The first time I brought home a crappy Christmas decoration from Kindergarten, my mum gushed. It’s gorgeous! You are an artist! That’s going front and centre on the tree!
The next year, the sparkle of my artistic prowess began to fade and my fistful of proudly handmade decorations were relegated to deep in the branches at the back of the tree.
Put quite simply – they were messing with my mum’s carefully curated tree. Cotton wool ball Santa beards just don’t go with ornate wooden figurines and hand blown glass baubles. And the paper snowflakes could blow into the flames of the vintage candle holders. It’s just good sense really.
But six-year-old me was not having it.
So what’s a parent to do when their kids want to sully the colour scheme of their masterpiece? Enter, the B Tree.
LISTEN: Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo discuss the ‘B Tree’ and other ways of kid-proofing Christmas. Post continues below.
When mum presented my sister and I with our very own B Tree we were giddy on power. To me, there was an implicit undertone of, ‘I trust you with this.’ To her, it was more ‘thank f*** I can finally have a nice tree again.’
Fortunately, my innocent Christmas spirit remained intact and it wasn’t until years later that I realised what an insult it was.
It’s called the ‘B Tree’ because it’s where you put all the B grade ornaments. Anything your kids make and the decorations that don’t fit this year’s colour scheme. Oh, and TINSEL. The tinsel is staying far, far away from the A Tree.
Actually, just burn it. It’s not even good enough for the B Tree. I don’t want any kids of mine growing up in a world where tinsel exists.
You can still let your kids help decorate the big sucker – but under strict direction. You get full creative control, they’re just the manual labour.
Because as good as it feels to have a tree you can actually share a smug Instagram photo of, it’s not worth stealing the magic of Christmas from a child.
Actually…. it kind of is.
Because I was raised in a serious Christmas household. There was no mucking around with el cheapo plastic balls. It was all class. And I wasn’t joking about the candles either. We literally had LIT CANDLES in the branches of a REAL TREE.
Kid proofing is for rookies. Stepping on the fragments of a shattered glass ornament is just character building.
All that’s left to do now is convince schools that a better project would be crocheting snowflakes instead of massacring printer paper. My theme is silver and white next year, thanks.
Listen to the entire Christmas special of our podcast for imperfect parents, below.
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