Holiday Hacks for Families with Twins: Twin Proof Christmas Trees

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Got Twins? Try These Holiday Hacks for Twin-Proof Christmas Trees

9 month old fraternal twins
9 month old fraternal twins celebrate their first Christmas. Reprinted with permission of Kathy.

It's the holiday season!  Time to adorn your home with dozens of fragile decorations, like those cherished family heirlooms passed down through generations. The center of attention, a Christmas tree, shines bright with lights and breakable bulbs and balls. That may work for some families, but not when you have young twins in the home! During those years, parents have to make some special accommodations, to protect their twins -- and their decorations. Luckily, we're here to show you how to hack the holidays when you have twins. Try these creative strategies for making holidays with multiples memorable and safe. Remember, these years pass quickly, and these are temporary fixes. Most likely, come next Christmas season, your twins will outgrow their tendencies towards destruction, and you can resume your normal holiday traditions. 

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Keep the Tree Out of Reach! Holiday Hacks for Twin Families

Christmas Tree With Twins
Keep the tree out of toddler twins' hands by elevating it. Kristal Braneff

Let's face it; twin toddlers can be terrors. Working as a team, the world is their playground. Nothing is safe. And that includes the delightfully tempting Christmas tree. Holiday Hack #1 is to keep the tree out of their reach. Maybe this year, the tree will have to find a home in a gated-off room or hallway, where twins can look, but not touch. Or, take things up a notch by moving it up high. Kristal Braneff modified her Christmas tree so that it could rest on top of a table, off the floor (pictured here). She explains, "I used my full-size 8-foot tree, but left off the fuller bottom half. My tree comes in three sections, already attached to a center pole that fit together. So I started with the middle section instead, making it more like a 5-foot tree."

Maybe you might even consider an upside-down Christmas tree, hanging from the ceiling, with the ornaments hung high and away from two sets of grabbing hands. 

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Alternative Christmas Tree: Holiday Hacks for Twin Families

Wall Christmas Tree
Instead of a 3-D tree, create a wall tree that twins can decorate. Muriel de Seze / Getty Images

If you want a Christmas tree to be part of your holiday tradition, but worry that it won't survive  your twin tornadoes, consider an alternative. Holiday Hack #2 is to substitute with a wall tree. Instead of a traditional tree, create a twin-friendly tree on the wall. Felt cutouts, removable decals (buy at Amazon.com), or this life-size wall decoration (buy at Amazon.com) are all great choices if you're worried that a real-life tree will prove too tempting for your twins. Once your children are older, you can always return to a standard tree, but you may find that the wall tree becomes a treasured tradition in it's own right. 

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Twin-Proof Christmas Trees

Twin Proof Christmas Trees
Twin Proof Trees: Decorations Behind Bars. Brittany Burgin (Left) / Alisha Apergis (Right)

When all else fails, break out the barriers. I've often said that a convertible play yard is a  must-have item for families with multiples. It's so handy for keeping twins in -- and works just as well for keeping them out. Holiday Hack #3 is to build a barricade. Put up your tree, and then put up the play yard around it. This not only protects the tree, but also keeps the presents away from prying eyes and peekers. This was my personal strategy when my twins were young. We made the play yard part of the holiday decor by using baby links (buy at Amazon.com) to attach baby-safe ornaments to the slats of the gate. 

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Creative Christmas Tree Decorating for Twin Families

Creative Christmas Tree Decorating for Twins
Get creative when decorating a Christmas tree with twins. Michael Kelley / Getty Images

Perhaps your twins are old enough to resist the temptation of the tree, but can't withstand the allure of the ornaments. All of those bright colors and sparkles turn into toys; as fast as you decorate the tree, they're going to strip it bare. That's why parents use Holiday Hack #4: get creative with your decorations. Maybe this year, you'll keep those family heirloom ornaments packed safely away, and decorate with stuffed animals, as Cheri Cameron's family did. "I just stuck stuffed animals on the tree, small at the top and progressively larger towards the bottom. The tree still had lights and garland. It was cute and easily put back together if they got grabby. And they did." Or concentrate the good stuff up high, and add twin-friendly ornaments around the bottom. Cassie Day explains, "All breakable ornaments go on the top half of the tree and I bought a bunch of fabric/stuffed ornaments for the little kids to help put on. Our tree gets rearranged daily." Ann Zirkle's family combined several strategies to make a twin-proof tree. "We used our regular tree (artificial since my son is allergic to pine), and kept unbreakable ornaments on the lower half, breakable ornaments on the upper half, and heirloom/irreplaceable ornaments went on an ornament tree that lived up high out of their reach. The unbreakable ornaments were taken on and off and rearranged and played with."

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A Snug and Secure Christmas Tree: Holiday Hacks for Twin Families

downed Christmas tree
Don't let your twins get you down at Christmas. Jeffrey Coolidge / DigitalVision / Getty Images

If your twins are climbers, or particularly active, you may have to take extra measures to protect your Christmas tree.. Don't let a knock-down-drag-out play session result in a knocked down tree, with broken ornaments and broken hearts. Instead, prepare for the worst with Holiday Hack #5 by securing the tree. To start, make sure it has a sturdy base. But to totally twin-proof your tree, you may have to take it a step further. Cheri Cameron recommends using "fishing line, strung at the top and affixed to the wall so that they can't pull it down." A ceiling hook, such as those used to hang plants, will do the trick. You can mount it in the ceiling or position your tree against a wall.

Follow these general Christmas tree safety tips. You may also find some useful tips in this tutorial on creating a pet-safe Christmas tree.

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