Today I am joining a few fabulous home and lifestyle bloggers in stepping away from the home decor to talk a little about some of the traditions that are special to our families this time of year. Thanks so much to Laura at Duke Manor Farm for inviting us to share a little deeper into our home lives this season. You can find the full list of participants at the bottom of this post. Our family has many traditions, like matching Christmas PJs, baking cookies and making peanut butter balls together, taking our annual Christmas tree farm trip, and so many more; those are just some of my favorites. We’ve also been one of the families that has an infamous elf on the shelf, and I’ve had a blast creating scenes with our elf, Lolly, in the past. (You can find all of my past elf ideas here, here, and here). This year, however, things are a bit different. My kids are growing up with Emmy going on 11, and Sawyer being a 12 year old 7th grader. The time was coming for them to know the truth about Christmas… I was reluctant, but I knew it was the right time. Even though I wanted them to understand how Christmas happens and how Santa really gets all of those presents under all of those trees to all of those children all over the world, I didn’t want them to lose the magic and spirit of the holidays and decided that rather than ditch some of those “make believe” traditions, we’d reinvent them to involve the kids. After all, they have a little brother coming soon, and our house will once again be abuzz with the magic of the season in a few years when he is old enough to understand. As for our elf, I wasn’t ready to ditch him either…. he’s been a part of our Christmas season for something like 5 years already! When Thanksgiving rolled around, I asked the kids what they thought about each of us taking turns hiding the elf. They absolutely loved that idea, and a new tradition was created from an old one! And as mom, I am so happy that we are reinventing family holiday traditions instead of losing them because I know that we’ll be creating so many more laughable memories along the way… we already have! (Note- this post contains iPhone photos that haven’t been edited or modified in the least… that’s not what this post is about!)
Gnome & Elf playing cards- staged by me
This new way to use the elf on the shelf in our house has had so many benefits already! First of all, I don’t have to come up with all of the ideas and hiding spots like I have in the past. However, the absolute best part is seeing the humorous ideas my family has come up with!
My favorite so far wasn’t necessarily the most creative, but was absolutely hysterical, especially knowing that Emmy set it up. She put Lolly in Sawyer’s stocking with a naughty tag around his neck! Ha! While I had a good laugh, Sawyer was slightly irritated…. siblings!
Sawyer set Lolly up as a spy in our dining room, using electrical tape to stick him to our chandelier. (Note the open amazon box on the table… as I mentioned, unstaged and unedited!)
One morning I came downstairs to this note that Sawyer left on the kitchen island…
His elf “to do” list was a hint as to where he put the elf, in a jar of our favorite peppermints.
Most surprising of all is the fact that my husband has come up with some clever ideas. In the past, if I’ve asked for Chris’ help, he’s moved the elf but hasn’t attempted to create a funny little story with it. Now that the kids know he’s the one moving it sometimes, he is expressing his humor a bit more. The first night it was his turn, he set up a little rodeo on our dining room table. The best part is that I didn’t even know we had these farm animal toys!
This week I was in the process of washing sheets and came into Emmy’s room to find Lolly reading a book to the dolls… always trying to impress the ladies. Lolly & Chris. 😉
We’ve still got a little less than two weeks to create more elf shenanigans and I am really looking forward to seeing what the kids and Chris come up with. Mostly, I am thrilled that we aren’t losing this fun tradition, just twisting it to fit our family’s changing needs. If anything, the elf on the shelf has actually become even more fun than it previously was. I know that when my kids soon have a toddler brother running around, they are going to have so much fun helping me to create the magic of Christmas for him.
Now check out these other blogs to see what traditions are special to their families as well!