I love it when I get to answer a question from a reader! Madi recently left me a comment and asked a great question which fits perfectly into my Elf on the Shelf Busy Parents Survival Guide.
“This is only our second year doing the elf tradition, and our elf comes Dec. 1st. How are some ways you have brought the elf back each year? Does he just appear? Does he get shipped? Does he bring a note?”
Traditionally, our Elf just makes his appearance on the day after Thanksgiving and I never really thought about how to make Day 1 extra special, so I’m so glad she asked the question and forced me to put my creative hat on and investigate how other families handle this. Here are some great Elf on the Shelf Day 1 ideas.
Surprise, I’m here!
Like I said, I haven’t really done anything special to announce his “return” in the past. When the kids were really young, I hid the Elf in a very obvious spot on the first day so the kids do a doubletake and are surprised when they see him. As they got older, they anticipated that he would show up the day after Thanksgiving and they would wake up and automatically look for him. But one year, Jack, our Elf, wrote the kids a note and of course our Elf had to be complicated and write backwards, so the kids had to hold their notes up to the mirror to read it. (As your kids get older you need to throw in some challenges.)
A Breakfast Fit for an Elf!
Laura from Come Together Kids had a great idea to have the Elf make breakfast for the kids on Day 1. The Little Pumpkin Grace blog has some super cute Elf Breakfast ideas, as well. To get your Elf breakfast going, download these freee Elf Breakfast invitation and printables from 505 Design. So cute!
Amy at Living Locurto had a cute idea to have the Elf deliver seeds with a letter from Santa on Day 1, asking the kids to plant the seeds and wait two nights for a special surprise. They grew magic cookies! You could have so much fun with what “grows” from the seeds. Click over to her site for a copy of the letter from Santa.
Let me in!
Another Mom told me she puts the Elf outside the window on the first day (only if the weather is good) like he flew in from the North Pole but needs to be invited inside. One of our readers said even though this is her second year doing the Elf tradition she was going to have a wrapped package be outside the front door on December 1st with a note inside from Santa saying that their family Elf was back.
Here’s your Letter!
Here’s a great letter from the Elf to use as inspiration from the ItsyBitsyPaper Blog. Leana at A Small Snippet did something similar with a letter from Santa. Scroll most of the way down in the post to check out her letter for inspiration.
I’ve also seen people write a note from the Elf or from Santa to leave next to the Elf saying that he is back and excited about being with the kids this Holiday Season. Model A Designs has some great free printables for you to use with your Elf on the Shelf fun, including official letter head from Santa’s desk for his letter to your kids.
I hope those ideas have helped you figure out what to do with your Elf on the Shelf on Day 1. Have fun with it!
How do you bring your Elf back every year?
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