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Holiday Decorating With Kids

Tips for making holiday decorating fun for the whole family


Holiday Decorating
Laureen Miles Brunelli
Holiday decorating with kids is a completely different affair from those elegant child-free days when you had time to ponder concepts like symmetry and color coordination. With kids, there are likely to be more safety concerns (as well as an increase in the number of blinking lights). But you will not find more enthusiastic holiday decorating helpers than kids! And there are many elegant holiday decorating projects for kids.

So make holiday decorating one of your family's fun things to do together during Christmas break. But keep in mind some of these tips to avoid holiday decorating disasters.

Safety First

When a child first becomes mobile, parents must think differently about holiday decorating. Safety trumps aesthetics.

Some ornaments may need to be put away for a few years, but mostly it's a matter of re-thinking placement of holiday decorations. For instance, delicate crystal ornaments can sparkle in the window instead of on the tree where a good shake could send them crashing down. Festoon garland over door jams and window frames rather than banisters to keep it out of reach.

Pamela Prindle Fierro, About.com Guide to Twins and Multiples, has a fantastic round up of all those holiday hazards for little ones. Keep in mind that with so much going on during the holidays it even more difficult to keep an eye on kids. A playyard stationed in the room with the Christmas tree might be helpful.


As kids grow older, safety issues, while still important, become less of a driving factor in holiday decorating. However, kids start to have their own ideas about holiday decorating. And parents, who may be accustomed to making the decorating decisions, will need to compromise if holiday decorating is going to be fun for all.

But that doesn't mean your house has to be given over to blinking lights and foam reindeer (unless of course that's what you like!). Compromise means giving on both sides, so either divide the space between adult and kids spaces or try these Christmas decorating ideas that are pleasing to both kids and adults.

And Always, Enjoy

Whatever the ages of your kids, make holiday decorating a happy family tradition. Don't let decorating contribute to holiday stress. If you're inclined to go out together and cut your own tree, that's great. But if the only place you want to go for the tree is the basement, make assembling an artificial tree a game. Do easy holiday crafty projects together or make a fabulously complex gingerbread house. Or maybe, make ornaments or collect specialty ornaments with your kids. The point is for it to be something you do together as a family, but it can be as complex or as simple as you want.

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