As much as I love Thanksgiving, I gotta admit that I am counting the days until I can decorate our Christmas tree, start listening to carols, sip hot chocolate while watching It’s a Wonderful Life, & just soak up the joys of the holiday season. I’ll admit it, I’m a total sap when it comes to all things Christmas and each year my main goal is simply to create wonderful memories and traditions that my girls will always remember.
And we have a lot of traditions! They start on the day after Thanksgiving, when we put up all our decorations and then decorate a gingerbread house. We have a wooden Advent calendar that the girls can’t wait to open each morning. On Christmas Eve we always have a cookie decorating contest. We pick out the prettiest cookies and deliver them to the local fire station after church, then go home and enjoy a dinner of cheese fondue (yum!)
This past weekend we decided to add something new. I had heard about the Elf on the Shelf from several of my friends & I thought it would be a fun surprise for the girls this year. For those of you not familiar with it, the Elf on the Shelf is a little toy Elf that watches over your kids and reports back to Santa each night.
There is a special picture book that comes along with the Elf to explain how it works, but the concept is pretty simple. Kids are allowed to talk to the Elf and are supposed to give it a name, but they are not allowed to touch it or it’s magic will go away. Each night the Elf magically travels to the North Pole to report back to Santa, and each morning the Elf returns to a different spot, which the kids are supposed to find each morning.
On Saturday morning Husband made a special breakfast & we read the story & introduced the girls to Emily the Elf (their choice, not mine.) Trouble didn’t totally seem to grasp the concept, but Princess was enthralled! They have loved waking up each morning since to go find Emily & while I can’t say my children have been perfectly behaved since Emily joined us, I can say that Princess is currently cleaning her room as I type, & I will take what I can get.
What are your favorite holiday family traditions?
* * *
P.S. I completely forgot to pick & announce the Operation Christmas Child giveaway winners on Friday, so I am doing it today instead: Congratulations to Tiah (#3) and Claire (#54)–you both won $50 worth of FREE product coupons! (Winners chosen at random using Random.org)
Note: This post was in no way sponsored or endorsed by Elf on the Shelf. I purchased our Elf using Swagbucks from Amazon.com, where it is currently selling for $35.99 with free shipping; You can get it a little cheaper at BarnesandNoble.com, where it is currently $29.99 with free shipping.
Affiliate links may be used in this post. Printing a coupon or ordering a product through this link may result in a commission, which helps pay for the cost of running this site and keeps the content free. Read my full disclosure policy here.