I am SO excited for the holidays. From Halloween to Thanksgiving and the big one - Christmas. I've been prepping for this time of year since June. I knew Delaney would understand more about the holidays this year, so I wanted to familiarize her with all of it beforehand.
She knows about Santa and promises she's gonna sit on his lap and not cry. If last year is any indication, she's lying.
I'm sure I'll update you with details after we go see the Big Guy.
But what I'm here to tell you about now is the newest member of our family, Elf.
I hadnt heard of Elf on the Shelf until a few years ago. I initially thought it was a midwest thing (I grew up in PA, now live in IN), but later found out its a new twist on an old tradition and it was created by a mother/daughter duo in 2005.
The basic story is that the day after Thanksgiving Santa sends an elf to your family. There is a nice book that comes with it that you are supposed to read first. This explains the story. Then you are to name your elf. It can be anything. Delaney decided to name her elf "Elf". (We've got a creative one here, folks!) Once the elf is named they have earned their magic. They watch the child(ren) all day and then fly to the North Pole every night to give Santa a naughty or nice report on the kids. They then fly back home and hide in a different area every night. The children get up every morning and have to find their elf.
Some elves stay in a certain area, like the living room. Some can be anywhere in the house. Some elves can be found just sitting every morning and some elves like to get into trouble (after all - Santa wont need to know if they're a bit mischievous!)
The most important thing is that elves CAN NOT be touched. If they are, they will lose their magic and renturn to the North Pole. They won't be back... my 2 year old won't touch hers and will yell at you if you get too close to it.
Since this was the first year for us having an elf, I was confused about how to introduce our elf into our family. I ended up wrapping it up and including a letter from Santa. Delaney found it under the tree.
The note from Santa was fun! I used some special Santa stationary for the letter (you can right click and download this image or find it where I did, here.)
Our letter looked like this.....
I used Pic monkey to add the text.
When Elf first arrived Delaney was STOKED......
After getting ready for the day we found Elf out of her box and on top of our closet!
This all began the day after Thanksgiving. On Saturday when Delaney woke up, Elf was hanging out with our Patriots Santa...
And Sunday she was hiding behind my picture.... (she leaves a note every day... these will go in a book Im making for her)
And this morning, she was crafty.... (I think shes going to get into trouble this week! Haha!)
You can use anything. Ive heard of people having Trolls, barbie dolls, stuffed animals.... you dont have to use an "elf". But if you want to, you can order one here. (If you're using mPoints - which you can learn more about by going here - you can use any gift cards you earn to get this. Ours was free - along with our ENTIRE Christmas. Again!)
If you want to find creative ideas you can google "Elf on the Shelf ideas" or go visit my holidaaaaaaaaaaze Pinterest board. Theres lots of fun ideas for all Things Holiday themed there!
One cool thing I stumbled upon was the Elf on The Shelf Magical Recovery Kit. Sometimes elves can be touched on accident. By downloading this kit, reading the poem and following all instructions - your elf will be back and better than ever in no time. (And it's FREE to download!)
You can choose a boy or girl elf of various colors and eye colors. I chose the cheapest one (hellooooooo!) which was the girl with brown hair and blue eyes (plus Delaney requested a girl elf." I was a bit disappointed to see that she didn't come with a skirt. But to build onto their empire - they now sell the skirt for a hefty $7.50 on Amazon. Call me crazy - I ordered it. It should be delivered in the next day or 2. You can get your own by going here. Keep in mind theere are 2 different patternss. If you know your way around a sewing machine you can easily make your own. Im not.
Also - there is a tv special on the Elf on the Shelf that airs every year on CBS. this year it will air on December 14th. If you can't wait - you can order the dvd for $9.99 here.
OR - if you're cheap (like me) and patient (unlike me) you can preview the whole thing for free on Youtube....
By watching the movie first Delaney really got an idea of the concept of the elf story. I highly reccommend watching the movie first.
I hope this is something you all consider and it makes your holidays even more special. Remember, you dont have to have an elf... customize it. make your own book, use a stuffed animal - you can do all of this for free!!!
You can take it one step further and download the Elf Report app to your smartphone. You can find it for iOs (apple products) in the iTunes store here. You can find it for Android in the market here. You can review the reports your elf sends to Santa every night and make a wishlist for your kids.
There is also an official app you can visit by going here.
Let me know in the comments if you already have an elf or want to try it. What does your elf do?