When I was little, I kept a closely monitored countdown to Christmas on a large dry-erase board in my family’s kitchen. This was old school, mind you. Every day, I’d erase the number and write in a new one, sometimes adding snowflakes or stars or something else festive once the countdown broke into double digits. For the three years we lived in this particular house, I kept that countdown going — year round.
I don’t bring this up to point out the fact that I was am one of those crazy Christmas people who listens to holiday music in June and starts decorating the day after Halloween (yes and yes). Instead, I think it’s a pretty great example of how awesome my parents were. From January to December, they’d watch as a sizeable corner of their kitchen command center was commandeered by a pint-sized Christmas enthusiast. My spirit, though overflowing and inevitably overwhelming at times, was never squelched in that house. It was always accepted, always nurtured. And that, my friends, is how you become a bona fide adult with a yearlong Christmas countdown widget kept soundly on your computer’s dashboard.
I’m happy to report that our little Beany seems to possess this rare but wonderful Christmas-all-day-every-day gene that marked so much of my childhood. She’s into Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in a major way, and since her first viewing of Frosty the Snowman just a few weeks ago, she’s willing — if allowed — to watch it on loop at least three times before tiring of it. She recently added the phrase “It’s owing!” (snowing, per toddler speak) to her rapidly growing vocabulary, and she goes crazy bananas for the reindeer snow globe that’s currently sitting on our hallway table. She even sat for a photo with Santa already this year (a tale for another time). “Ho, ho, ho,” she says when she sees it. The girl is a Christmas genius.
So what do you do with a 2-year-old who shows an early love for the holiday you hold so near and dear? You decorate her room, of course! Yes, it’s early. Yes, Thanksgiving is still coming. Yes, she loves it. Here’s how you do it:
My basic plan for DIYing a holiday tree for a rambunctious toddler was to keep everything as kid-friendly and non-breakable as possible. Beany is genuinely pretty good about leaving things alone if we tell her not to touch them, but this is her tree after all, so it needed to be safe for little hands. So after stringing a pink and white chevron ribbon around the branches, we decked it with ornaments made entirely from cardstock and tape.
For those wondering, the tiny tree is from IKEA ($14, I think), as is the $2 pink pot it’s sitting in. The paper and tape I already had, so the entire project cost a whopping $16, which is about perfect for decorations that may or may not remain intact for the duration of the holiday season. The wreath was another IKEA find that was quickly jazzed up with pink ribbons from Michaels, and the Rudolph record is something that’s been in our home for quite some time (see Christmas-obsessed explanation above).
Here’s hoping it’s the first of many trees for our Christmas-loving girl. ‘Tis the season for passing on traditions!