{How we do Elf on the Shelf}

I am in full on Christmas mode around here!! I've had the Lauren Daigle Christmas station playing on Pandora every day since the day after Halloween and it's putting me in the holliest jolliest of moods!! I absolutely love this time of year and do everything in my power to make it special and magical for my family. As I was preparing for the next two months I started thinking about our Elves that visit us each year and wanted to share how we do the Elf on the Shelf around here.

How we use our Elves:

Yes, Elves. Mason has two Elves and an Elf Pet. His boy elf is named Max, the girl elf is named Millie and the puppy is named Cubby. I really, really love and enjoy doing the Elf on the Shelf each year and don't mind having three different ones! They are all three always included in every day's activities. We use our elves to uplift, encourage, teach random acts of kinds and to point Mason back to Jesus - always! We start every morning with a note from our elves encouraging Mason to have a good day at school, a reminder to do something kind for someone, for Mason to show love like Jesus, to recognize when Mason does something exceptionally well, to chat about what's happening at school or at home that evening, to encourage Mason to donate some toys, to share a scripture or to tell Mason how loved he is by Jesus! We try to "Elf" with a Christ-centered approach every single day. Mason is super responsive to his Elves so we use them for the good! There is no Elf mischief really happening over here. While I am sure that is fun, we just like to use our Elves to encourage good. To point out the good. And to reflect our lifestyle.

How I plan Elf shenanigans:

I start by making a calendar for November and December and fill in all of the activities we do as a family, that Mason will do at school and at church. Then I plan Elf shenanigans for the day based on those activities. Our Elves always coordinate with what we have going. For example; if we are going to Bethlehem Revisited that evening you can find our elves sitting with the Christmas story book, or sitting around a nativity and the note for that day coordinates with this. Our Elves usually leave a nativity ornament, or craft materials to make a nativity. Or if we are going to the Christmas parade that evening with the Jeep club our elves will decorate and light up Mason's toy Jeep. If we are going to the Christmas tree farm they will decorate a small tree that morning, etc. This helps remind Mason of what we have going on that day and gets him excited for the day. And he thinks its so magical that his Elves know what we're doing, or that they visited his school and heard about the activities, or his church, etc. For days that we do not have an activity planned his elves will create an activity, or I can choose from a gaggle of random ideas I have saved. Pinterest is a good source for random ideas! I also want to mention how much it helps to plan ahead! It's so much easier to look at your calendar and know what you're doing that day!!

Our Elve's Traditions:

They usually join us while we are camping for our annual Polar Express and Grinch weekend! They show up Saturday morning and deliver some new Christmas Pajamas for Mason to wear that evening to ride on the Polar Express. This kicks off our season with the Elves and a world of excitement from our sweet boy!

Our Elves always bring Mason a Gingerbread house to decorate as one of our traditional activities! It's much more fun for the Elves to give it to him rather than mom and dad!

Our Elves also bring some kind of Advent each year! This year will be a Lego advent and we will still do our scripture advent!

Our Elves will wrap up 25 Christmas books for us to read each day from December 1st to December 25th. This is mostly books he has on his shelf, but I will mix in 4-6 new books each year. He loves getting to wake up and open a book each day!

Mason gets to hold and hug on our Elves on Christmas Eve & Day because they are equipped with extra magic on those days! He loves those days. His Elves are so dear and special to him!

Do you do the Elf on the Shelf? If yes, what is your strategy with it? I love to hear all of the different ways that people use their Elves!

How we use our Elf on the Shelf for the good @ Hall Around Texas

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