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Do you let your kids touch the Christmas tree after it has been decorated?

I'm hoping to get a debate settled in our house. My four-year-old is fascinated with the Christmas tree. I don't mind if she touches it, takes ornaments off and hangs them in new places, because I've taught her to handle fragile things carefully from a young age. She'll spend hours moving decorations around, getting "just the right look"--not my cup of tea, but what the heck?

Dad doesn't like it. He says once the tree is decorated, it's for looking at, not for touching. Granted, he has some very delicate blown glass ornaments from Italy up high where the preschooler can't reach them. I understand he doesn't want them broken, but if they were that much of a worry to me, I would have left them off the tree for another year or two, just in case.

So, should I enforce the "no touch" rule, insist on taking the Italian masterpieces off the tree, or let my daughter touch carefully with the Italian ornaments still on? I hate taking away an experience she seems to enjoy so much. Maybe she has a future in interior design.


Asked by Ballad at 4:24 PM on Dec. 10, 2012 in Holidays

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Answers (20)
  • To me, Christmas isn't about having the perfect tree. Its about the children being a part of the celebration, and enjoying the experience of Christmas. If Dad has special ornaments he's that concerned over, maybe he should set them somewhere else, or hang them from the ceiling to catch the light, etc. To me, letting your little one be a part of decorating, or redecorating, and creating the Christmas joy in the home is more important. He needs to understand she's only going to be little once, and she's only going to care about his tree for a very short period of time. Pretty soon he's going to have his perfect tree, and he's going to wish she was little again to mess with it.... Christmas with no little ones is perfect trees, no messes, everything just where you put it, and absolutely boring!!!

    Answer by Nimue930 at 4:47 PM on Dec. 10, 2012

  • I've never had a child who wanted to rearrange it once it's done. Honestly, I can understand both sides of this issue. I would think she could be creative in another way, (ie: making holiday crafts as gifts or helping bake cut out cookies) while still respecting hubby's wishes & presenting a united parental front.


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 6:46 PM on Dec. 10, 2012

  • sure, after all I put it up for her to enjoy and all her ornaments are fronm the middle down. I would never tell her she cant look at, touch and turn ornaments to see the other side or push the little buttons to make them light up etc

    Answer by luvmygrandbaby at 4:27 PM on Dec. 10, 2012

  • you don't "let" pre-schoolers do anything, they do what they do and you make sure they don't get hurt!

    lol, who cares? let her re-arrange the ornaments, as long as she's not breaking them and keeping them in the general area of the tree it's fine.

    Answer by staciandababy at 4:30 PM on Dec. 10, 2012

  • I don't have anything breakable on my tree, and my kids are 8 and 11. The reason for the shatterproof ornaments is due to the cat, not them. That said, I don't let them touch my tree. I spend a good amount of time on getting it the way I want with ornament placement and such, and I don't appreciate them ruining it.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 4:54 PM on Dec. 10, 2012

  • We weren't to touch my mom's tree after it was decorated. I don't want that experience for my daughter. ~Ballad

    Don't you have things in the house she can't touch or is supposed to leave alone? I don't know- I think it's weird to put a tree up and then tell the kids to have at it. To me-it is one of those things that are to be left alone

    I got small trees for my kids to decorate and play with so they didn't touch the big one or gave them crafty Christmas related stuff to do instead

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 6:43 PM on Dec. 10, 2012

  • My 8 year old moves his ornaments every day! I not only let them touch it, I let them decorate the whole thing! It is a hodge podge of a tree, with purple, blue, green, pictures toys etc. I used to be anal about my tree, but they love to do it so much, it makes it the prettiest tree (to me) I have ever seen. I was going to buy a new tree this year, and my 8 year old informed me that OUR tree is fine, it is kind of old, and starting to look a bit Charlie Brownish, lol.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 6:54 PM on Dec. 10, 2012

  • I would and do definitely let my kids touch the tree and everything on it. I let them help me hang all the ornaments, even the fragile ones, so that they can learn to be gentle. I tell them that they can move the ornaments around the tree, but to be careful since we can't get another one like it. Of course, if it's a favored ornament, I will stay close by in case it happens to drop as they're putting it on. Otherwise, I put the ornament up high or just leave it in the ornament box. I feel that if it's that important that it not be broken, then I don't want to put my kids in the position of me being stressed if they happen to break it. So, in the box in the bubble-wrap it stays. That being said, we put all the ornaments on the tree and my kids have been great with them. Last year, DD did break a glass angel--it broke in an inconspicuous place, so it was superglue to the rescue (no one even notices).

    Answer by Chocolatespring at 1:21 AM on Dec. 11, 2012

  • I just tell them to stay away from the glass ornaments. I can hardly stop them if they were hell bent on doing it though.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 4:29 PM on Dec. 10, 2012

  • we had a no touch rule and my kids left it alone for the most part. we had more issues with the stupid dog taking out ornaments with his tail...

    you say the glass is up to, but what if you child pulls the tree over? It could happen

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 4:30 PM on Dec. 10, 2012