Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lists, lists, lists

I'm a list person. Grocery lists, Christmas lists, fat lists, skinny lists, lists who climb on rocks. So now that Halloween is over and we're all done gorging on our kids' candy, it's time to make our Elf on the Shelf list. So far I have three lists: 1) 2012's plan. (<-- link to printable document) 2) 2012's reality. 3) 2013's plan. This year's plan is still under construction. There are too many great ideas out there!

The big plan last year was to have our elf bring a daily activity for the kids. I thought I had the perfect plan. But the kids got sick, then I got sick, and we got almost a foot of snow, and flying monkeys. Oh wait! Not that last one. Anyways, the magic of the internet saved my butt when I was so sick that I could barely get my aforementioned butt out of bed. There are so many fun/silly ways to pose your elf. And the kids loved them! They also loved most of the activities. Okay, yes, some of the activities bombed. Lesson learned. On to 2013!

I decided that an activity is not necessary everyday. Seriously, the holidays are busy enough. The elf doing funny things brings so much joy on it's own, adding an activity every single day just complicates things. Definitely keeping the favorites, though. Like making the Christmas list ornaments, creating pine cone bird feeders, decorating gingerbread houses, the elf sized paper chain countdown to Christmas, and baking cookies for the neighbors.

I hope to get the 2013 list done in a day or two. I will post it on here as a document so you can print it out for yourself. (Once I figure out how to do it again.) I will also be creating some tutorials for cute accessories for your elf.  Then all the planning is done for you! Okay, not all the planning. You still have to track down Grandma's recipe for green bean-sweet potato-turkey-gravy-cotton candy casserole. And you have to figure out who gets to move up to the grown-up table. Or who will get banished to the kiddie table. Don't think you can do it to cousin Mabel, again. She still hasn't forgiven you for last year! Do you know how hard it is to get cranberry sauce out of white cashmere?!

P.S. I'm a vegetarian, but the rest of my family isn't. It was my decision for me, I'm not going to make everyone else convert, too. You may think that makes Thanksgiving hard, but not really. I'll cook a delicious turkey for everyone else. (Not a nasty Tofurkey!) But all the sides will be vegetarian. Pinterest is FULL of delicious, vegetarian Thanksgiving dishes. It's no problem at all!

P.P.S. Follow my Kristin-mas Pinterest board!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

2012 Elf on the Shelf Round-up

32 Elf on the Shelf Ideas

There were 32 days of Elf on the Shelf last year. (It fluctuates each year due to Thanksgiving not being a fixed date.) This is the round-up of all the posts I did last year all in one place. And the links to the full posts. I'll have the plan for 2013 ready soon with a downloadable and printable schedule.

32 days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas. 

Day 1: Elf's arrival. Our elf shows up on our dining room light each year. This year he brought a North Pole breakfast with him, (powdered sugar donut holes).

Day 2: Making ornaments. Our elf brought a clear ornament for each child and told them to write their Christmas lists on the scroll paper he left for them. Then they put the scroll in the ornament and hung it on the tree.

Day 3: Hiking through the candy cane forest. He told the kids to go on a hike and collect pine cones. (Secretly, the pine cones were for the next day's craft).

Day 4: Bird feeders. He put out peanut butter and sunflower seeds and told the kids to make bird feeders with the pine cones they collected the day before.

Day 5: Popsicle stick crafts. Jumbo craft sticks, some craft paint, and googly eyes. Ta dah! The kids LOVED making these. They each made several.

Day 6: Sick day. The kids had been sick, Clyde must have caught the sniffles, too.

Day 7: Candy Land.  Hanging out with his friends, playing one the favorite board games of elves. Duh! It's about candy!

Day 8: Letters to Santa. Time to send your Christmas list to the big guy up North.

Day 9: Nutcracker.  Go see the classic ballet. (Or just watch it on Netflix, if everyone is still feeling kinda cruddy).

Day 10: Christmas music dance party. Christmas music is one of the best parts of the holiday season. "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear."

Day 11: Reading a story. Elves are such nice guys or gals. They like to read to the other stuff animals and toys.

Day 12: Taking a shower. He accidentally stepped in reindeer poo. He needed to bathe.

Day 13: In an elf sleeping bag. Elves can be confused by some human traditions. He thought the stocking was a sleeping bag.

Day 14: Rocket ship. They definitely don't have giant blenders like this at the North Pole. Clyde thought it was a rocket ship! No smoothies today. :)

Day 15: New friend. An adorable penguin was without a home and Clyde asked if he could come live with us. :)

Day 16: A little elf pampering. I popped some plain popcorn to make strings for the tree, but our silly elf thought it was a spa! Maybe popcorn baths are how the elves stay so young looking year after year.

Day 17: Making gingerbread houses. Clyde brought us three gingerbread house kits for the kids to put together and decorate. He also brought his own little gingerbread house that he made.

Day 18: Two weeks til Christmas. Paper chains are a classic Christmas decoration. Clyde made his own tiny one to count down to the Big Day! The kids checked each day to see if he had taken one off each night.

Day 19: Making crayons for neighbor gifts. It's a fun project and definitely a great gift for younger children.

Day 20: Making cookies for neighbors. Who doesn't love free cookies?! :)

Day 21: ELF!!! Must watch this movie at least three times during the holiday season!

Day 22: Snow. We were buried in snow! Clyde thought it would be fun to bring some inside.

Day 23: Funny looking stockings. I hope he got these out of the clean laundry!

Day 24: Elf houses. I'm pretty sure real elf houses are a little bigger. But the kids loved these bird houses to paint.

Day 25: Pancakes. Everyone loves pancakes! My kids love getting tiny ones on their plates. Clyde enjoyed his "tall" stack of elf-sized pancakes.

Day 26: Elf portraits. Clyde got a little "cheeky"!

Day 27: Elf Christmas tree. Clyde brought and decorated his own elf-sized Christmas tree. It's a little messy. Silly elf!

Day 28: Rice Krispie Treat time! Classic Christmas time treat. And don't feed Rudolph marshmallows!

Day 29: Hot cocoa. Clyde left us some fun snowman marshmallows to put in our hot chocolate.

Day 30: Magic reindeer food. A special treat for the reindeer. Mix it up and spread it in your yard.

Day 31: Cookies for Santa. Gotta do it! Gotta leave cookies for Santa. You could do store bought, but the kids always have fun decorating homemade ones.

Day 32: Clyde's last day. He was up in the light again. And he left a little gift for each of the children.