Alright, all of my mamas that still have elfs in their houses, I am about to become your best friend. Do you dread the day that Sparkles or Snickers or Ed Lewis, or whatever your sweet little elf's name is, descends on your house. Do you wake up in a cold sweat at 3am because you realize your elf is still exactly where you left him for the past three nights. Are you cursing the Elf On The Shelf tradition every night at 10 o'clock when you remember to move the elf, but the only creative idea you can come up with is to hang him upside down from the chandelier for the fifth time. Well have no fear, because Landy the Elf Whisperer is here. That's right, our elf's antics are the things legends are made of. In fact, they have even made the front page of a major New York City newspaper (them on a brown sugar beach, see below) and today I am going to share all my secrets for elf success with you.
First things first, I feel like some introductions are in order. I would like to introduce you to Lanny and Holly, the Hutchinson family elves. They have been hanging out at our house for the past 7 years (yes you read that right) Christmases and love us so much that they are hanging around for at least another year. KILL ME! I still have one believer left.
Although, after you see all the freaking fun that they have, I can't say that I can blame them one bit. So how do I make all of this magic happen you ask? With a little creativity and a TON of help from Michaels and some of my other favorite stores. So here it is, my list of tips to make your time with your Elf a little less painful for you and a little more fun for your kids.
TIP #1: THE CRAFT STORE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
I can not stress this enough, but print our those coupons and get your little butts to Michaels pronto. Once you are there, here are the areas that you need to hit up. Head to the decorations for the mini or tabletop trees. This is where you can find cute little accessories. They typically have little ornaments that are the perfect size for your elf and can be used for activities that will keep your elf busy...baking cookies, bowling, tree trimming. You name it and they probably have it. While you are at Michaels be sure to stock up on floral wire for threading wrapping in their arms and legs, so they hold their position and glue dots. Lot's of Glue Dots. I've also been known to whip out the hot glue gun in desperation. A little known fact, but hot glue gun glue peels right off of the elf's felt little hands. See they really are magic.
TIP #2: STOCK UP ON ELF'S FAVORITE FOODS
Hit up the grocery store and go ahead and buy marshmallows in every size. You will be amazed what you can build with a few marshmallows. Elf snowballs, bubble bath, snow forts, tic-tac-toe games. You name it and you can basically assemble it out of marshmallows. I also like to keep a bag of mini-chocolate chips on hand. They make great elf and reindeer poop, which will be a big hit if you have boys, as well as can be used in all kinds of elf baking antics.
TIP #3: DOLLHOUSE FURNITURE AND DOLL CLOTHES
I always find the best accessories and clothing in the doll aisle. They seriously have the absolute cutest little miniature clothing and accessories that fit the elves just right. You can check out just about any craft store or you can find awesome stuff on Etsy. Etsy is really like the Elf on the Shelf goldmine and there is absolutely everything you can ever need for an elf right at your finger tips. Elf printables, elf clothes, an elf cam (how genius is that?!?), accessories, costumes. Basically you name it and they have it.
TIP #4: PLAN AHEAD
We all know there is nothing worse then being bone-tired at 11 o'clock and trying to scramble around to come up with an idea of what to have your elf do. I highly recommend planning out each night in advance. If you can write out ideas for the entire time your elf is there ahead of time then a.) you are my hero and b.) you will save yourself a lot of heartache and headache each night before bed. If it is too daunting to come up with that many ideas at once, at least try to sit down at the beginning of the week and sketch out your basic elf plan for the week. I promise you will thank me later.
TIP #5 JUST MAKE A MESS
Creating a disaster seem to be the ones that go over the best. Basically, have your Elf do something that your kids know you would NEVER do. Like drape your entire powder room with TP, dump an entire cake mix into your kitchen sink or leave a ton of legos all over the floor. Resit the urge to clean up. I know it's painful.
TIP #6: IF ALL 'ELF' FAILS, MAKE THEM SICK OR INJURED
I am dead serious about this. Now I am not talking anything too dangerous, like a reindeer stampede, but maybe a little case of the sniffles or a boo-boo from Santa's workshop. That will buy you at least a few days reprieve and the kids will think it's hilarious.
Cheerios dipped in chocolate and topped with sprinkles make perfect Elf doughnuts. Then use a piece of aluminum foil to make a little baking sheet.
And I have to admit that I am a little JEALOUS of you ladies who are just coming in to the game. The ole Elf on the Shelf industry has come a long way in the past 7 years and you can now buy many of the accessories that I used to have to painstakingly craft. SCORE!
ACCESSORIES TO MAKE YOUR ELF'S STAY EASIER
I sure hope this post rescues you a few nights this month and serves as a life ring when it's time to move your elf. Don't forget to help your other momma friends out and share my page. Lord knows I wish I had something like this years ago. Lot's of other holiday content will be filling my site in the coming weeks, but you can always just type Elf in the search bar on the right hand side of the blog.
GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY
I'm gonna need it. Feel free to share some of your genius ideas with me. I'm running out!