Trimming the Tree: The Thought Processes of Preschoolers
- November 30, 2015
- Whitney Hsu
I was so excited this year to get my Christmas decorations out and spend an evening with my family trimming the tree. Advent is my favorite time of the year and I love starting the season with music and lights and family.
I got box after box of carefully wrapped decorations from the attic, as visions of sugar plums danced in my head, and as my mother forcibly held my almost 2 year old son back from climbing the ladder after me. My 3 1/2 year old daughter, well-acquainted with the magic of Christmas, danced around the room, alternately shouting about how excited she was about the artaments and shouting at her brother to not break them.
We unwrapped the shiny, sparkly goodies and helped the first round of them get on the tree. I put the most fragile as high as I could, and let the kids do what they could reach. J quickly lost interest upon learning that actually putting the string around a branch was difficult, and resorted to pushing all the buttons on the ones that made noise (cue the off-key renditions of Disney songs and light shows that could cause seizures).
Having only broken a couple of ornaments so far, I felt like it was going well. The next day, however, as I admired our handiwork, I noticed a few things. This is what my preschoolers must’ve thought:
First of all, ornaments look best on the bottom of the tree. Either that or they didn’t bother to reach above their waistlines. Clusters of ornaments hang at my knee level and below, mostly including the “fun ones” or ones that my daughter made.
Secondly, once a kid got hooked on one branch, it had to have at least four ornaments before moving on to the next one. Branches are weighed down so heavily that I’ve moved several ornaments off to relieve pressure.
Third, similar ornaments must be hung together. If they came in a set together, they were meant to be hung near each other. Why spread them out evenly? (Close proximity of polka dot hats and silver garlic blubs – thanks Hubby for pointing that shape out.)
Lastly, the tree is not the only place for ornaments. The kitchen table, nightstands, and the middle of the floor are all acceptable places for tree ornaments to be residing. Note: if they make noise, they’re in a kid’s hand all the time.
All in all, I kinda dig it. I can have a tree worthy of Southern Living when I’m an empty-nester.