December 31, 2016

Elf on the CHRISTmas Shelf - Plan 2

Hello!  Merry Christmas!  Chances are, if you are reading this, you are either in the middle of your Elf season or preparing for your little Elf arrival!  Last year (2015) We started the Elf in our household.  The boys LOVED it and I can't believe we didn't do this sooner.  I did however want to change a few things about how this Elf thing worked.  We do celebrate Santa in our house, but we don't put any emphasis on having to be good or you won't get any presents.  That being said, our Elf is not here to spy on us or report back to Santa about the boys' behavior.  Instead, our Elf is here to point us back to the Reason for the Season.  So this year, I decided to expand on this concept and add a small devotion and on some days an activity to remind the boys that Christmas is about CHRIST and giving, not just getting.

Let me begin by this...I start planning our Elf's shenanigans as early as September.  I know, that's EARLY, but our December is SO crazy busy with not only the Holidays, but I throw 2 little boy birthday parties in that time frame too, so the LAST thing I have time for is to figure out what our Turkey will be doing.  Also, because I know I'm so scatterbrained, I set up a calendar and a very detailed document with pictures for me to go by.  This is GREAT NEWS for you!  You can download all these items here on my blog and not have to do much work at all!!

So, let's get on with it then.  Our Turkey (our Elf's name) arrived again this Season in a hot air balloon.  The basket was none other than the little boy's underwear (clean of course).  If you have boys, you know that underwear in general is one of their favorite things.  So I knew this would get lots of laughs.
This year, I got a lot of my inspiration from a wonderful blog on a Kindness Elf. This gal has lots of great ideas and letters that help her kids stay focused on the real meaning of Christmas.  You can see her blog and posts on her Elf here. She had a lot of great ideas, but I wanted to change a few things to work for our household.  Every day, Turkey leaves the boys a letter with a verse and some instructions about that verse.  Some days he leaves an activity as well.  The boys have really liked these letters and our youngest is super proud to read them to us every day!

I first used some of the letters from the Only Little Once blog and entered them into a word processor.  I changed the names and a few details, put it on our "Elf on the Shelf" letterhead and then printed them out.  I found some cute envelopes from Office Max and then printed some labels to put on the front.

You can go on over to her blog and download her letters there.  She has them in a word format so that you can change the names to fit your child(ren) and elf(s).  It's great! I just changed a few details to fit our family and changed the font to our "elf" font and voila...instant devotionals!

 On Over the Big Moon, you can download a printable envelope with this cute graphic on the front that I used as my envelope labels.  I just used the front of the envelope and printed it out on paper.  Then I cut it out and glued it to the front of each envelope.  It made for really cute envelopes that OBVIOUSLY came straight from the North Pole. :)

On DAY 1, Turkey sent the kids on a scavenger hunt that led him to the car.  He was announcing one of our really fun traditions!
Here where we live, we have a drive thru light show.  It's really cool and it's called Christmas in the Park. We love going each year and this year, Turkey decided to go with us!  The scavenger hunt cards came from this blog.  The great news is that there are TONS of great clues here.  In fact, we only used about half (if even that) for our hunt.  I went ahead and printed them all and then laminated them so that we can use them year after year and each time I plan to switch them out with some new clues that I didn't use from the year before.  Of course, they are FREE to download and print!!

Turkey's letter today focused on being Content in all things.
 This is a REALLY hard concept to grasp as a kid.  In fact, I didn't expect them to understand it completely, but I did feel it was important to plant this seed in their little brains in the hopes that one day they will fully understand how to be content. They did a great job on the exercise, and I think eventually they kinda grasped the meaning of the verse.

DAY 2 - Turkey goes to church

This day fell on a Sunday, so Turkey took the opportunity to get dressed up in one of the boy's ties and have a Sunday School lesson of his own.  In fact, he thought it would be a great idea to have the boys write thank you notes to their Church Teachers to tell them how much they are appreciated.  This was super special to see their thoughts come to life in the notes.

DAY 3 - Slam Dunk Turkey
Turkey is practicing his basketball skills today.  Looks like he got a little stuck on the rim.

This was super easy to setup!  It was made from an empty pudding cup, some paper and tape and an orange marker. The ball is an orange pom pom, but could also just be some wadded up orange construction paper.  BTW - during this whole Elf season GLUE DOTS are my best friend!  I just use the mini ones to position and keep Turkey where he's supposed to be.  It really helps out a lot when something like this is needed!

Today, Turkey wants the boys to be nice to someone at school.  Since the boys play basketball a lot a recess, I figured it worked.
Check out my other Elf on the CHRISTmas Shelf posts to see everything that Turkey did and taught us this year!

Days 4-6
Days 7-9
Days 10-13
Days 14-17
Days 18-21
Days 22-25
Days 26-29
To download my entire Plan 2 Elf on the CHRISTmas Shelf document click here.  There are 30 different ideas here and it is complete with all the needed supplies and pictures (minus letters)!
I am happy to personalize my letters for you and your child(ren) if you like.  See my Etsy listing for 25 days of Kindness Letters that correspond with this plan.  You may always add more if needed for an additional cost.

You can also download and view all of Plan 1 by clicking here.  I hope you get some use out of this!!