My kids have yet to ask for the famous Elf on the Shelf. I debated over whether we should begin the tradition or not and of course consulted my favorite parenting resource, Facebook.
I dreamt of Pinterest-esque plans of elf snowball fights and Cheerios disguised as elf-sized donuts.
Then, I remembered who I was talking to (myself, as usual) and knew that more often than not, I would be telling morning stories of how our elf-gathering-dust-on-a-shelf still loved where he was the night before SO much that he begged to stay there again and again and again.
Last weekend on our third overly-obnoxious car ride, in between the high notes of the 92nd meltdown of the day, Mark yelled, “What’s that elf everyone has? We’ve got to get one of those things.”
And that was that. For the past week we’ve been in search of the slightly creepy looking little Christmas spy and finally found one today.
We gathered the kids and read them the story of their new friend as they fought over Legos, who would sit on whose lap and why someone’s toe was touching the other’s paint leg seam. They agreed upon a name after much negotiation and we recounted the story none of them listened to the first time, watching the red and green light bulbs go off above each of their now-enchanted heads.
Jingle Flower, the latest addition to our family, was now a direct line to the Big Guy and what happened next was nothing short of a Christmas miracle. United, my children decided to clean the living room as Jingle Flower looked on smiling, because that’s the only face he can make.
My husband and I patted ourselves on the back as we always do when we think we’ve outsmarted them. Enjoying the view as they ran around cleaning the living room, we almost had to break out the smelling salts when they promptly announced they were heading to brush. their. teeth.
Jingle Flower’s power will dwindle as the days go on, but for now I’m making a chore list for day two, surfing Pinterest for ideas that do not involve home renovation for elf placement, and enjoying the extra dose of Christmas magic he brought into a house full of kids who are still young enough to believe.
One year down with Elf on the Shelf and I’ve discovered that I’m not an over-achieving elf-mover. We came up with all kinds of easy ways to place our elf that the kids loved and I could pull off five minutes before they got up. Here’s a few of my favorites…
squished in a cup
in Barbie’s bathtub
making a snow angel in some spilled flour or sugar
digging in the cereal
drinking syrup from a straw
driving a Barbie car/remote control car/dump truck
drawing with toothpaste in the bathroom
hanging onto a Christmas ornament
peeking from behind a picture
making a paper snowflake
taking a marshmallow bath in a bowl
playing cards with another toy
holding the television remote
in a Christmas stocking
sleeping in a drawer
playing with a video game remote
fishing with goldfish crackers
lining up matchbox cars
coloring a picture
sitting with money outside a piggy bank
Do you have more easy ideas to add? I’d love to hear them!
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