This charming tradition began for our family when my children were very small. Plagued by their desire to know how Santa really knew who had been naughty or nice, I searched through the Christmas decorations for a plausible explanation. Nestled among them was the answer; a small elf doll from my own childhood. With that discovery, the idea for the elf tradition was born.
At our home the elf would arrive around the holidays, usually at Thanksgiving. His sole responsibility was to watch my children's behavior and report it to "Santa" each night. The next morning after the children awoke, they discovered the elf had returned from the "North Pole" and was hiding in a different place. My children would race each other out of bed to try and be the first to spy him in his new position.
Over the years the tradition was perfected and rules were even introduced. For example, to better preserve his mystique the children were not allowed to touch him; however, they were allowed to talk to him. For obvious reasons, he was not allowed to reply. Eventually, my children even gave him a name - officially adopting him into the family.
Unwittingly, the tradition provided an added benefit: it helped the children to better control themselves. All it took was a gentle reminder that the "elf was watching" for errant behavior to be modified.
I never dreamed this simple tradition would lead to so many Christmas memories for our entire family. It is my earnest desire that The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition will bring as much joy to your family as it has to mine.
Mel's family named their elf Buddy, and he has been spotted throughout their house this season....
Buddy hangin' out in a stocking
Buddy chillin' in a doll house
I can't wait to get a little elf of my own and create this tradition. I think it is a fantastic idea!
Elf Magic is a site that gives other ideas for your little elf.
Have you ever heard of Magical Reindeer Dust???
According to Kelly tells you how to make it and shares the legend behind it:
photo found on Big Oven.com
We made these little nummies for our neighbor gift last year. We put nine reindeer on each plate: eight had brown noses, and one had a red nose. I don't think that needs an explanation. They were a hit! They are made of peanut butter cookies. Pretzel bits are used to make the antlers. M&M's used for the noses, and we just used squeeze frosting to make the eyes. Yummy, easy and cute!
One last North-Pole-ish idea. This was a gift I got from a neighbor last year and I think it is so cute....
I put this little sign next to Santa's cookies on Christmas Eve last year, and I think it was appropriate. I decided to attempt to replicate it for a few gifts this year, and I was shocked at how easy it was! I just got an 8x8" plain white tile, a small black easel, and then created the vinyl lettering on my Cricut. They turned out pretty darn cute, and it only took me about ten minutes to make. Easy. Cute. Voila.
If you need any ideas for Christmas goodies....
Head over to Nana's Kitchen. She's got a lot of tips and tricks up her sleeve!
Be sure to leave a comment, this week's giveaway is one of the best yet (in my opinion).
Speaking of giveaways. The winner of last week's comment prize....
the very popular PediEgg, goes to..................
Shannon at Welcome to the Nuthouse!!!
Congrats Shannon! I know quite a few people who are coveting your prize. I've gotta get one of those PediEggs, almost everyone who left a comment mentioned how fab they are!
So, you'd think it might be hard to beat last week's giveaway, what with how popular it was. But I think I've gone and done just that. This week's giveaway is.....
through the site, Just Give.
So be sure to leave lots of comments so you can be in the running to help out the charity of your choice! Plus, I like comments. A lot. =)
If you're stumped of what to give someone who has everything, you may want to consider giving a card from Just Give. This is a unique and personal gift that anyone will love. Rather than over-abundance, you can help those who truly need it. 'Tis the season!
What is your favorite charity?
Hope you're enjoying the holidays!