Our Child-Friendly Christmas Decor

posted by Andrea | 12/17/2012

Since I didn’t do much decorating for Fall or Thanksgiving, I was itching to get out my Christmas decorations. I scaled back quite a bit (and actually got rid of a bunch of decorations) because I knew Nora would get into EVERYTHING… however, our house still feels really festive!

Come on inside and take a look! 

When you walk in our front door, you walk right into the living room — and since we’ve knocked out almost every wall in our living room, we don’t have anywhere to put a tree 🙂

So, we have our main tree in the office by the French doors that lead out to a deck on the back of our house. I honestly really like it there because it’s out of the way, but still very visible from the big front window and from the living room.

Here’s a closer view — you can also see that I have our stockings hung on the shelves in our office since we don’t have a fireplace.

Instead of our traditional ornament-filled tree (that Nora would most certainly ruin), I opted for simple white lights and some jumbo candy canes. She LOVES the candy canes, and I love that she can’t break anything!

I also hung a simple red berry wreath on the top of the tree (I used the same berry wreaths on both of the doors as well).

We have 3 other Alpine trees in our dining room — and I absolutely LOVE how they look!

Here’s a look at our entire dining area from the living room.

I’m a huge fan of red in the kitchen (and anywhere else!) — which is why I painted our china hutch red. Fortunately, the red makes our home look extra festive during the holiday season.

I have a huge wooden star on top of the hutch along with a string of electric pillar candles that actually flicker just like real candles — how cool is that!

I have a few other simple festive details in our kitchen… including greenery and bells on Nora’s toy cabinet, a tin Santa by the stove, and simple tree-embroidered cloth napkins.

Oh, and remember that post in the middle of our kitchen? I decided it would be the perfect place to display all our Christmas cards.

We set up our ultra simple Nativity set (made by Dave’s Grandma) on the window sill by our kitchen sink.

I love that I can see it whenever I’m in the kitchen — which is a lot!

Back to the living room…

The shelving unit below our TV has some simple greenery, pinecones, and bells on top; and my FAVORITE “JOY” blocks on the middle shelf.

I put a cute stuffed Santa on the bottom — and yes, Nora loves toting him around the house!

We have a few more jumbo bells on an end table. I’m getting a little sick of Nora shaking them, but she seems to love it, and I love how they look on our end tables.

I also put some greenery and lights above our window.

I have a black metal star with red berries in the hallway…

… and my favorite wooden Christmas tree in the bathroom 🙂

That’s it — nothing too fancy, but it works for us — and so far, Nora hasn’t ruined anything!

What are your favorite kid-friendly Christmas decorations?


Filed under: HomeDecoratingHolidays

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  1. Kalyn Brooke | Creative Savings


    This is almost opposite of what we’ve done. I put a few Fall decorations around our house, but absolutely no Christmas decorations. I love Christmas and love to decorate, but we have so many renovation projects happening that it would be impossible to work around the clutter.


    Andrea Reply:

    Kalyn, — I TOTALLY feel your pain! That’s why we didn’t do any fall decorating (we didn’t want to deal with more clutter during our kitchen renovation). It’s totally not worth decorating when you’re in the middle of a renovation. Plus, there’s always next year!


  2. CG


    I love how simple your tree is! And I never would have thought to use a wreath as a topper.

    BTW, where did you get those jumbo candy cane ornaments? I ask because our two-year old somehow managed to climb on his high chair (after dragging it through two rooms) and grab the “no-no” ornaments at the top (and attempt to eat one!).

    We may have to copy your tree decorating for the next couple of years!!


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks 🙂 I actually got the candy canes on the clearance rack at Hobby Lobby 3 or 4 years ago (after-Christmas sale).

    You’re son sounds very ambitious! Nora hasn’t tried moving her high chair yet, but she does have a little chair that she drags around the house and uses to climb on things… naughty, naughty!

    Feel free to copy our tree next year… I might use the wreath on top again because I really like how it looks!


  3. Stacy


    Your house looks so cute and Christmas-sy!!


  4. KT


    Growing up Christmas trees/decor meant an overly emotional mom and for my husband it was expected that the kids put up the tree (he is the oldest of 8). So, now with two boys 5 and 2 (that like plenty of room to zoom) we do not do a Christmas tree at all. We simply do garland over our window with ornaments on it of felt nativity characters that our 5 year old puts on with the help of Dad. Our stockings go on a bookcase in another room (where they cannot be easily pulled down). Christmas lights go in open-on-both-ends glass vases on either side of our tall mantle. Our kitchen table has a red plate with some greenery from our backyard around the bottom and a creamy white candle in the middle. Our decor is serving us in its simplicity instead of us being its servant and that is key! I think it is all about what you enjoy as a family and not about any particular traditions like a tree (unless a tree brings you great joy). I hope the laid back spirit of our Christmas will inspire our boys to reflect on Jesus in Christmas times to come!


  5. Louise


    We used to put breakable and precious ornaments at the top of the tree and knitted and wooden ones at the bottom. Letting the children handle them taught them how to be gentle and look after things. This worked even when I childminded three under five year olds – their parents thought I was mad putting up my tree early but we had no mishaps. I only wish I could say the same for our pets!


  6. Jen


    Oh man, the jumbo candy canes are a great idea! We have a sixteen month-old and we only decorated the top half of our tree (and with no glass). I wish I’d thought of candy canes.

    Oh, well. Your house looks lovely!


  7. susie


    very cute!


  8. Gina, book dragon



    Our second Christmas together included a little one so we bought a little tree and place it on top of a cedar chest. She was more active the following years but didn’t need the playpen so …

    a card table went in the playpen and the tree went on the card table. We could drop the side of the playpen to put presents under the card table.

    Worked great!


  9. Anon


    When my two kiddos were toddler age, we hung bells all along the lower branches of the tree. If my back were turned, at least I had some warning before they could pull the tree over onto themselves..It worked!

    The bells became a tradition and we continued to hang them through the years…they’re still there (my former toddlers are now 20 and 23!) at the family’s insistence…however somewhere along the line the bells began to be referred to as the “package peeker alarm system”!


  10. Steph


    The very breath of this home is my inspiration! After your Christmas decor post last year, I ventured out to my favorite thrift store to deck out my mantle in everything muted red, greens and cream. And stars. I too, love stars! Piece by piece I am filling my (1980’s split) with farmy things I love. One day, I hope to have the farmy house to go with. ;). Thank you for your willingness to share a bit of yourself…you are an inspiration to many. (oh, p.s. I’m ‘the messy spous…but feel soo good when I can simplify and have order…I’m a work in progress) 😉


  11. Tammy Skipper (@Tammy_Skipper)


    We don’t have little ones anymore but we got our decorations out this weekend, despite our cross country move this month. I love putting out all the decorations and just kept sentimental items up high when they were little. I pared down a lot last year though and I know it’s part of what made decorating this year so simple. I *love* your lighted garland over the window…what a great solution to bringing that look ‘in’ to the living room since your tree isn’t there. I think your decor looks lovely.