Decorating the Christmas Tree with a Toddler


December 4, 2019

I have been waiting for this moment since Otto was born. When he would be old enough to help us decorate the christmas tree. It has been hilarious to watch him try to process why we would bring a full, huge tree from the outside into our living room. He does stare at it quite often with a bit of a scowl on his face. Regardless, he loves  the lights on the tree and thinks it’s hilarious to water the tree as it gets “thirsty”. We are soaking up all of the special moments that we possibly can with him this holiday season.

Teaching a toddler to decorate the christmas tree

For years Joe and I would put up the same artificial tree that my parents passed down to us from when they first got married. I swear that tree had to be over 30 years old. The year after we had our miscarriage I just felt the need to change it up. December that year was a dark time and I just didn’t want to continue with the same ol same ol. We both decided it was time to try our hand out with a real tree and we’ve done it ever since. Living out in the country we are fortunate enough to be next door to Peterson Tree Farm where we now get our tree every year. (except that one time we took a wrong turn to their tree lot and wound up with a tree from a different farmer) (we made it up to them by buying our wreaths). It feels so good to be able to have our Christmas tree come from the farm next door.

Teaching a toddler to decorate the christmas tree

This will be Otto’s third Christmas with us and part of the tradition is him falling asleep on the car ride to the tree lot so he is ALWAYS grumpy to pick the tree out. Hence why we got literally two photos together at the lot. Next year when he’s a bit older (and I don’t forget his winter jacket) we hope to actually cut down our own tree. Every tree on the lot I would ask him this one? NO. This one? NO MAMA NO TREES. Great. So we let Joe be the decision maker. When it came to actually getting to touch mama’s ornaments he was singing a different tune. He thought he was pretty big stuff when  I let him stand on the stool to hang the ornaments higher.

Decorating with Vintage Christmas Ornaments

My tree is all vintage ornaments and elves and I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I dare let otto be around them. The truth is, ornaments break all the time. In fact the bowl in the background holds the shells of shattered shiny brites. In an odd way letting Otto see how a few break and that it makes us sad has taught him to be super gentle with the ornaments. For the first few days he would sneak them back off the tree and hide them around the house so he could play with them later. We had to go over it a few times that once the ornaments are on the tree they have to stay there. He is slowly getting the picture of how this all works and has started to leave them alone and look with his eyes only.

Just to be safe though I put the less valuable and more generic ornaments towards the bottom of the tree. I kept my favorites up towards the top for safety purposes. Living in a old farmhouse is pretty magical around the holidays but sometimes it’s not without casualties.  A mouse got in to my vintage blanket and stocking bin and destroyed the tree skirt i’ve been using the past few years. Luckily when I was at the Country Living Fair this year I picked up these old linen blankets from Europe knowing I would find a purpose for them later. This year they make the perfect tree skirt!

Christmas is a special time of year. It has been and sometimes is filled with heartache and stress as we lost our first pregnancy the day after Christmas a few years back. But with the heartache comes hope and we have an abundance of it this holiday season.

Happy tree decorating friends!


PS you can read more about our Country Living Feature here. 

Decorating with Vintage Christmas Ornaments Decorating with Vintage Christmas Ornaments Decorating with Vintage Christmas Ornaments Decorating the Christmas tree Decorating the Christmas tree Vintage Shiny Bright Ornaments Vintage Shiny Bright Ornaments Little boy christmas traditions decorating the tree Little boy christmas traditions decorating the tree

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  1. Diane says:

    These pics are so sweet! I love your vintage ornaments and take on letting Otto go for it and teaching him to be careful! Merry Christmas!

  2. Stephanie says:

    Love all these sweet photos with your baby and the Christmas lights !! So so precious… Merry Christmas

  3. Beth says:

    These pictures are pure magic Abi! I just love you and the way you are living your life.

  4. Sara says:

    The magic of Christmas! You captured it well. Merry Christmas to you and your family and may new memories fill your hearts.

Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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