Traditions make the holidays more special, don't they? By now you know me and how I love my traditions! "The Elf" has to be one of my favorite Christmas traditions that I still do with our 3 girls. It continues to be one of theirs, too! Never too young...they're in their 20s!! These are the things that I hope our girls continue to do with their children. If they don't Grandma will!!
Now, keep in mind, this "elf" is not the "Elf on the Shelf" elf from the book that most kids love today. The Elf on the Shelf is a very cute story, but it has nothing to do with our tradition!
Years ago, when we were new parents, my best friend, Leah from high school, and her husband, Peter sent us a beautiful wooden Advent Calendar. The little doors opened up for each day of December, the 1st through 24th. This is one of our Advent calendars that we don't use in the traditional way.
So, this is how it goes: When our girls were too young to read, I would put little trinkets inside each door. One day at a time. Not all 24 in advance...I'm no dummy, our girls snoop! When they were upstairs, at school or not looking, I'd place the 3 hidden treasures in the appropriate day's door. Minutes later, one of the 3 would come downstairs, take a peek and shout , "he came!" There could be 3 chocolates, some bath beads, 3 single $1 bills, stickers, little earrings...you name it, anything that would fit. If it didn't fit inside the doors, it would rest on top. The tradition for December 1st, when they were little ones, was always the current Christmas video (VHS!) As our girls have gotten older, the "trinkets" aren't so "trinket-ey" anymore!
Once they started to read, the "Elf" started leaving little clues! Each clue was written on a teeny tiny strip of paper with a super pointy sharpened pencil because since elves are so tiny, they write tiny, too, right?! An example of a clue: "Bela, you forgot to make your bed"...they'd all 3 run upstairs to Bela's room. On her bed was another clue..."Be careful, the fireplace is hot," back down the stairs they'd all run to the fireplace! Sometimes the clues would have them running all around the house up and down the stairs, or even outside! On the final stop, would lie 3 chapsticks or 3 pairs of cozy socks or 3 travel-sized bubble baths, etc. The Christmas Eve tradition from the elf will always be Christmas flannel pajamas.
Hurry to bed! He knows when you are sleeping...