elf on the shelf

Elfing all the way! by Carey

I love the Elf on the Shelf.  I absolutely adore this tradition.  Christmas 2014 marks our SIXTH year doing it.  It has become more and more fun each year as my children have aged.  Their excitement this year is incredible.  If you need elf ideas, you've come to the right place!

When the Buddy was around 12 months old, we attended a church league basketball game of my husband's.  A family for the other team sat near us and was enchanted with one year old Buddy.  They told us all about a tradition they'd had in their family that totally trumped Santa, and succeeded in taking the emphasis off Santa and his gifts.  They were elves that made fun mischief each night and found themselves in different places daily.  This family told us how much fun their kids had with it and how excited they were each morning to look for their elf.  I made a mental note to investigate.

I remembered later in December 2008 and googled.  What this family had told me about in 2007 wasn't the currently marketed Elf on the Shelf, but that is what I came across first in my search.  I can't remember now what that other family's elf tradition was called.  But the EotS website said that a few stores in my small town actually carried them, and I was on the trek to find them!  Unfortunately, all the local stores were sold out that December. So I ordered online and saved the special box for a year until December 2009.  We never looked back.

I love that a mom did this with her children as they grew up.  I love that those grown up children thought so much of this tradition that it could be brought to other homes and set out to make that possible.  It's a wonderful American Dream success story.  And now my own children have benefitted and will likely continue on with the tradition when they have children of their own.

I don't understand all the elf hate - though I shouldn't be surprised.  Our society seems to be motivated by judging others and verbalizing their attitudes.  Why should the elf be any different than to fall prey to society's judgment at large?  Why should people be upset at the success of the original family?  I wish we could just encourage each other, however we see fit to celebrate in our individual families.

This year I shared Jolly's adventures in a six part series on Peanut Blossom.  Jolly has a little different look than the currently available elf, and I really like his face better than what you can buy now.  I hope you'll take a visit and see what Jolly got into last December.  Here's a preview of my favorite images of 2013.

Elf on the Shelf by Carey Pace 2013

Elf on the Shelf Letter from Santa by Carey

Welcome!  I'm so amazed and honored at the attention this post has received!  I'm so glad you are here.  I'd love it if you "liked" my Facebook page so we can stay connected!  Thank you!  I can't wait to get to know you, too.  Our elf has arrived for 2014 and I'll be sharing his antics this year as well!

As I sat down to prepare for the arrival of Jolly, our Elf on the Shelf, I realized that some may be inspired by the wording of our letter from Santa. I wrote last week about why we do Santa and Elf on the Shelf, yet we don't embrace the behavior component of these traditions. My Santa letter goes along with that, and I wanted to share that with all of you. Jolly leaves a note every day of his own, but he always bring a letter from Santa at the start of Christmas season, too.  He'll be holding the wrapped up version as he parachutes down.

Elf on the Shelf letter from Santa that dispels the myth about the naughty or nice list, by Carey Pace

I used letterhead like this that I found at Office Depot.  I will keep it separate to use each year just for the Santa letter.  I used the font Traveling Typewriter (free on Dafont) for the letter, in Word.  I use little parachute men every year for Jolly's arrival.  One package should last you through the kids' childhood.  

Here is the text of the letter, in case you'd like to use it. 

Ho Ho Ho!  Merry Christmas!

Greetings from the North Pole!

I have watched you both grow and change all year long and I am so proud of how you are growing up. I know you two have been anxiously awaiting Jolly’s arrival, and I am happy to send him to you today! Remember that each morning you must search to find his new spot for the day, but please do make sure you do not fight over who locates Jolly first. Embrace the true spirit of Christmas joy, happiness, generosity, and compassion. Encourage each other and celebrate together!

Do make sure you tell Jolly what you wish your gift from me will be. He will fly back to the North Pole each night while you sleep to deliver the message. Be very sure not to touch him, though, so his magic remains.

You may hear your friends or grown ups talk about a naughty or nice list. Some people believe that I have one, but that is just a rumor. It is not true. I do care whether you are good, obey your parents, and are kind to everyone, because those are the right things to do. But that doesn’t affect my love for you or whether I will give you a gift. I give you a gift as a symbol of the gift of Jesus to us from our God.

I wish you both, Kid1 and Kid2, a special Christmas season full of magic and cheer and Christmas joy.

Until Christmas Eve, Merrily Yours,


Find all my other Elf on the Shelf posts here.   And if you need to find an elf of your very own, you can always find one at my favorite Amazon here.

Disclaimer:  this post does contain amazon affiliate links.

Why we DO Santa and Elf on the Shelf by Carey

I want to inspire their imaginations, and I want their home to be a place that is always, always filled with FUN and fond traditions.  To engage their imaginations now is to awaken their sense of wonder and prepare it for bigger and better things as they grow. Santa is meant to point our children toward Jesus, not detract or distract.

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