Sam's Secret to Patience and a Christmas Tree

Last Tuesday night, as item number one on this year's advent calendar, the kids and I decorated the tree.  Sam observed as I tried to lay out the non-breakable ornaments for Ben & Abby to hang on the tree before they could race me to the heaviest glass ones available.  They certainly tried.  And they succeeded.  Two broken ornaments later (which I still consider a small price to pay for a tree decorated almost entirely by a six and three year old), it was done. 

About halfway through the decorating, sometime between the first and second ornaments shattering, I looked to Sam with a plea of help in my eyes.  He looked back at me and said, "I would have lost my patience by now."  I laughed at the irony of the statement because he is CLEARLY the more patient of the two of us.  After telling him I thought so, he said, "Only because I pick my battles wisely."

Hmmm.  So *that's* the secret.  Sorry kids, next year I may go it alone.  (wink, wink)  Or at least wait until the younger one(s) are in bed!

Here are a few warning/pointers for those of you who plan to decorate a Christmas tree with small children:

1.  They *really* like the fancy bulbs that have their own boxes.  They are drawn to those.  Hide them.  Before you even begin decorating.  Don't even let them see the satiny little treasure boxes.  These are without question the ones that will get broken if you don't. 

2.  It helps to make a line-up of soft/unbreakable ornaments so they still have the illusion of  being able to choose which one they put on next.  "Yes, Abby, dear.  You can pick ANY of THESE ornaments you want!"

3.  No amount of suggestion will stop them from hanging the ornaments from the very tip of the flimsiest limbs they can find.  It's instinctual.  They are born to do this.

4.  If you have multiples of a similar-looking ornament, like crocheted snowflakes, they will inevitably end up representing a blizzard in one very low, very concentrated part of your tree, as such:

5.  You'll see something like this, and won't be able to help but smile.  Sure the ornaments are on the ground, but darn it, they're hooked on to a limb.  And not even the tip of one!  Maybe they *did* hear those instructions!  There is hope for next year after all!

6.  Pick your battles wisely.  Though, I think in the end a family-effort at decorating the Christmas tree is worth it. 

~~~Merry Christmas~~~


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