A journal through photos

A Christmas Elf is Coming to Visit

This post is a departure from my normal photo post – I’m just so excited about this I wanted to share and I didn’t really have anyplace else to do it.

Last year was the first time I heard of “Elf on the Shelf”. It wasn’t until close to Christmas that a friend told me about it and by that time it was too late for that year plus all the stores were sold out of Elf on the Shelf. I decided that in 2011 I really wanted to do this for the kids.

I haven’t bought an Elf on the Shelf kit this year. To be honest I didn’t love the elf that came with the book so I spent the last little while hunting for a different elf to use. Since I didn’t have the story that came with Elf of a Shelf I scoured the internet looking for ideas and found several different versions of Elf on the Shelf or Elf Magic Elves. I took the ideas and I’m going to be coming up with my own story that will fit with how I intend to use the elf.

Since I knew this would require advance planning I did a bit of brainstorming and Goggling to come up with some things for the Elf to do once he/she arrived at our house ( I wanted an active elf, not one that just sits around). I should mention that last year I bought a wooden advent calendar in the shape of a house, and around the same time I was looking for ideas to fill it (because I didn’t want to fill it with just candy but I didn’t want to buy a bunch of things either).  In the end I decided I wanted to fill the advent calendar with experiences/traditions and mostly tie whatever mischief our elf get into in with those.

In order to pull this off without forgetting something I decided to print out a couple of calendars and plan the advent/elf events in advance. Then I would also know if there were any supplies I needed ahead of time. I started in Nov (when we are going to write to Santa to ask for an elf and then leave food out to tempt an elf into visiting us). December 1st I’m going to put the advent calendar out for Charlotte to find along with our Elf. There are some events that we can only do on certain days so I put those on the calendar first and then filled in everything else.  I don’t plan to put the note in the advent calendar until the night before, so that gives me a bit of wiggle room in case I have to change plans – plus I don’t want Charlotte peeking ahead!

I know lots of people do Elf on the Shelf activities or something similar so I thought I would post my plan here to share.

Dec 1:  Elf and Advent Calendar arrive. We will put the tree up after the kids go to bed.
Dec 2: Advent Calendar = “Decorate Christmas Tree” Elf will decorate the tree overnight Dec 1/2 with underwear and diapers.  Decorate the tree that evening.
Dec 3: Hoping to go to the city for Christmas shopping. Advent calendar = “Visit the Enchanted Forest”. Elf will be in the car trying to “drive” away.
Dec 4: Usually around this time we go to the local tree farm with the IL’s to cut down a tree, have hot chocolate, go for a sleigh ride and sit around the bonfire. I have to confirm the date for this year. Advent calendar = “Go for a sleigh ride”. Elf will be in the kitchen after having a marshmallow snowball fight with another doll.
Dec 5: Advent Calendar = “Read a Christmas story”. Elf will be sitting in the living room with all the Christmas stories and reading a new book.
Dec 6: Advent Calendar = ‘”Send a Letter to Santa”. Elf will be on the computer writing a letter to his/her elf pals back home.
Dec 7: Advent Calendar = “Donate a toy to the Salvation Army”. Elf is going to make a big house in the living room with Mega Blocks.
Dec 8: Advent Calendar = “Favorite Breakfast”. Elf is going to be in the fridge. He is going to color the milk in the jug red.
Dec 9: Advent Calendar = “Family Movie Night”. Elf is going to be lounging on the couch with some popcorn and the remotes and a new Christmas movie.
Dec 10: Advent Calendar = “Winter Scavenger Hunt”. Elf is going to get into trouble overnight trying to help wrap presents. He’s actually going to wrap a few household items and manage to get himself tangled up in ribbon.
Dec 11: AC  (can you tell I’m getting lazy now? )= “Sing Christmas Carols”. Elf is going to take some self portraits and leave them up on the computer.
Dec 12: AC = “ Get dressed up for supper”. Elf is going to decorate our kitchen with snowflakes.
Dec 13: AC= “Santa Surprise” (will show Charlotte Portable North Pole Video). Elf is going to draw funny faces with dry erase markers on our family photos (on the glass of course)
Dec 14: Ac= “Make a craft with mom”. We are going to make some elves. Elf is going to do some art on the art easel.
Dec 15: AC= “ Drive around to see the Christmas Lights”. Elf is going to be going for a drive in Charlotte’s dollhouse van.
Dec 16: AC= “Go Skating “ (assuming they have it that day). Elf is going to make “snow” angels on the kitchen island.
Dec 17: AC= “Do a Christmas Puzzle”. Elf is going to be trying to put together a new puzzle.
Dec 18: AC = “ Go Sledding”. Elf is going to get himself locked outside on the deck.
Dec 19: AC= “Have a dance party”. Elf is going to TP the master bathroom and pee green in the toilet.
Dec 20: AC= “Make peppermint hot chocolate”. Elf is going to Paint Daddy’s toenails (daddy doesn’t know this yet…)
Dec 21: AC = “Family Game Night “ . Elf is going to play Candyland with some other toys.
Dec 22: AC= “ Decorate Cookies”. Elf is going to bake cookies and make a big mess.
Dec 23: AC= “Pyjama Party around the Christmas Tree”. Elf is going to build a fort in the living room.
Dec 24: AC =” Open one Christmas present at bedtime”. Elf is going to spell things on the table with cereal. Time to pack Elf  up for his trip home to the North Pole!

Some other ideas I read that I might save for next year:

  • Elf shoe sledding
  • Elf writes “Naughty” on mom’s head (funnier when kids can read)
  • Elf sleeps in the pantry
  • Elf decorates with candy canes
  • Elf has a tea party with stuffed animals
  • Elf sticks pictures of himself everywhere.
  • Elf draws on the bathroom mirror
  • Elf eats some of daddy’s favorite food
  • Elf leaves post-it notes all over the house
  • Elf decorates a mini tree
  • Elf hides inside the laundry basket
  • Elf makes red and green breakfast
  • Elf brings a new coloring book and colors in it
  • Elf dresses up in doll clothes
  • Elf puts Christmas stickers everywhere
  • Elf hides chocolates around the house
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7 responses

  1. Sounds great. I want to implement this into our traditions as well. Thanks for sharing your ideas as I’ve not yet been able to start my plan but this is a good base. Great ideas. I hope your family enjoys this fun idea!

    November 10, 2011 at 10:32 am

    • I am so excited about doing this this year! Of course I’m going to document the whole thing with photos :)

      November 10, 2011 at 10:38 am

  2. Em

    This is awesome! You are the best Mom, Kristine! So thoughtful of you, and the kids are going to love it. I can’t wait for the photo updates.

    November 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm

  3. Amy

    The elves in the log picture are from http://www.elf-magic.com… Not elf in a shelf. http://www.elf-magic.com has more quality elves and fun clothes for the elves… And you can customize the elf you purchase… I have to give credit where credit is due!!

    November 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    • If you read the post you’ll see that I mention the Elf Magic Elves and link to the site in my description. I decided to find a completely different elf in our house (Elf Magic doesn’t ship to Canada) and come up with my own story.

      November 26, 2011 at 6:42 pm

  4. I read this after seeing your comment on the Today’s Parent FB status regarding the Elf On A Shelf.

    You have such wonderful ideas! I hope it’s okay if I borrow a few :) I don’t have an elf to use, but I’m sure I can be creative too.

    I can so see your little elf getting up to mischief – colouring the milk red indeed, LOL!

    December 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    • Borrow away! Thats why I put them out there. I’m an organizational nut (in my head at least lol) and I wanted to have a plan. Everytime I think of or find more ideas I add them to my pile for next year :)

      December 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm

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