Holiday Traditions

The Elf on the Shelf

I know there are a lot of different opinions about The Elf on the Shelf craze. Love it, hate it, don't get it...are usually the categories. I have recently had a change of opinion about Mr. Elf on the Shelf and it is because of reading an article about dinosaurs.  Dinovember to be exact. 

Do yourself a favor and go read this article. It will only take you a few minutes.

 Essentially they take their kids dinosaurs and set them up in different mischievous ways each night for their children to find them the next morning. Now what I liked about this was at the end when the writer says 

"Why do we do this? Because in the age of iPads and Netflix, we don’t want our kids to lose their sense of wonder and imagination. In a time when the answers to all the world’s questions are a web-search away, we want our kids to experience a little mystery. All it takes is some time and energy, creativity, and a few plastic dinosaurs.
Childhood is fleeting, so let’s make sure it’s fun while it lasts."

That summed it up for me! I want my kids to believe in the wonder and magic of things. I want them to imagine and dream and ENJOY being kids!! 

So with that here is our Elf on the Shelf story and a lot of other traditions we LOVE!!  

I bought our Elf in an after Christmas sale in 2010 with intentions to start the tradition the following year. At that time this little guy was hardly known I had to actually order it because several book stores didn't carry it. I attempted it that following year, our daughter Little S was just born literally weeks old and our son Mr. C was 2 years old, he could care less about the Elf.  Moving the Elf only lasted a few days then 'the Elf' just sat around until Christmas. Mr. C didnt get it at all but I am all about creating traditions for our family so I tried it again last year but I wasn't too sure about making this little Elf a permanent 'tradition'. He's cute but kinda creepy too lol anyways I figured we would try it out to see how it went.

I think the movie is adorable!!! Defiantly buy it!!! 

We watched the movie which Mr. C loved then I secretly wrapped up the elf on the shelf box in Christmas paper with a note: put it out front and rang the door bell. I had Mr. C open the door, found the package delivered from the North Pole he got to open the box and then together we read the story.

 He totally got it last year and loved it. I like how in the movie and book the Elf just 'moves' around but Pinterest has taken it to a whole new crazy level with these naughty antics lol to keep from going insane I did easy stuff most of the week (moved him around) then the more 'Pinterest crazy stuff' on the weekends. 

The night before Christmas Eve we have another tradition my kids get to open one present we give them and its always "new Christmas Jammie's" to wear that night to wake up in on Christmas morning and cookie mix or cookie cutters to make cookies for Santa....So last Christmas I combined the two traditions and gave them the present and it was from "Julian the Elf" (Mr.C picked the name) saying good bye until next year etc etc. it had their new Jammie's and cookie mix and a new cookie cutter and Mr. C said goodbye to Julian until next year.

 Now back to the top where I was trying out this Elf thing"before I commit it to a "tradition" welp just the other day out of no where Mr. C says..."Mommy remember Julian the Elf, he was so fun, I can't wait till he comes back" with that I give you our new tradition LOL weather I wanted it or not and honestly after reading the article above....i'm quite excited to bring Julian the Elf back each year!!!


I am a sucker for traditions especially holiday traditions!! Here are a few of the things we do each year that I get pretty excited about!! 
 (in no particular order)

We have done story and a craft count down in the past. This year I am going to wrapping up 24 books and the kiddos can unwrap one each night before bed and we can read it! Being a preschool teacher for so long I have so many holiday books to choose from each year!!

We always make a gingerbread house of some kind. Some years they are homemade other years they are store bought but we always make one together.

Advent activity Calendars: I made these cute little tags and wrote an activity on the back of each one. I numbered the clothes pins that way I could easily switch activities around last minute if I needed to. Examples of the activities: watch a Christmas movie, drink hot coco, decorate the Christmas tree, sing Christmas songs, go see Christmas lights, make a gingerbread house, bake cookies, take a picture with Santa, Watch Elf on the Shelf. I also look out for holiday events in our town and I will write down that activity for the day such as YMCA snow day or a Church Christmas bash etc.

This is one of my favorite traditions that I got from a family friend. She grew up with this adorable idea and does it for her kids and I loved it. So thank you Sara for sharing the love!! Take a large boot or shoe (aka the hubs) and put it into flour to create Santa's footsteps.                        (2011 and 2012)

Playmobil advent calendar...LOVE IT!! 
More on these HERE
Going to look at Christmas lights.....and sometimes dress in our best! (Costumes in our house are a 12 month a year occasion)

I grew up celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah and our kids celebrate it with one side of my family. I like to make matzo ball soup and letkes because its just too good not to!!!!

Reindeer food!

This is the box I wrote about above it's one of my favorite traditions. The Christmas Eve box! It first started out because in my family we got to open one gift on Christmas Eve, so I started that with our kids but the gift was always new Christmas Jammies to wear to bed. Last year this little tradition expanded and I made the Christmas Eve box as a good bye gift from Julian the Elf from Elf on the Shelf. (More on him further in this post) So in the box is new jammies to wear to bed and wake up in on Christmas morning. Cookie cutters and cookie mix. We always spend Christmas Eve with my Dad and his side of the family so we get home late. Hence the easy quick cookies.

I found this last year and I liked the idea of it. We live in an apartment and there is no fireplace so this is a key to let Santa in. I want to make a cuter handmade one but this one worked for last year.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season filled with love, family and lots of traditions!!! 

1 comment:

  1. I've not done elf on the shelf. Not sure I want to open that can of worms. :) We do the advent calendar, a countdown calendar in the morning, wrapped christmas books before bed, and the usual milk and cookies that we've baked that day for Santa. I want to do the box for Christmas eve with hot cocoa and a movie or something. Saw the cutest pink reindeer jammies for the girls this year, and thinking that might just be my reason to buy them. Great post!


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