I guess the first obvious point is that babies are always in different phases and blazing through them faster than you can keep up or predict. Last year, we went to hear the Messiah at the symphony, and I took Rowan asleep in a ring sling. (I also remember actually being self-conscious about his light snoring. haha! First-time-parent thoughts are the funniest.) This year that would've been a big no-no.
So here are what my thoughts were for this year with a 14-month old.
1. Eye-level and higher! - All of the decorations that I usually hang up high, went up first and were the focus. Decorate the heck out of your mantle or the tops of windows if nothing else!
2. Dollar bin for the win - I got a banner string with pre-attached clothes pins and just clipped random ornaments and greenery clippings for archway decor that took less than two minutes.
3. Put some greenery on it. - Just like "put a bird on it" except literally just lay tree branch scraps across anything or tie it to anything... and your festiveness level just went up 10 points. (See the fake table wreath below... just tree clippings and yard berries laying there.)
4. Have fun with the Christmas cards - Last year I made a card holder out of a piece of ribbon and a mini wreath I had, but next year with a sassy two-year old I may need something different since it's totally within kid-reach. This year (once the cards filled up towards the bottom) he would grab a card or two, but then be done with it. What do you guys do for cards?
5. Recycle! - Somehow some tiny, dried wreaths from our wedding are still holding up, so I hang those in the windows. Then, I was hot gluing something one day, and I drew some snowflake designs on parchment paper. They weren't amaaazing, but still a pretty fun on-the-fly craft for the window. Even some of the decorated gift bags I saved from last year came in handy, because it took me seconds to wrap some of Ro's presents. Finally, I stole/rescued some garland from my sister-in-law's December wedding and repurposed that for some outdoor decor. Just a little friendly Christmas thievery.
Also, obviously using only plastic, wood, and fabric ornaments....because, duh. Luckily having tree-climbing cats has prepared me for this day, and I had a lot to work with! Maybe next year we will make some keepsake ornaments with Ro... This year that just didn't happen. (But beware if you have a doggie, because salt dough ornaments can be toxic.)
Our little buddy's first "celebrated" Christmas was a success! He was soooo tired, though. I had no idea how worn out he would get with the multiple family stops in the day. If I had it to do over again, I would've stuck to the strict nap times and not planned so much in the day. It was our first Christmas morning just us. The universe has shifted! We are the Santas!
I love this season of rebirth, hope, and looking forward to the coming new year.
Now to clean up the epic mess we have going on in our house...