Let’s keep things unusual for what’s been an unusual year!
Recently, my daughter heard from her friend that Santa is not real. I was initially quite sad because at nearly-7 years old, I want her to hold onto her belief in the magic of Christmas for a while longer. With some damage control, I convinced her otherwise (temporarily, at least) and she soon believed that Father Christmas is real and well, and we could expect a visit from one of his elves (Elfie as he is called in our household) soon. Elfie has been “visiting” us since 2016 and this time, I decided to make it special as it may be the last time Isha believes in his existence. So here is the 2020 edition of Elf on the Shelf ideas for you.
I had to include this one! After all, if you are travelling anywhere this year, you need to factor in quarantine so why should it be different for Santa’s helpers? Elfie arrived at our house in his own “quarantine centre” on 17, November so that he would be out and about by the time 1, December comes. He had a note to explain it to Isha as well:
“Hey everyone, I am back! I just arrived from the North Pole but I need to go through 14 days of mandatory quarantine before I can visit the Shah household.” – With love, Elfie
I have loved creating dramatic entry moments for Elfie over the years. If you are still plotting how you can surprise your little one, look for “Elf arrival ideas” on Pinterest. You could also use any of the ones I have tried over the years: your elf could pop out of a mailbox or could arrive with a letter from Santa or could be on the breakfast table peeking out from your child’s favourite cereal box.
Making your elf’s visit funny and entertaining should be your ultimate goal if your child is really young as that will keep his or her excitement up through the 24 days leading up to Christmas. There are a lot of apps that can be used to create videos of your elf talking to your child (I used My Talking Pet). It thrilled Isha to bits! Try to give your elf a personality too. We made Elfie slightly naughty and up for a bit of mischief. My daughter would have thoroughly enjoyed it when Elfie painted her Papa’s toenails and she still giggles about him misusing our toothbrush.
Getting your own Elf on the Shelf should be fun and easy to implement. Thankfully for all busy parents, there and plenty of creative and unique ideas available online. This year, you will find tons of funny (and punny) suggestions about safe social distancing and not hoarding toilet roll!
If you are a planner like I am, you will love to use elf visit planners to organise your thoughts. You could buy props but I have found that your child’s tiny toys and playsets (like Lego blocks and dollhouses) often make the best props. You don’t always have to use objects though. I have found that it works well to use some of the free printables available and to prop up Elfie right next to them. Sometimes, disciplinary action from the family elf makes all the difference!
I hope you have a lot of fun playing around with your very own Elf on the Shelf. Wish your family (and your elf) a magical Christmas!