Love them or leave them, we’re getting close to Elf on the Shelf season, and I, for one am firmly in the love camp.
When my son was 2, I was clued in to Elf on the Shelf and I decided that we would get an Elf for our family. My husband was a bit skeptical but Reginald VanWinkle, affectionately referred to as RVW, arrived promptly on December 1st that year and our Christmases have never been the same. The joy and the magic of that first Elf season is one I will cherish forever. Finn was in awe of the Elf, he would talk to him when he’d walk past; each morning he would race around to see what Reginald was up to and that year he was up to a lot of fun shenanigans. He hung from the ceiling with Buzz Lightyear and he made a snow angel out of flour. He rode though the kitchen on Jake and the Neverland Pirates ship Bucky, chased by Captain Hook. He went fishing in the aquarium for our pet goldfish.
Last year my husband and I were talking about what we would pass on to our small humans, the traditions that we thought they would want to continue and, naturally, the subject of Reginald VanWinkle came up. Who would inherit him when our family expanded into grandkids (hopefully, someday a long time from now)? I worry about things like this and even though we thought it would be fun to have the Elf in our house for when our hypothetical grandchildren come to visit, we also know that our grown kids might like to share the magic of “their elf” with their own offspring. But we have two small humans and only one elf. Enter: Betsy Webster VanWinkle, Reginald’s little sister. She arrived last Christmas and if you think that having one elf is fun, let me assure you, two is glorious!
Unfortunately, I’m not much of a fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to our elf, so I am the kind of girl who needs an Elf Plan. Each year I scour God’s Gift to Tired Mamas, also known as Pinterest, and create a calendar of wonder for our Elf. There have been a few nights, mostly after our second daughter was born when I’d spent my days exhausted, that I would wake up in the early morning hours and shake my husband awake, having forgotten to move the elf before we fell asleep. He would dutifully get up and move RVW someplace new. That season our Elf was slightly boring and mostly required Finn to find where his hiding spot was each morning with fewer “exciting” displays of Elf wonder. But the magic was still there, the joy of the finding him was evident.
This year I am totally ahead of the game, and I thought I’d share my calendar with you so that, should you be new to the Elf show or just a tired mama like me, you can go into the Christmas season with a plan – you can check something off of your holiday to-do list right now! Most everything our elf does is simple and utilizes items we have in our house (trust me, I do not need to add any more to our Christmas budget!) but there may be a few small things I’ll need to get. I’ve included a list of items that you might need, and just about every item correlates to a picture on the Duluth Moms Blog Pinterest Board, Elf on the Shelf. The calendar is pretty easy to follow, but if you’re at all confused, pop over to Pinterest – it’s all right there for you. How easy is that? We have made this year’s Elf shenanigans easy for you to execute so that you can focus more fully on all of the other holiday obligations and the main reason for the season.
We would love to see what you do with your Elf this year! If you’re on Instagram, please tag us (@duluthmomsblog) and use the hashtag #DMBelf2017.
Happy Elfing, friends!
- Letter from Santa
- White paper for snowflakes and white paper garland garland
- Christmas books (1-2) – can be new, can be wrapped books from your collection
- Spiderweb (leftover from Halloween) or quilt batting (from a craft store)
- Cleaned pasta sauce jar or a large mason jar with a cover
- Wrapping paper (for wrapping lunch and for wrapping the kitchen table)
- Christmas movie (from your collection, new, rented from the library, or a Redbox)
- Melted snowman (3 buttons, carrot, 2 google eyes, 2 sticks)
- Elf hats printed on red paper, or drawn and colored with red crayon
- 12 candy canes
- Brown construction paper and cotton balls or colored puff balls for “rock climbing wall” + a long piece of string or yarn
- Kids undies to thang on the tree
- Hershey kisses
- White yarn to make snowball pom-poms
- Red and green crepe paper
- Sprinkles to make sugar cookies (maybe a package of sugar cookie mix if you want to really save time and minimize the mess)
- Ice cream + hot cocoa + marshmallows + rediwhip + cherries
- “See you next year” letter