When I set to start writing this post, I was determined that my boys' Elf on the Shelf, Jolly, would not be returning this year. Stephen and I had to "lie" to them more than I was comfortable with in order to give them as much detail as they wanted about Jolly last year. And there were those couple of occasions we forgot to move him and had to try and do it on the fly when it was already too late. I don't like the focus of our Christmas season feeling so negative. Jolly would NOT be coming back this year... I even got to work on a post about it...
But... as I was sewing, my heart kinda started to hurt.
I started thinking of the questions I knew would follow the letter- Cooper is never satisfied with a lack of detail! I realized that I'd be doing a fair amount of "lying" in order to explain why there would be no Elf again. I knew he was too smart for this, really. Already he'd asked if Jolly came from the store. (That's what they get for putting Elf on the Shelf boxes right in the mix of the Christmas aisles at Target! Really... online purchase only, folks... :P)
Anyhow, there by the midnight oil, I got sentimental like I like to do. I realized that when it comes to Christmas magic, Coop and Ry, at six and four, are THERE. It won't be any time at all before they get it. And, it's still true, I don't dread that day. But, I'm not going to beg it to come before it already will.
Cooper telling our Elf something important last year ;)
We can intermingle kindness, like we do often, in our Christmas traditions, right along with the Elf. It's no skin off my nose to hide the crazy thing for a few weeks. And I can even falsify as I need in order to keep that sparkle and excitement in them. If I had it to do over again, I would've just not started the whole Elf on the Shelf thing to begin with. But my intentions were good then, just like they are now :)
That's why I WON'T in fact be using these ideas in this post this year. In years to come though, for sure. And that year might be where you're at now. Maybe your child is old enough that it's just... time. Or who knows what reason you might have. I had already gathered these ideas when the light came back on for me, so I thought I'd share anyway. :)
First is this pillowcase idea- these are the two I sewed the boys. I most likely will still give them to them just because :) The letter I wrote talks specifically about how the family Elf needs to be helping Santa with other things this year. I mentioned how he knows that they are such good kids, Santa won't be forgetting them no matter what. But he did want to leave them these Christmas pillowcases to enjoy for the season and help them have good dreams so they can keep being good kids. I thought it was pretty cute :) If you could use that idea and the letter to go with it, find it to print HERE. :)
I thought this could be a fun thing to replace your Elf with also-
a cute can that kids can put their Christmas wishes in :)
I also like the idea of replacing with a story per day- printables are available at the link above. Even a simple folder of binder would work. You could read a story each night instead of moving or speaking of the Elf.
If you haven't started a Christmas book countdown yet, it could be a fun idea for replacing your Elf also. :)
This app looked cute to me! It would be one that you could let your kids know had been added to your device instead of your Elf returning, to remind them of him and give them something different to enjoy.
You most likely saw this last weekend at Tatertots and Jello- I was excited when I did cause I knew it'd fit perfectly into this post. The cute set helps kids to focus on kindness and rewards them for being good, instead of just encouraging them not to be naughty. Details and a savings code at the link above :)
So, there you have it- a few ideas for getting rid of your Elf. I have no doubt there will be times I'll regret not doing so, but I think I'm okay with not after all too. :) No matter what, wishing you a really magical Christmas season!