It’s that time of year again! Shopping Lists, Little Elves, and Lots of Holiday Fun!

Sometimes us moms need a little help keeping it all balanced around the holidays.  With ever ending to-do lists, hard to handle relatives, and busy schedules, it can seem like a real job bringing joy and magic to the season.  I hope my December no-thought meals, What to do with that ELF list, and 2015 gift guide can make your holiday just a little happier!

What to do with that ELF? list.

Nov 29 – it’s back! – ours takes the USPS…some throw a party, some arrive toy airplane, by train, or go all out and make a hot air balloon – tonight you’re on your own.

Nov 30 – spilling DVDs and books all over living room

Dec 1 – making a paper chain

Dec 2 – hanging out of cabinet surrounded by police cars

Dec 3 – drawing minions on the bananas

Dec 4 – over the door swing on tp roll

Dec 5 – repelling at window

Dec 6 – working on the truck

Dec 7 – digging in M&M bag

Dec 8 – in a Lincoln log house

Dec 9 – making paper snowflakes*

Dec 10 – gift bows all over kitchen

Dec 11 – playing cards or board game with stuffed animals*

Dec 12 – riding t-rex

Dec 13 – hiding in the silverware drawer

Dec 14 – roasting marshmallows over a candle

Dec 15 – goldfishing with pole

Dec 16 – sack race

Dec 17 – stuck under a weight while working out

Dec 18 – hiding under a glass (staged to play hide and seek with a toy)

Dec 19 – riding in the remote control car (doll controlling it)

Dec 20 – Little people carriage ride with doll

Dec 21 – checking out a yarn moustache in the mirror

Dec 22 – posing behind an empty picture frame

Dec 23 – crepe paper over door

Dec 24 – praying over Bible/ letter goodbye

Supplies – police cars, gift bows, bananas, paper lunch sacks, goldfish, cards/game (game night supplies), supplies for paper snowflakes, small hand weight, remote control car, paper chain supplies, little people carriage, crepe paper, brown yarn, M&M’s, Bible/goodbye letter, small picture frame, Little People and doll, drinking glass

If you are like me, you know you’re going to fall asleep or forget to move the little guy at least once, so plan ahead with a little Pinterest help…

What to do with the creepy little elf?

Thank you, Carol Aebersold, Chanda Bell, and Christa Pitts. You’re welcome for my money. For those of you who have been under a rock for the last two Christmases*, Elf on the Shelf is a new holiday tradition in which you purchase a creepy little elf doll and story for about $30 and then mom and dad get to figure out creative ways to have him spy on your family for the next month or so. Thank you Pinterest because I am NOT independently gifted in this particular event of the Parenting Olympics. Don’t get me wrong or find me a Grinch, my kids love the hunt of finding our elf each morning.

I did try to make everyone’s holiday (including mine) a bit easier by pre-planning what our little guy will be up to this season. Happy elfing… as if being Santa weren’t enough.

*I know it was “invented” in 2005, but it seemed to really reach mainstream a couple of years ago

November 28
Elf in the Mail — our elf arrives via USPS via the North Pole

November 29
Hanging on the swing (yarn and TP roll….I can handle that!) OR, if my wreaths are up, he may just use one of those

November 30
Disguised as a snowman (styrofoam cups, sharpie marker) OR, if you do powdered donuts for breakfast, he can stack them to make snowmen and hang out by the serving tray

December 1
Snow angel with marshmallows…trust me, way less mess than with flour or sugar

December 2
Solo cup pyramid

December 3
Candy cane zip line

December 4
Spidey Elf

December 5
In the Nativity

December 6
Hiding in the fridge

December 7
Camping in the Lincoln Logs

December 8
Taped to the wall by the superhero action figures

December 9
Playing Connect Four or dominoes with one of the dolls

December 10
Under a dumbbell with Mom’s workout DVD

December 11
Sack race with the dolls/pets

December 12
Playing video games

December 13
Admiring his snowman of Matchbox cars

December 14
Playing checkers with starlight mints

December 15
Hand stuck in the cookie jar

December 16
Locked in the lantern on the mantel

December 17
Writing sentences on chalkboard

December 18
Hanging by magnet on fridge

December 19
Tea party with dolls

December 20
Organizing a Little People parade or teaching the Little People a Christmas lesson

December 21
helping himself to a ride in the remote control car

December 22
In Dad’s chair with pets, blanket & popcorn ready to watch holiday movie

December 23
Posing behind a picture frame

December 24
Bye-BYE!!!! (there are 71,800 good-bye Elf letters if you Google it)

Side Note: We downplay the whole spy aspect of the elf and enjoy that the children get a kick out of searching for the elf each morning.

Need more ideas? Check out my Elf on the Shelf idea board.