If you haven’t seen this American inspired Christmas craze that has recently swept the nation in the last few years, then goodness me – where have you been? I jumped on the bandwagon several years ago being an avid Christmas lover (you get to start with this festive cheer a whole month early, what is not to love?) I am however extremely aware that like Marmite, you either love this shizzle or well…bah humbug!
Now, don’t get me wrong, my fervour occasionally wanes halfway through December and I have often hit the pillow after a few scoops only to suddenly go cold with the dreaded realisation that I haven’t moved the elves- but all in all- it’s just great fun and the kids LOVE it.
So how does it work? let me talk you through the basics…
WHAT IS ELF ON THE SHELF?
The tradition stems from a book written by Carol Aebersold as far as I am aware but it’s totally your call how you play it out. For example, my elves can be touched (original premise says they lose their magic if touched).
The story tells of an elf sent by Santa to watch over children during the advent and report back on naughty or nice behaviour. Whilst I have been told many find this whole thing super creepy – it is a fantastic way to keep the monsters behaving nicely!
Last year I came up with a genius idea of installing SantaCam cctv..first sign of naughty behaviour and a bell was rung which immediately switched on the Santa Cam from our living room to the North Pole on a direct link to Santa’s office.
The kids’ little faces when I rang the bell and they stopped mid-tantrum, casually sauntering around the room throwing out polite little smiles and waves, will stay with me forever more I am sure! Parenting and discipline was pretty much a breeze from that point onwards.
If you don’t have any other girls in the house like me then this really is your chance to play with dolls! You can even buy cute little t-shirts and coats and if you join your local elf facebook group (oh yes this really is happening!) then you’ll find many small businesses making pyjamas and the such like…knock yourself out!
A particular favourite of my attempts from last year were the Minecraft heads – my seven year old really did nearly explode with excitement, talk about lighting up a little face!
You can find these free printable templates on Pinterest of course – every Elfer’s Motherland….
Another of my favourite scenarios is the down-the-stairs slalom! Cute and easy… no really it’s easy! A roll of cotton wool (comes out every year for various elf uses) and a wooden sled decoration I picked up many years back from a garden centre.
Now I am a ‘winger’ when it comes to Elf fun but lots of my friends find it easier to write out a little timetable plotting their adventures in advance…whatever works best for you. After all, anyone likely embarking upon this tradition is not exactly sitting around all day with free time are they? No…this little time-consuming hobby will be squeezed into an already bursting to the brim family life. Once again Pinterest is the place to be…
When life gets in the way – which it inevitably will – don’t panic! Of all the amazing stunts my elves have pulled, my boys still recall with delight “That night when the elves slept in your bed Mummy!” Yes I had come home from a night out and passed merrily into a drunken sleep, waking only five minutes before the kids. With no time to spare I grabbed the little so and so’s and stuffed them in my bed. My kids were thrilled.
So, assuming you are onboard and ready to get involved – here are a few ideas from my back catalogue.
Enjoy the Elfing!
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PASS IT ON!