Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Elf.

Today we're talking about The Elf, mamas.  

I remember the first time I ever heard about an elf hiding in your house watching your kids and reporting back to Santa.  I was at my next door neighbor's house at Christmas in maybe 2011(??) and she pointed out these three elves that were hiding in random spots throughout her living room.  She explained that they come after Thanksgiving every year and watch her 3 kids so they can report back to Santa each night.  And sometimes they move around at night to find different hiding places.  

 I decided to start it that next year and coincidentally, it's also the same time the actual Elf on the Shelf started to get really popular.  I don't even think my neighbor knew it was a "thing" when she started their tradition. (Her elves looked like cute little gnomes.)  But I jumped on the bandwagon and bought our elf.  We read the book with Matthew and Mason almost every night and thank goodness that book is so cute.  I think I could recite it in my sleep by now.  

When our elf arrived for the first time, we knew it needed a name.  Somehow, the name Dude was mentioned.  But when Mason went to say it (he was around 2 at the time) it came out more like "Doo-dah!".  And so it stuck.  Doodah the Elf. 

Our little elf visited for two years and then year 3 came around and we could not find that darn elf. Anywhere.  I really really did not want to spend another $30 on an elf and another book (since they came as a set) so on a whim, I bought a much cuter elf at Kirklands.  The boys were still pretty little so we didn't have much trouble convincing them that Doodah must have grown up a little, got a promotion and some new clothes.  And yes, the next year we found the original Doodah while digging out Christmas decorations from the attic.  We kept our new one though.  

For the first few years, it was just us trying to remember to move the thing from one spot to another every night.  That was hard enough.  Then Pinterest took over and all of a sudden our elf was competing with neighbor elves to see who could have the wackiest, craziest, funniest elf.  (Spoiler alert:  It was not us.)

I want my kids to have those awesome memories so we stepped it up from time to time.  But for the most part, he just moved from the mantle to the TV cabinet and then maybe over to a light fixture if he was feeling crazy.  ;)

I feel like every year it gets harder.  I always feel the pressure to make our elf do something funny and cute every night.

But seriously.  Ain't nobody got time for that.  At least I don't.

I have pinned all the elf idea pins.  I have saved and screenshotted cute ideas from Facebook and Instagram.  But by the time my kids are in bed and I've given them enough time to really fall asleep, I've gotten cozy myself and the thought of coming up with some staged elf shenanigan is the last thing I want to do.  So we keep it simple 9 times out of 10 and just move Doodah from one place in the room to another.

This year though, my friend, Dani, decided to host an Elf Survival Prep party at her house.  She sent out an invitation on Facebook and said we should all come up with one idea for our elf and bring the supplies needed to do it to share with everyone.  Then we'd all leave the night with a ton of ideas AND supplies needed to pull off each cute idea.

I love these two ladies.

Dani got us started by going over a few of her ideas.

And then everyone took turns explaining their idea and showing how their supplies would work.

And then we all collected the goodies.

This was such a great idea and it was also fun to kick the holiday party season into gear!  We all left with a big bag full of ideas for those wacky elves of ours.  ;)

Here are some of the ideas...

I used this idea of roasting marshmallows for Doodah's first appearance this season.  The person who brought this had baggies filled with a few marshmallows, the wooden sticks and one battery-operated tea light candle.  Craig roasted the marshmallows to give them a more realistic look.  The boys LOVED this.  They even brought Doodah some Apple Jacks and popcorn in case he needed some more food.

And this next one was easy with these little red noses.  She also brought those stick-on mustaches to put on our pictures too.

And the snow angel is fairly simple although it can be messy.  You can do it with fake snow or sprinkles.

Make cookies for the neighbors...  
(My kids love nothing more than to drown a sugar cookie in sprinkles.)

And you can make cute Christmas cards for friends, family and neighbors as well!

One girl brought little flannel squares to use as blankets when hiding your elf in the fridge. (A washcloth would work too.)
And someone brought a genius doctor's note that said their elf couldn't move for 3 days.  #canwemakeitaweek

This little treasure hunt is so fun but be sure to leave room in your morning schedule for a candy cane hunt or plan it for a weekend morning!

And once again, marshmallows for the win.  So cute.  And easy!

And I think I found my soulmate with this elf... #canteatjustone 

And then this cute kissing booth idea is awesome and really easy.

Find the printable for the kissing booth here.

For more adorable ideas, you've got to head on over to Living Locurto and check out all of her posts and pictures.  It's like a one-stop shop for your elf.  So cute!

So now ask me how many of these cute ideas I've done so far.


That is all.

Doodah had an amazing arrival with the roasting marshmallows bit.  But then he moved to the mantle.  Then he hung upside down from the light fixture in the kitchen.  And then moved to our Christmas tree.  And we forgot to move him at least once so far.  When we forget to move him at night, we always make sure to move him when the kids are at school.

Excuses for why he didn't move?  Snowstorm/bad weather.  Sick.  Slept through his alarm.  Just plain comfy.  ;)

One of my favorite things to do though is to decorate the tree with and/or replace the stockings with the boys' underwear and leave your elf hiding nearby.  They think this is HYSTERICAL.  #boys

So there are some ideas for you if you need some relatively simple ones!  And the Elf Survival Prep party was genius.  

If you missed my Boy(ish) Gift Guide, from Tuesday you can check that out here and there are TONS more deals and gift ideas over in my FB group (here).

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites!



  1. So many good ideas! I plan on stealing them all!!!

    1. You should! I just need to remember to actually DO them now that I have ideas!

  2. I love the kissing booth! Our elf is Clyde. So far our elf has been in Santa's sleigh, the train conductor, eating peanut M&M's, and this morning he ate one of the no bake cookies I made last night. I like the idea of the one to make cookies for the neighbor too.

    1. Ours ate Oreos one year and made big mess on his face. The boys thought that was pretty funny. haha

  3. Love this idea!!

  4. What great ideas! Now, if I can only execute it. I usually set an alarm at night to move the elf so I don't forget and fall asleep.

    Design by Sydnee | What I'm Loving Lately - Nov Edition

  5. Oh I needed this today! It's only been 3 days and our elf already forgot to move! I always say I'm going to step up my elf game but I'm super lazy with it - although I will do a few fun things, and that kissing booth will be one of them!!

    1. Isn't that a cute idea!! I think our elf is too big to fit in there. :(

  6. Our Elf is coming back this weekend, and I really need to start brainstorming ideas! I love the idea of having a party and having each mom bring the supplies. Game changer!!!

  7. Love these!! I blogged about that crazy elf yesterday & shared ideas, too!!


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