For most parents, the moment their child becomes mobile is as surprising as the arrival of Christmas at the end of each year. It was the same for us. Caught off guard by our little one’s sudden urge to get moving last fall, my husband and I were forced to take quick action to protect our home from our child (or the other way around :-). We decided against a playpen as we wanted our son to move around freely while we remained close enough to watch out for him and experience this stage of his life. Then came December. The stairs were already blocked off, power outlets were secured, no more vases all around the place – but Christmas without a tree and wreath is no Christmas at all.

“How lovely are your branches…”

That brings us back to the playpen we don’t have. Did you know that some parents put their Christmas trees in playpens to keep their children away from them? To be perfectly honest, we would rather do away with our beloved Christmas tree altogether than do that. Nevertheless, we did our research and asked other parents what they do to stop their tree from falling on their child. From placing the tree on a raised table to tethering it down, there were plenty of ideas. Then, before we knew it, it was 23 December and we simply put the tree in our living room – straight on the floor, without any straps or screens and held in place by the Christmas tree stand alone. And yes, it was a beautiful tree! Our son, who by this time could stand but preferred having something to hold on to, agreed with us.

Again, we let him discover it for himself while always ensuring that he could not get himself into a genuinely dangerous situation. Of course, we didn’t have any real candles on the tree, instead opting for fairy lights bearing the GS mark 🙂 , and did not hang any glass baubles on the lowest branches. This is what worked for us, and we’re planning to do the same thing this year.

… Santa Claus is coming to town

While handing out the presents is the highlight of any Christmas, parents once again let their wildest fantasies run riot at this point – from strangulating ribbons to gift bags pulled over the head. Although we are confident that we are well aware of all these risks, we are very keen to make sure that the toys we buy do not pose any hazards. They need to be non-toxic, safe, and suitable for children. We are hardly qualified to judge whether our purchases meet these criteria. That’s why we look for the test mark when shopping for toys.

For tips on buying toys for children, watch this video (only available in German language)


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Our son is now two years old and loves to blow out candles – real ones. Although he is allowed to do this, we shy away from telling other parents this in case they tell us about risks we would never have dreamed of. We have found our own way of doing things. All parents will no doubt have a personal level of safety that makes them feel comfortable and secure, otherwise even the most beautiful wreath and the biggest tree would not bring any joy. With this in mind, let us be merry and jolly. I wish you and your family a very happy and healthy Christmas!


Jennifer Kriesten

Jennifer Kriesten

Communication Manager

Jennifer Kriesten is a Communication Manager in the TÜV Rheinland Newsroom. She has been responsible for organizing internal events for many years and has had the opportunity to meet many colleagues around the world in the process. Having just returned from parental leave, she is once again turning her attention to internal networking, but this time from a more technical perspective. Jennifer is creative but also likes to stay on top of things. While she may not know every Carnival song even after eight years in the Rhineland, her passion for sewing means she can make the most beautiful costumes. As a native of Lower Saxony, she loves the sea and enjoys digging in the sand with her son.

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