The Last 8 Days of Elf Ideas!

My kids are older (12, 13, and 16) but the youngest still gets a kick out of searching for The Elf every morning.  His humor is a little more sophisticated than a small child so I can get a little more imaginative. 

3+ years into this, sometimes I feel like I've done it all with that darn Elf!  I know there is a whole movement to stop The Elf because it's a pain and causes parents stress, blah, blah, blah...

Um, we're parents, stress is where we live, people! If I can do something that takes me 5 minutes per day to make my kids smile I'm going to keep on doing it.  Their happiness is my crack.  Not even a bit sorry about that one.

In the home stretch before Christmas, I needed a bit of inspiration and found it at my local craft store.  I bought a few things that will carry The Elf through the rest of the month.  So here you go for the final 8 days:

1.   In the cake decorating section, they have little sugar cake embellishments that look a lot like cookies. I picked some that resembled gingerbread men.  I cut out a tiny apron from felt (no sewing!) and will set The Elf up with a tiny cookie sheet (cardboard covered with foil) near the oven.

2.  I found a tiny 16"  burlap tree and tiny ornaments he will decorate over night.

3.   At my local Dollar Tree I found little ceramic houses that The Elf will set up as a little Christmas town one night while we're all asleep.

4.  There are tiny ball ornaments with kids' names at Michael's Craft store and tiny gift boxes in their dollar section that will appear under the tiny tree one night.

5.  Also in the Michael's dollar section, there are teeny tiny ceramic mugs.  I got a snowman one that I will fill with hot chocolate and set him up near the tea pot.  I added 3 snowman mugs for the boys with hot chocolate mix in them.

6.  I have a nutcracker display waaay up on a shelf so I lined The Elf with the nutcracker soldiers and will sit back and laugh at how long it takes him to find it!

7.  I trapped The Elf under a drinking glass with a sign reading "HELP!"

8.  I found a tiny fireplace and glued tiny stockings to it with my boys' names on them.

Need more ideas?  Check it out from past years:

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Elf on the Shelf Linky Party

Good Luck and have fun with it!  You are creating memories and there are only a few days left - go out strong!


Tutorial Tuesday!

Jute Ornaments:

Grinch Party:

Indoor Snowball Fight:

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A Perfectly Lighted Christmas Tree

It's time to get the tree!  Enjoy this repeat post from 2011 explaining how to get the perfect lighting effect on your Christmas Tree!

Over the years I have developed the perfect system for achieving my Christmas tree goal - I want it colorful and bright with LOTS of lights!

Here is my system:

Begin by covering the tree in small, clear twinkle lights. I have used My Modified Martha method of pushing the lights into the center of the tree, moving up and down rather than around and around like this:

Next, I use the same method for small, colored twinkle lights. (I think a tree with only colored lights is too dark).

Next, I cover the tree in old fashioned, large clear bulbs like these (I don't go in and out with these lights):

Finally, old fashioned, large opaque colored bulbs like these:


Do you have trouble getting a good, glowing picture of your Christmas tree?

1. Turn off your flash
2. Set your camera on a solid surface
3. Set the timer to take the picture


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