Safety Precautions Without Spending Extra Money!
Our Christmas tree was so safe that toddlers or pets were unable to knock it over, hurt themselves, or even enjoy it! Something had to be done, because glitzy ornaments or glass bulbs would never be worth the safety of my kids, or our dogs.
I used to decorate our Christmas tree as quickly as possible, sandwiching it between two living room sofa sections, and then erect a baby-gate barricade in front. The street view of our Christmas tree was bright and beautiful, but once inside our home, one could not help but notice a pitifully imprisoned tree.
Now you have surprisingly safer, low cost decorating options, without the worry of catching toddlers, or family pets wrestle the sparkly ornaments off of your holiday tree. We have all see them taste those decorations, as they must look yummy to their innocent eyes, hanging from the Christmas tree, just ripe for the plucking.
Stringing Edible Garlands
Many, many years ago, before those delicate hand-blown ornaments ended up dressing our holiday trees, happy boys and girls assisted moms and dads by stringing popcorn and cranberries (probably grown right in their own gardens). The only additional supplies needed after popping “unbuttered” popcorn are a sewing needle and thread.
Although I would recommend a stronger thread (and needle) than the normal sewing/mending variety, this could turn into a fun craft project with your kids, just anticipate snacking. Have dad or granddad teach your son how to string popcorn using clear fishing line, which can be reused once the holidays are over, and the popcorn is gone.
Have your girls help you string fresh, unripened white, pink and red cranberries, with needle and thread. Although cranberries are sour, who’s going to stop the popcorn from getting raided? A variation could be stringing raisins or Craisins, however the additional sugar could draw ants (or worse) into your home. Either way, turn this into a fun TV activity for your entire family.
Edible Tree Ornaments
The most colorful, edible ornaments I’ve ever found consist of mixing several $1.00 boxes of 12 individually-wrapped candy canes. Hang these sweet treats without worry, just keep them in their wrappers, and hook them onto your tree branches.
Another fun edible ornament idea would be to hang red peppers (might become a disastrous irritant) or dill pickles onto your tree. Allow pickles to drain and dry a day, then thread a loop of fishing line through, before hanging these silly critters.
To understand the time-honored tradition of hanging glass pickles onto Christmas trees (with accompanying scavenger hunt) read the article by friend and colleague Linda Ann Nickerson, “Christmas Symbols 101: the Christmas Pickle: Decoding a Traditional Holiday Decoration in Green Glass”.
Family Safety & Enjoyment
More than even the monetary expense of fancy Christmas tree decorations, your child’s safety should be your first concern. Next, decide whether your housecat’s game of batting at glass bulbs (sending them crashing to the floor) or Fido’s glitter-licking and shredding of chemical tree-flocking is safe for them, your baby, or the rest of your family!
If these scenarios concern you (and they should) why not chose to implement a low cost, safety solution, by hanging edible Christmas tree decorations this year? Your family (and your wallet) will love you for it!