Christmas time is my favourite time of year. I love giving presents, I love the music, I love the food, everything about this time of year is absolutely magical for me. Sharing this with kids has made it so much more special. Unfortunately, toddlers come with their own rules for celebrating. After having toddlers 4 times (including a pair of them at once!) I feel well equipped to write this toddler friendly guide to the holidays. Because toddlers come with their own rules for celebrating.
A Toddler Friendly Guide to the Holidays
These are my best tips to make your Christmas or Holiday better with toddlers. Yeah, it might seem funny to you now. But if you’ve been comforting a screaming 2 year old after turning off an inflatable Christmas decoration you will know this is no laughing matter.
OK fine, it is kind of funny.
In case you were unsure, here is a toddler friendly guide to the holidays.
Hopefully these tips will help make your holidays a little more merry and bright. And if not, at least you’ll know you and your sad half decorated Christmas tree are not alone.
Part 1 – Decorating for the holidays with a toddler
- Decorate the top 2/3 of your tree only.
- Make sure the rest of the ornaments are non breakable for when the toddler scales the tree.
- If you choose to decorate the bottom, watch as the ornaments magically disappear.
- Decorate your house festively. Use lots of Santas. Says “yes, that is Santa” 20x a day.
- Buy one of those tacky inflatable characters. Bonus points if you can acquire coveted “Minion”, “Paw Patrol”, or “Olaf”.
- Comfort the toddler after making Olaf melt by turning off the lights.
- Leave the Christmas lights on 24-7.
Part 2 – A guide for toddler friendly holiday traditions
- Attempt to watch your favourite holiday specials with toddler.
- Watch Frozen with toddler. Plan to watch Love Actually later with wine.
- Let toddler help you wrap presents for others. Blame your bad wrapping on the toddler.
- Bake holiday cookies with toddler to share with others. Pick egg shell out of batter. Forget key ingredient.
- Try crunchy cookie, vow to make better cookies later.
- Serve toddler made cookies. Emphasize that toddler made them. Alone.
- Purchase one of those fun chocolate countdown calendars for toddler, who has no concept of time.
- Get asked for chocolate every 10 minutes.
- Toddler eats entire calendar while you’re in the bathroom.
- Make fancy hot chocolate for toddler. Toddler must drink it through a straw.
- Attend toddler holiday party. Wonder why they don’t serve alcohol. Make mental note to bring a flask next year.
- Take toddler for annual photo with mall Santa Claus.
- Pay $25 for photo of toddler screaming next to Santa.
- Admire deadly poinsettias in the store.
- Take toddler to a fun, festive holiday parade.
- Hold crying toddler during entire “too noisy” parade.
- Develop a deep hate for anything with sirens.
- Get toddler ready to play outside with winter gear.
- Toddler has to pee.
- Toddler plays outside for 5 minutes.
Holiday gift giving with a toddler at home
- Place a couple wrapped presents under the tree to excite toddler.
- Re-wrap presents. Resolve to not waste money on disappearing bows next year.
- Wrap presents in packing tape.
- Attempt to downsize number of toddler toys before the Christmas toy avalanche.
- Toddler suddenly loves every toy they haven’t played with in the past year.
- Ask family members for non-toy gifts.
- Christmas morning, toddler awakens to a mountain of gifts. You may have overbought.
- Toddler opens one gift and wants to play with it.
- Attempt to find a home for all the new toys. Consider building an addition on your home.
- Wonder if minimalism is right for you.
- Put toddler in fancy holiday clothes which toddler hates.
- Toddler also hates Christmas dinner apparently.
- Put overtired toddler to bed early. Get drunk.
Most of this advice comes from sad, sad experience over the past several years in toddler hell. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m really going to miss all the extra hassle these little ones bring.