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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Christmas in July: Elf Mischief...Why Do It?

Have you seen all of the pins dedicated to Elf Mischief, Elf on the Shelf, or Christmas Elves on Pinterest? Have you wondered what the heck is going on? Why the interest in Elf Mischief?

I'm going to give you the cliff notes:
  1. The Christmas Tradition is simple! An elf shows up at your house, and he or she does silly things each night while your child sleeps.
  2. There are many versions and ways each family does it...no set rules.
  3. Some families set their elf up high on a shelf, so that the elf can observe and report back to Santa.
  4. Most elves arrive the day after Thanksgiving or on December first.
  5. Some elf kits have magic dust, and require you to "feed," the elf each night prior to going to bed.
  6. The elf returns with Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.
So, the question is...why do it? Why spend the time and effort to plan and set up something each night, when the holiday season is already crazy enough as it is? Don't I already have enough going on at that time of the year?

The thing I love about Elf Mischief is the look of wonder and awe on my boys faces, when they crawl out of bed! They are both still asleep and have bed head, so in their sleepy voices I hear, "Look what Buddy the Elf did last night!" They get more excited as the days pass, and the closer it is to Christmas the more they know to look for them each morning. (We had a 6am wake up last year, as it finally "clicked," with my three year old!) The boys ask about the elves year round, and wonder if they are coming back this year?

Our Elves, Buddy and Max, arrive the day after Thanksgiving. They have a place of honor on our fire place mantle. The boys know that we do not play with them, as they are not toys. (I have heard of families allowing their kids to play with the elves during the day...remember what ever works for you. No rules!) They boys say good night the the elves, and they head to bed. When I know that the boys are really asleep, ad will not venture into the living room, I get to work setting up the mischief! A few things the elves have done over the last 3 years:
  • Made snowflakes out of copy paper
  • Setup the family holiday train and put it under the tree
  • Ate all of the left over Halloween candy
  • Made a mess in the kitchen while baking cookies
  • Left a craft kit out to make a ginger bread house out of craft foam
  • Set up a photo shoot, and left behind a book of last year's adventures
  • Repealing down the Christmas tree
  • Circled all of the cool toys in the holiday newspaper ads
  • Went on a camp out
  • Went skiing on candy cane skis
  • Covered the Christmas tree in underwear and training pants
  • Set up the Nativity Blocks
Once the big reveal is over, we either leave the decorations or surprise out for the day, but my boys know they have to help clean up any messes. Once the boys have "thanked," the elves for the fun surprise, they help return them to their place of honor on the mantle. Yes, it takes time to get creative and set up each night, but if you are thinking about adopting elves for the first time this year...I promise you, your kids will love it! I try very hard to do the "leg work," in advance, as it is late when the kids are finally asleep, but I enjoy it!



If you have questions, just ask! I would love to chat with you about it! Otherwise Google Elf Mischief, Magic Elf, or Elf on the Shelf, as there are many ideas and lots of information out there that will help further explain what and how to take part in this family Christmas Tradition!

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