees in the house. We have the regular size tree that we put the presents under and that I decorate with our yearly attained ornaments and my OCD tendacies. And then we have a miniature tree that I bought my 5 and 2 year old boys 2 years ago on clearance after Christmas. This is where their homemade, handcrafted, school inspired ornaments and such go and for good measure, my hands are not allowed to rearrange. Amazingly, the only thing the 2 year old has taken off the big tree is the candy canes, which i THOUGHT I had put high enough for him not to reach. Thanks for everything you guys have done this year. Now I’m off to find a good you-tube version of “End of the World” to blast tomorrow.

  16. Kristina says:

    I have two kids (ages 1 and 2), two dogs (a 5 month old puppy, and a 7 year old/60 lbs lab who THINKS she is a puppy) and a cat who likes to climb. I attemptted the Christmas tree this year, but the kids undecorated it about a dozen times the first day it was up. So I went to “The Toddler Tree”. BUT the puppy has got tangled in the cord from the lights,got scared and took off running and the tree was spinning around in its stand as the lights pulled off and the top half of the tree with ornaments came unraveled and ornaments flew everywhere. I watched this helplessly as I attempted to change the 1 yr old’s diaper (filled with what HTBAD has dubbed “butt piss”). I screamed something to the effect of “No Hank, stop! G*d D*mn dog!”, which was the only thing my 2 year old listened to that day, so the rest of the day he ran around saying “Hank naughty. He go in time out. G*d D*mn dog!”. My cat has knocked the tree over twice, the lab thought she should dig a hole in the tree skirt and knocked it over once. Screw the decorations – I’ll just be happy if it hasn’t broke in half by the time Christmas comes next week. God help me.

    • Kristina says:

      Just re-read my post and realized it sounds like a script from a movie. Its not though – just a day in the life of Super Mom!

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha! ::eats popcorn as the movie unfolds::

    • lacey says:

      You made me laugh so hard πŸ˜›

      Between the 26lb cat who loves to climb and the toddler, we’re doing the one so extreme it’s not even on this list – decorated garlands at the top of the drapes and over the mantle πŸ˜› That’s been our “Christmas Tree” since the cat was a 5lb kitten who loved to climb, and there’s no point in going back until he’s too arthritic to get off the ground and the toddler is firmly in the “kid” age…

  17. Liz says:

    we set up the play pen up around the Christmas tree, it keeps our toddler out… for now… (I caught him trying to climb over earlier today)

  18. Danielle says:

    We have taken to adding Christmas-y stuffed animals to the bottom of the tree to keep it from looking so sad.

  19. Seamus says:

    Yes. We shall be at stage two for the next 3-4 years.

    We always used to get a real tree when it was just the two of us, but we gave up on that idea this year. We’ll get back to it one day I’m sure…..

  20. Tessie says:

    There is hope for broken glass ornaments. They can be crushed into a glitter-like substance for adults only. Would be interesting to decorate new ornaments with the remains of shattered ones.

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