Family traditions are so important, especially around the Holidays. Traditions help to bring the Holiday season alive for our family. They help us laugh and smile when things get a little hectic. So, let me share a cool product with you that will help you create a Family Holiday Tradition. We discovered the Elf on the Shelf Book a few years ago and it is a huge hit at our house.
If you’ve never heard of Elf on the Shelf, let me share. With the kit, you get a retro-designed Elf doll and a book. The Elf has a job to do, as the book explains. He sits in your house during the day and then at night, he flies back to Santa to report on who has been naughty and who has been nice. (Parents, that includes you too.) A spy in the house! Why would kids like that? But, here’s the fun part. When the Elf comes back in the morning, he sits in a different part of the house. It is the ultimate hide and seek game. Our kids wake up every morning and run around the house trying to be the first to find the Elf.
To help you make this into a tradition, your family will adopt and name this special Elf. Ours is named Jack. (I wanted Cornelius but the kids overruled me.) The book includes a page where you can write in the Elf’s name and date he was adopted into your family so it becomes a family keepsake. We love this particular Elf because it reminds my husband and I of the ones our Grandmothers used to have in their houses. The Elf has a bendable body so that he can sit around the house in all kinds of cool places. Even if your kids no longer believe in Santa, they will still love the hide and seek game. Your kids can even take turns hiding the Elf to see who is the master hider in the house.
A word of warning to parents. If you forget to move the Elf one night, you had better come up with a pretty good reason why he is still in the same spot. The first time you forget to move him you can always claim that he was trying to be tricky and fool the kids by not moving. After that, you had better be creative. I have to write myself a sticky note to remember to move the Elf at night because last year I forgot two nights in a row. My daughter was distraut! She thought that the Elf had lost his magic and how was Santa going to know she was good. Oh, the drama! My bad, bad, bad! So, I had my daughter write a letter to Santa asking him to give Jack his magic back. We went to the post office and “mailed” it. It worked, and Christmas was saved. Whew! (That should be a Christmas TV special.)
You can really have fun with your Elf. We put ours out the morning after Thanksgiving, even though the kids start asking for him in August. You can have him create some mischief around the house – move presents, decorations, etc. Or we put crumbs around him one night so that it looks like he ate some Christmas cookies. Put some fake snow on him in the morning to show how he rushed home from the North Pole.
If you have an Elf on the Shelf, I’d love to hear what your family named him. Tell us also what excuses you’ve used it he forgot to move and what else you do to have fun with the Elf.