Kiwi, at two years old, is single-handedly wrecking Christmas.
Ok not really, but this toddler is destroying Christmas decorations at an alarming pace.
“Be very careful,” she says as she pulls an ornament off the tree, despite our “one finger” rule, which I designed to let her sort-of touch the fragile baubles without actually inflicting any harm.
In spite of her promises/self-warnings, though, ornaments end up in pieces within seconds.
So far, several penguins, two angels, a snowman, a chairlift full of animals Eric had previously declared “unbreakable” and another handful of decorations are awaiting repair—or, more likely, the trash—in a makeshift ornament graveyard atop the microwave. And we still have a week until Christmas—plenty of time for more casualties.
Kids’ Christmas destruction
Christmas ornaments aren’t the only damage from our pint-sized holiday wrecking ball. As soon as Kiwi and Peeper decorated the Christmas tree, Kiwi began to pull off handfuls of tinsel. The bottom branches, which were originally sagging under so much tinsel, began to look bare. She sometimes throws the tinsel back on in sparkly gobs, resulting in a constant state of redecoration.
The other night, Peeper was helping me with our family Christmas cards by carefully putting stamps on envelopes. Kiwi joined us—and scribbled all over the addresses. When I tried to redirect her to drawing on the back of the envelope, she threw a tantrum.
Then I enlisted the girls to help open what they call “Christmas mail,” the stream of cards and photos I cherish this time of year. Before I even realized what happened, she ripped open the envelope—and a Christmas card. The beautiful photo of my good friend and her family lay on the carpet in two jagged pieces.
The price of having kids
I tend to be pretty laid-back with the girls. I don’t mind (too much) when paint splatters on the walls or even when Peeper’s acrobatics snapped the side of an armchair. Things are things, after all.
So I have managed to not worry about our broken ornaments and taped-together cards.
Having kids is messy. Having kids at Christmas is messier: a tornado of broken snowmen, stockings used as actual socks, bent Noble branches and chaos in general. I tell you, holidays with young children are not for the faint of heart.
Yet I wouldn’t trade this for a Pinterest-perfect Christmas. Nothing could replace my daughters’ joy at putting up the Christmas tree, or their delight in dumping a half-pound of sprinkles onto sugar cookies.
If you end up making it to our house this holiday, then, don’t be surprised if our Christmas tree is adorned by broken reindeer or if the lights are pulled down. As it turns out, that’s the price of having a whirlwind of a toddler at Christmastime.