Sanity Saving Tips: Christmas Tree With A Toddler

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How to have a Christmas tree with a toddler and not want to scream 24/7 for an entire month

little girl in reindeer romper holding out ornament


How To Have a Christmas Tree Without Your Toddler Destroying It

I knew Christmas this year would be interesting with Collins being a year and a half old with curious hands.

What I didn’t know is that this girl would be absolute hell on wheels.

little girl in reindeer romper holding out ornament

Fun, but holy moly

So I knew when yuletide season rolled around, I would need to get creative with our tree situation and here’s what I’ve learned after having 3 toddlers around Christmas.

Tips for Christmas Trees with Toddlers

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Elevate the tree if possible

closeup of christmas tree in a black planter

Doubling as a tree skirt, I was able to snag this large black outdoor planter from West Elm on clearance and it’s perfect.

When you’re working around a toddler and still want to try to keep your tree in tact, if possible getting it off the floor will help with tiny hands.

Rethink your tree skirt

Christmas tree with ribbon and DIY dried orange garland with black Christmas tree collar

Most years, we opt for a Christmas tree collar instead of a skirt.

While I loooove the look of a fluffy, cozy Christmas tree skirt, it doesn’t make sense when you have kids who will be wanting to use it as a blanket or have something else for them to grab on to.

closeup of christmas tree in black planter

This year, our fabulous black planter is doubling as a way to get the tree off the ground and its tree skirt!

Minimize ornaments on the bottom

closeup of christmas tree with copper and black velvet ribbon with gold ornaments

It’s a bit hard to tell here, but you can see that the ornaments on the bottom are few and far between.

But don’t be fooled.

I like to call this series a progression of toddlers doing whatever the heck they wanna do anyway.

2 christmas ball ornaments on floor and little toddler girl's leg in the foreground

Then they’ll be cute and lay with you and admire their handywork.

Shatterproof ornaments

closeup of christmas tree with copper and black velvet ribbon with gold ornaments

This should go without saying, but it is imperative that under no circumstances should you have glass ornaments on your Christmas tree with a toddler present.

I’m sure Granny Mildred will understand if you have to leave those ornaments off a year or 2 until you can get things under control and train the tot a bit better.

closeup of gold glitter ornament

I say this because even if you put them closer to the top, there is a chance they could pull the tree over or at least knock it around.

Toddlers are W I L D, y’all.

It used to be that shatterproof ornaments were boring, but over the years, these ornaments have come a long way and there are some REALLY cute shatterproof ornaments available now.

This is awesome news for those of us with wandering handed toddlers still trying to have some semblance of a pretty Christmas tree.

Snacks and toys and toys and snacks

little girl in reindeer romper holding out ornament

There will always be crumbs around your tree.

Let’s face it – if you’ve seen our annual scary house tour there are typically crumbs everywhere anyway, but especially around the tree.

Because we have a boy who loves garbage trucks in this house, he also likes to park them at the base of the tree every night.

Be prepared to say no (A LOT)

2 christmas ball ornaments on the ground next to christmas tree in black planter

You’re gonna just have to deal with this one.

You will be saying no a LOT. And only a 12% chance they’ll listen.

Hence the 2 ornaments on the ground I said not to touch that have….been touched.

little girl in front of a christmas tree

Watch placement of picks

closeup of top of Christmas tree with black flower and black ribbon tied at top

I love a good Christmas tree pick as a way to make your Christmas tree look fuller.

This year I found some black poinsettia stems from Michaels (which is my favorite place to get picks) and added them – again, up high.

closeup of top of Christmas tree with black flower and black ribbon tied at top
closeup of top of Christmas tree with black flower and black ribbon tied at top

Since I couldn’t do a full blown tree topper because of the height of our tree, I opted for a really cute gold metal stem (also from Michaels) that says ‘Merry’ and I love the addition to the top!

I think these metal merry stems would be great in more places in the tree, but as it is this year, I didn’t want to run the risk of poked eyes or being used as a hitting device.

Opt for no tree or a wall tree

3 drawings of children in black frames on white wall

There was a whole year where I didn’t decorate for Christmas and I actually felt really good and still have no regrets about that.

If it’s better for your mental health for whatever reason not to decorate, do not.

And if you want to, but it doesn’t make sense because you have toddlers, opt for a wall tree or you can do something simple like adding a garland to existing photos on your wall.

christmas tree ribbon from Amazon graphic

You could also add some awesome velvet ribbon to frames and make them look like presents!

Linked below are my favorite velvet ribbons from Amazon:

Get creative with decor elsewhere

christmas tree made out of books on black ikea bookshelves

If you’re new around these parts, I recently fell back in love with reading and share my latest book reviews monthly.

I was SO EXCITED to not only add some DIY built in bookshelves from Ikea but the cutest little Christmas tree I made from books.

metallic christmas trees on bookshelf

Christmas trees don’t have to have ornaments!

Adding some simple decor to shelves like reindeer, Christmas trees or nutcrackers is a great way to be festive without having an actual tree.

Tie ribbon to branches or leave it off altogether

closeup of copper bow tied on christmas tree

Speaking of I have forever loved the look of putting ribbon on a Christmas tree, but if you have toddlers like me, you might want to opt for tying ribbon on each branch so that it makes it harder to pull.

Christmas tree with ribbon and DIY dried orange garland with black Christmas tree collar

If you put ribbon on your tree similar to what we did last year and it’s all in one piece, one tug could be the end of that.

Related: Check out this post here if you want to learn the simple secret to making an orange garland!

Give them their own tree

pencil tree in little boys room with santa duvet cover

The easiest (and most fun) way to help toddlers keep their precious grubby lil’ hands off of your tree is to give them one of their own!

closeup of toddler christmas tree with woody from Toy Story ornament

Last year I did a whole dinosaur Christmas tree (aka. Tree-Rex) for Josiah because he had no desire to decorate a tree himself, but as he’s started making more ornaments at school, he’s wanted to have his hands in his tree decoration.

closeup of tree with gnome ornament that says joshia

This ornament has been a running joke for 3 years now because a family member got it for him and didn’t even realized they spelled Josiah’s name wrong.

Pink Christmas tree with lights on

I got this pink Christmas tree a couple years ago for Charlotte (but I got her the unlit version and wish I hadn’t) and she decorates it every year.

Psst. This also doubles as a really cute Valentine’s tree too so if you’re looking for an excuse to keep your tree up longer, this is your sign.

modern christmas tree with black and gold ribbon and ornaments

If you’re wondering how to have a Christmas tree with a toddler (and wondering if it’s even possible), hopefully you can use some of these ideas to make sure that Christmas is still magical as ever.

closeup of little girl in front of a christmas tree

Plus let’s be honest – with a cute face like that, I don’t mind having to make a adjustments for a couple years.

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