"Now, this is gonna hurt me more than it does you..."
Last year, I finally-I think-solved the "Cats dragged the Christmas tree down on themselves again" problem. (Oh, come on. Don't pretend it hasn't happened to you.)
It's simple. I hang the cat's "ornaments" first.
See, I took some mouse traps-cheap lil four for a buck spring loaded jobs-and disabled half the spring (so a snap on my finger stung a lil but left no bruise), set 'em then hung 'em from the lower branches and set them out under the tree, changing their positions every now and then, re-setting the ones the cats had *snapped* as they started to climb. The sound alone was enough to discourage the climbing.
In short order, the cats were avoiding the area around the tree. And actually, quite contra to the subject line, no one was hurt, nothing damaged. And the cats were actually safer than in their "Lets drag the tree down on ourselves!" times.
Gonna hang some "cats' ornaments" this weekend. Feel free to play along.