Last year, you could tinsel your tree to your heart’s content and hang fragile glass ornaments from every branch. But this year, your kid is into everything, and your shiny Christmas tree is the first thing he wants to get his hands on. Here’s how to make it totally safe for him (but still pretty for you).

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Max Oppenheim/Getty Images

Create a Barrier Between Your Kid and the Tree

Sure, you could put up a baby gate, but that kind of ruins the whole classy holiday vibe you were going for. Surround your tree with tall, heavy presents (or just wrap some heavy boxes and disguise them as presents) to keep your little one from getting too close.

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Rejuvenation

Buy a Cast-Iron Tree Stand

Keeping the tree as sturdy as possible is important if you have pets, too—or if you just want to make extra sure your tree doesn’t topple over in the middle of the night. Screw the stand (we love this one from Rejuvenation) into the tree trunk and then weigh it down with sandbags to make it even sturdier. Cover the sandbags with a festive tree skirt.

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Twenty20

Consider an Artificial Tree

Real trees are beautiful, but those stray pine needles could end up in your toddler’s mouth (along with anything else on the floor). An artificial tree won’t shed and could last until your kid graduates from high school.

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Twenty20

Ditch the Tinsel and Fake Snow

Eating this stuff can be dangerous, so it’s best to keep it off your tree until your child is at least in kindergarten. May we suggest decorating with no-sew felt garlands instead?

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barol16/Getty Images

Keep Grandma’s Glass Ornaments Out of Reach

Fragile tree decorations aren’t really on the menu this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t creatively display them somewhere else in your home. Put glass ornaments of similar colors in an out-of-reach bowl or vase.

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Put Anything Edible Up High

You don’t have to forgo candy canes or strings of popcorn. Just hang them at least three feet off the ground to keep those sticky little hands away.

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Artfoliophoto/Getty Images

Ditto with Lights

A few strings of Christmas lights might seem harmless…until your toddler gives one of the wires a yank and starts teething on the bulbs. Hang all lights at least three feet from the ground—and don’t even think about candles. 

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