I did it! When it became clear our 5 year old needed some fun Christmas make-believe, the elf was the perfect solution. I was a little nervous about being committed every day for 24 days (what if I forgot one night?!) but the desire to not see Jaimee disappointed was strong enough to remind me each night. It ended up being fun for the whole family and I’m glad we did it.
I hinted in the post about how we decided to start doing this that I changed some of the traditional “Elf on the Shelf” ideas and wrote a letter from our elf that better framed this the way we wanted to do it. I didn’t want an elf that went back to the North Pole each night to report on the kids’ behavior. Because… well, for a LOT of reasons. Here’s the text of the letter:
Dear Drew, Holly, Jaimee, & Bennett,
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Now that it’s the Christmas season, I’ve come down from the North Pole to stay with your family! There are three things you should know about me:
1. I only come awake when everyone else in the house is asleep.
2. I shouldn’t be touched (only your parents can if it’s to keep me safe).
3. I will go back to the North Pole on the night of Christmas Eve.
I will have fun watching you during the day, and I’ll be having my own fun in your house at night while you sleep!
Yes, I named the elf, lol. Knowing what Jaimee wants to name our future pets, I knew this would be a better idea. And I wanted something that would amuse ME too, hahaha. I liked the “no touching” rule but I didn’t say anything about elf magic… I just didn’t want the elf to become a play thing that would endure extra wear and tear, or worse, I didn’t want the elf to get MISPLACED (*shudder*). Lastly, I wanted the elf to be “leaving” on Christmas Eve because really… can the elf even compete with Christmas morning? And do I want another thing to have to do the night before Christmas? Sometime during the month, Jaimee reasoned that the elf had to leave on Christmas Eve so that he could help Santa deliver toys. Ok!
So…. I admittedly used many ideas I’d seen online (I’m just not that inventive!) but I do love how it all turned out and it really was a lot of fun. I’ve already shared the first six days. Here are the rest!
7. Jolly is taking a Barbie out on a date. And driving all over our partially-done puzzle!
8. Jaimee had the class “pet” for the weekend and they were chilling on top of the TV. Sunday was a great day for this since we were all watching a lot of NFL football that day (P.S. how much fun was watching that game in the deep snow?!)
9. Peeking out from the water dispenser in the fridge
10. TP’ing the tree. (I loved how fast this one was – great reaction… a lot of bang for the buck!)
11. Then rolling down the stairs in the toilet paper roll (30 seconds to set up since he was already in the toilet paper roll!
12. You know syrup is one of the main elven food groups! (That blue one is my bunny-elf from my childhood!)
13. A panty raid on the ceiling fan! A pair from everyone except Drew. I’ve even got one of Bennett’s diapers up there.
14. Playing Candy Land with some Groovy Girl dolls.
15. Jolly made a gingerbread train and brought three gingerbread house kits. That day (a Saturday!) Jaimee, Holly, and I made gingerbread houses.
16. Jolly made a snowman in the freezer! (this was the one time Jaimee needed help finding him)
17. The elf loves low-brow humor (ie. whatever will make a 5 year old laugh!)
18. Jolly, drunk on sugar, eating a gingerbread house!
19. Snow angels (I used flour, sifted)
20. “Snowball” fight!
21. Playing Mr. Potato Head. With REAL potatoes!
22. Elf-sized donuts (cheerios, frosting, cookie decorations) and a dozen donuts for the family from Krispy Kreme. Perfect for a Sunday morning.
23. This one was a two-parter. He sat on the tree with a packet of “Magic Elf Seeds”:
(“guaranteed to work overnight!”)
1. Plant the seeds in the vase on the ledge
2. Sprinkle the fertilizer on top
3. Wait till morning to see what grows!
Here’s the “planter” (filled with sugar) and “fertilizer”:
Both Holly and Jaimee loved this:
24. Candy canes grew overnight!
And that was a big hit that morning. By the time I’d gotten up, Holly and Jaimee had already each had a candy cane, lol! Next time, I guess Jolly needs to specify that they need to wait for mommy (so I can get pictures!) and eat their breakfast first. ;)
What a blast. Jaimee already misses Jolly and hopes he’ll come next year too.