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Decorating the tree

by Brie One of my favorite parts of the Christmas holidays is the tree. I tried a fake tree but I missed the smell too much. There is nothing like having a beautiful looking and smelling tree in your house when the world outside is cold and dark.

Since having kids our tree has taken on a different appearance. All the breakable balls stay wrapped in tissue in their box in the basement. As do the long, pointed old-fashioned metal icicles I fell in love with one year. Instead, we have come to embrace a kid-friendly tree that is perfect for our four- and two-year olds.

Here's what's hanging on our tree:

- Gold ribbon and beads: The ribbon was bought one year at a fabric store and the beads were a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law. They both add a burst of colour to the tree. Best of all my four year old daughter can put them on herself.

-Paintings of favorite book characters: For my daughter's second Christmas my mom painted and laminated a bunch of book characters to hang on the tree. At the time the girl didn't know who Madeline or Franklin were, but she does now and she likes to point them out. I know that these ornaments will be special keepsakes as the kids get older.

Images from last year's calendar: In desperation one day last December I hit upon a great afternoon craft. I took the calendar that was about to expire off the wall and cut out all the Beatrix Potter pictures from its pages. With a little ribbon and a hole punch the homemade ornaments were ready to hang on the tree. I liked them so much I kept them and they are hanging on our tree again this year.

And just today the kids and I strung popcorn and cranberries to hang on the tree. It is a messy job but I love the white and red colours on the tree.

 I know that as the kids get older we will be able to introduce more sharp, pointy and breakable ornaments. Until then, I am happy to stand back and admire our tree.

Brie is the mom of a 4 year old daughter “the girl” and 2 old son “the boy”. You can read her blog at Capital Mom.