Every year, I tell myself 'this will be the year I make Elf on the Shelf work' and promise to do something creative everyday.  I'm usually pretty successful the first week...and then it gets away from me.  I forget a day or two or a week and then the magic just goes away.  I tell myself 'hey, I tried'...but I usually feel like I let the kids down.

So this year...I'm getting started earlier than usual!  Here's my plan:

  • Google creative ideas for your Elf.  Pinterest is a great place to start.
  • Print a calendar for December 2016 and filling each day with a plan.  You'll know what to expect each day.
  • Keep in mind, you can make the Elf's visit shorter.  Start a week or two before Christmas if you don't want to commit to the entire month.
  • Try to encourage a welcome letter from the Elf.  This is the perfect opportunity to have the children write their letters to Santa.  (HINT: Sometimes, our Elf makes a brief appearance just before Black Friday & Cyber Monday)
  • Brainstorm activites or random acts of kindness the kids can do each day and report back to the Elf.
  • Make it easy on yourself.  Sometimes, less is more!
  • Use National Days of Observance for inspiration.  Some fun days in December:
    • National Pie Day
    • National Cotton Candy Day
    • National Cookie Day
    • National Bathtub Party Day
    • National Gingerbread House Day
    • National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
  • Don't have the original Elf on the Shelf?  That's OK...use something else!  I do!

Now get planning!  I hope you have a successful year!