Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Elves: Why Less is More

I'm a little sad because we have reached the point in my grandson's life when the elves just aren't as magical as they used to be. Time passes and kids grow older and the magic sort of evaporates into the air. I feel like last year was not all that much fun....(for me)...but I also think I was grasping at straws trying to find the magic of previous elf adventures and ended up just over planning and it got a little overwhelming.  Although my daughter is turning 26 and she is still looking forward to our elfish fun.!!

The past few years I have tried to incorporate "elf missions" in with all the other elf things and the first year was fun but last year we got so busy that we didn't even do a couple of them.  I've come to the realization that I really need to simplify...the magic of the elves aren't the "adventures" or the "missions" or especially the "gifts (although Evan might disagree on that one.). The real magic of the elves are the memories.

And memories are strange can't recreate memories from past Christmases (or other life events), no matter how hard you try, each year is a new memory and the harder you try to hold onto traditions or ways of doing things, the more rigid you become in trying to recapture past fun...the more difficult it is to capture the fun of the present time.

One way I am simplifying this year is to limit the elves that arrive at our house....yes I know that sounds strange but we have like 30 elves (and they all have names!). Yikes that is sort of overwhelming all on its own. Last year I planned to limit them but Evan kept asking where, such and such an elf was so they all ended up arriving even though only a few of them participated in magical activities. So I am going to try only having a few elves arrive this year unless Evan asks again (lol).

The elves will be:

Ben (this is Evan's first elf that belonged to him even though we had elves prior to Ben)

Fancy Pants (this is Kelsey's elf)

Cocoa and Marshmallow (these are Katie's elves) Katie is Evan's mom and a few years ago he started wondering why she didn't have an that's how they came into the family.

Bernard, Jingle and Bell (this tiny trio started our whole elf adventure and I bought them at a flea market for 1 dollar)  They have to come....

Sassafras and Tinsel: These are my elves and they are 12 Day Elves so they do not arrive until 12 days before Christmas.

That's NINE elves...count them...NINE....oh me oh my....and I'm just sure Evan will asked about Professor Sugar Plum and his three brothers (also flea market finds) and they arrived one year when the other elves were trapped in a snow storm at the North Pole (which translates into...."grandma couldn't find the darn elves) Then there's the trio of sisters: Merry, Holly and Mistletoe...And then there's Naughty and Nice who arrived just last year....they are so cute! but I am planning on I'll keep you posted on how I pull that off....(might not happen)

TO BE CONTINUED next week with more simplify the elves ideas.....

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Christmas Countdown Cards from the Elves

 - Free Printable Menu To Do List and Recipe Card -

Here are some super cute household planner sheets with an elf fun to use during December. Check them out at 3 Boys and a Dog.

Free Elf on the Shelf Printables 02

I wanted to share these free printables that you can find over at Who Arted.  I was actually thinking about using the Countdown Cards along with my 24 Days of Christmas gifts this year!

This year my elfish fun will be slightly different as Evan is getting older. We will still do elves but I just need to find some new things to do to spice it up a bit!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Elf Planning

FREE Christmas Elf Movie Printables - this is so funny!

Yes, it's only May but its time for some elf planning.  How about this cutie from Eclectically Vintage


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

More Elf Fun for 2015

jinxy  santa

How about some adorable Elf cutout printables. I can imagine all kinds of photo ops with these cuties!  Find them at Pretty My Party.


Or this adorable activity page would be great for slightly older kiddos!  Also at Pretty My Party.

 Naughty List Notice (1)

How about a Naughty Notice....printable HERE

elfontheshelfofficialnotice Elf on The Shelf Nice List Certificate   Printable

Don't forget to mention the NICE too. Find this one: HERE

I hope you are enjoying the elf round ups...we will have lots of ideas already tucked away and ready for 2015.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What Works, What Doesn't

There have been years when our elfish fun has been smooth and joyful and then there have been times when things seemed a little overwhelming. The whole purpose of the elves is to bring some joy to the holiday season. NOT to drive ourselves batty.

This past year I had things planned well and I tried to include games, puzzles, movies, and activities, as well as the regular elf-ventures. So I've been pondering why things seemed a little out of whack. The basic answer is time. This past holiday season seemed a bit rushed with Thanksgiving falling so late. The elves brought games but finding some time to play them proved challenging. I also had some other special things we did this year like the Advent houses, the Lego advent calendar, and Holiday Happy Hours so maybe it was just too much in too little time. Nothing major went wrong, it just seemed hectic!

So here's my elf debriefing from 2014....

What works.....

1. Having a variety of gift types. Activities, little gifts, candy, and bigger gifts like games and puzzles.

What doesn't work....

1. Having too many activity based "gifts".

What works....

2. Having a specific elf actually bring the gift....for example Ben brings Evan's gifts.  Sassafras and Tinsel bring the Twelve Day gifts.

What doesn't work.....

2. Having any or all of the elves bring gifts....Why? because it gets confusing and you end up with lots of gifts taking the specialness away from it all.

What works.....

3. Having a calendar that lists what is happening each day whether its a silly hiding place or a gift.

What doesn't work....

3. Adding more things to the calendar....once it's set up...STOP....don't add one more fun thing!

Those are my thoughts....I'm sure there are other things to week I'm taking a look at Elf start brainstorming.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Elf Arrival Ideas

It's an elf arrival round up. How does your elf arrive...???

Spell it out with M & Ms from Mommy Savers.

Free printable Elf Arrival notes at Super Busy Mum.
Arrival by mail over at Plum Adorable.
By dinosaur for an older child!
This would be a cute arrival....just figure out how many days from Christmas your arrival date is and us that number!  Idea from Over the Moon.
There are a lot of great ideas out there....don't get overwhelmed...just pick one...because whatever you do...simple or elaborate will be fun and a great memory!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Elfish Plans 2015

I thought I might try to set up a "framework" for my elf blogging this year.
January: Elves, Elves and More Elves (ideas for hosting your elf guests)
February: The Elf Scrapbook/Journal.
March: Elves and Reindeer and other Magical Creatures.
April: Elfish Games and Crafts
May: Elf Dinners and North Pole Breakfast
June: Elf Folklore
July:  Elf Ideas Round up
August: "If I Only Had an Elf" (different types of elves)
September: Elfish Recipes
October: Letters, Luggage and Elf Props
November: Arrival Ideas and Printables
December: Blogging our Elf-ventures
Each month will be a mini series about the topic with a post each week related to the topic.