Guess who's back?!
Bernard and Judy, our elves!
Elves are what you make of them. You don't need to read the story, you never need to tell your kids they are there to watch them, Big Brother Style. They can just be a fun tradition. Santa sent an elf? Cool! Also, elves don't need to take more than a minute a day, they don't need to bring stuff or make things or leave you crafts. Elves are not a competition. I share what our elves do because my kids think the elves are really fun. I make it mostly easy, and if it isn't fun for the family, we don't do it. Even though we've removed the stalker status, the elves do still have a bit of a creepy stare. Whatever. The kids love them. I hope they inspire you!
On with the show.
Our elves appeared in the front window one afternoon, a day early. (Hubs was leaving on business for a week, and the kids are always so wound when the elves return, I wanted him to share that chaos in person.)
The first morning, our elves brought a Charlie Brown tree (we usually put a small, fake tree here) and left a note about kindnesses. In the spirit of giving, each girl was given $15 to choose toys for Toys for Tots. They donated them that afternoon, and selected a special ornament for their tree. A kid tree (theoretically) decreases the undecorating and redecorating of the big tree.
December 1: Advent Calendars. Every year Santa sends the elves down with these on the first. This is the second year of Playmobile calendars, and they are legit. Look for them after the first for a great discount. Zulily occasionally runs them, too. It isn't like they expire!
December 2: They were found (at 5:45am) eating M&Ms. Scandal.
December 3: Window Clings! The elves put up a few and left a few on the sheet, eliminating the need to burn the evidence. Window Cling sheet found at the Dollar Store.
They also tried to talk our chickens into laying an egg. No luck.
December 4: Snowflakes from the dollar bin at our local craft shop. I love it when they decorate. Two birds.
December 5: A Saturday. The elves brought peppermint-scented dough (recipe here, with a few drops of peppermint oil added, half dyed red) and left out cookie cutters. At 6am someone asked if they could play with the playdough the elves brought. Then they played happily for 45 minutes. Worth making my own playdough. You could buy the stuff, too. Lesson: Put out something novel and not so messy on a day you want to buy some extra sleep.
December 6: First night of Hanukkah. The elves have set up their menorah (I bought this from a woman selling some American Girl stuff. I think it is still a set they carry.) and Judy schooling Bernard at dreidel. If you are looking to incorporate some various seasonal traditions your kids may not be exposed to, dreidel is a pretty good start. The rules are simple, and you can play for raisins, coins, chocolate, gummies...
December 7: I took this pretty late at night. The elves were on a door handle, in our cooler bag. They left a note about donating food to the local pantry, with a list of groceries the pantry needed. The girls did a great job shopping for the food the pantry needs as well as a few of their favorites. We drove to the pantry and dropped them off, so they could understand where it goes and why. (Usually, the school does a collection and they just hand it in with their class.)
The elves were a little cheeky and brought Hubsy some soda.
December 8: Riding on dinos and reindeer. It works.
They also decorated the mirror a little later on that day.
December 9: This is always one of my favorites. The elves take all the seasonal books - winter, Christmas, Hanukkah - off the shelves and put them in a basket. They must spend all night reading. I love this one because I know in the morning I'll find this:
They love reading to the elves. Sadie also appreciates a good story. Whatever gets them reading.
Stay tuned! More elf mischief to come!