We do have an Elf, I just don't make a big deal about it. Honestly, Landon just doesn't care. He isn't a fan of Santa (he scares him) and we don't talk about Santa bringing gifts or really much about him because of that. Therefore, our Elf - named "Elf" - doesn't get a whole lot of emphasis from Mommy and Daddy. We introduced Elf last year and Landon was semi-scared of him too. I realized real quick we would just make him a fun thing and have him bring fun activities for us to do on our Advent Calendar, and that would be it. AND those things aren't every day. Momma ain't got time for that!
Last year, Elf had something for us twice a week. This year, it's 3 times a week - that's it. And the things vary from Elf doing something to having us do some kind of activity together.
My post on this got a lot of interest last year, so I thought I'd post our plans this year again, in hopes that it may help some of you fellow Toddler Mommas out there!
Here me say this - I don't think there is anything wrong with using the Elf. Each kid and family is different and I always say you need to do what's right for you. For us, Elf doesn't need to be emphasized and we just make him a fun after thought to our week, really. That's what works for us!
Here's our Advent Activities for this month:
- Salt Dough Ornaments
- Candy Cane Hunt (followed by making reindeer candy canes to give to neighbors)
- Cookie making/decorating (two different days of this)
- Gingerbread House decorating
- Operation Christmas Child box (shopping & drop off)
- Christmas crafts (two different days of this -- just picked up a couple activities at craft store)
- Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt
- Bethlehem Marketplace (nearby event)
- Town Christmas Tree (get hot cocoa and go see it)
- Donkey in the Living Room* (a book we read through 10 days leading up to Christmas Day)
- Elf reads Jesus' birth story in Bible to Landon's stuffed animals
- Elf worships baby Jesus in nativity on Christmas morning
- Elf brings new Christmas sheets
- Elf sticks bows on the heads of Landon and Allie's stuffed animals
*The Donkey in the Living Room Nativity Set comes with a book and 10 wooden nativity characters. 10 days leading up to Christmas (or whenever you want to do it during the month) you wrap each character individually and have your child open one each morning. You read the page in the book dedicated to that character that teaches your child about that character's role in the Christmas story.
Here's our recipe for Salt Dough Ornaments:
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup flour
Preheat oven to 275. In bowl, add salt and warm water. Mix until salt is mostly dissolved. (it won't all dissolve) Add in 1/2 cup flour, mix and then add the last 1/2. Knead on floured surface until doug forms. Roll out using rolling pin and make shapes! Use straw to poke holes where ribbon goes to hang. Cook for 2 hours, until hard.