This idea comes a bit late, so maybe you can tuck it away for next year. However, if you start tonight, you could still squeeze it in. Trust me, this one is so worth it!
We were that family that never really PUSHED the Santa thing, but we didn't skip it either. The kids stockings are filled with toys and treats from Santa every year. None of the gifts from under the tree were because, frankly, I paid too much money and put too much thought into them to give Santa the credit!
Well, this year I wanted to take it a bit further, but I wasn't sure how I was going to accomplish that. Until, last week while at a Christmas get together at a friends house, she showed me her Elf on the Shelf. I had never heard of such a thing, and if you haven't either... getting ready to be delighted.
Meet the commercial version of Elf on the Shelf:
So what is it? It is your family elf, sent by Santa, to make observe whether the children in your home have been naughty or nice. Each night he heads back to the North Pole to report his findings to Santa. Then, every morning the children must find his new location in the house. There are a few rules with the shelf elf. Your children must name their elf as soon as he arrives to your home. They may NEVER touch the Elf!!! If they do, he will lose his magic. The children can talk to the elf, but he can not talk to them. Simple rules, but VERY IMPORTANT!
The Elf on the Shelf above is available for purchase along with a book that explains the rules and why he is there. However, it is $30! Instead, I searched online to see if anyone else had made their own elf. Along with a few scary looking elves, I found this tutorial. It was perfect.
Here is our version:
Here is the wording I used for the letter that arrived with our family elf.
Dear Caden, Alanna, Abram, and Eli,
Merry Christmas! It is my pleasure to introduce the bearer of this note as the Magic Elf assigned to your family this holiday season.
This Magic Elf will visit your household from now until Christmas Eve, to observe the behavior of any good little boys or girls residing herein. Each night the elf will report back to me to inform me if each of you have been naughty or nice. When I arrive on Christmas Eve, the Magic Elf will come back to the North Pole with me to help prepare for next year.There are a few things you must remember. First, give the magic Elf a name. Second, and this VERY important, do NOT... I repeat, do NOT touch the elf. If any of you do, he will lose his flying abilities! Finally, you may talk to the elf, but he will not talk to you. I have given him strict orders not to! Each morning when you wake up, you must find his place in the house because he will sit in a new location after returning from the North Pole.
I must also add that I have been made aware of prior incidents of Elf Mischief on the part of this Elf. Should any Elf Mischief occur, please feel free to contact me at the address below.
Mr. S. Clause
It was a huge hit! The kids have LOVED this part of Christmas so much. It has been fun for Dan and i as well. Finding a new spot and coming up with creative ideas has been fun. This weekend, the elf caused some mischief and made flour angles on our counter. We simply sprinkled flour on the counter, place the elf on top and moved his arms and legs to form a flour angel. We brushed most of it off but left a little evidence with some flour tracks to his new spot for the next morning in the kitchen. The kids ate it up! We had baked cookies the day before so when they found the flour, they made up their own story as to why he had done such a bad thing!