Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

Looking a lot like Christmas


I thought it would be fun to start the whole Elf on a Shelf thing this year. I was too cheap to spend $30 on a real one with a book so I just picked up an elf for $6 and told my kids about it. I stupidly started it Thanksgiving weekend because I was excited to get into the holiday magic – TOO SOON! And I have to say my kids are enchanted by it (although I don’t think it has done any good on behavior modification) but I am not. It is a pain in the ass to remember to move it every night and it pisses me off when I forget and have to get out of a warm bed to find a new place to stick the stupid thing. And I know there are websites with ideas but have you read them? These people are a little deranged. I am not pouring flour or sugar all over my counter so the elf can make snow angels and I can get up in the morning and clean up the mess. But so far it has moved every day and I haven’t run out of spots. A sampling of what he has been up to:

*A little tip. If you decide to have your elf magically turn your milk a color? Go with red. And do it when your gallon is nearing empty. I felt like the elf peed in our milk and it was the gallon that wouldn’t end.

We’ve been working hard to instill the whole giving portion of Christmas in the girls this year instead of just the getting gifts part. We had a few dicey moments with questions about why Santa doesn’t just give presents to those who don’t have enough but managed to negotiate that. Outside of charitable giving, we also wanted them to spend time on gifts for family. I picked up a bunch of unfinished wood items at Hobby Lobby for them to paint. They were beyond excited. I only twitched a little during the painting process – that is huge progress for me. They did a great job. Tessa especially shocked me at her focus and how well she did painting once she got a feel for it.

I found big gingerbread men at Trader Joe’s that came with icing and candy to decorate them so we let them do that. Tessa’s ended up with a big glob of icing in the middle but Sabrina did a little better at trying for a face. They thought it was great fun – I twitched a little during this too because the sprinkles went everywhere.

And just because it is so stinking cute, Tessa got a new hat and mittens:

posted under family
6 Comments to

“Looking a lot like Christmas”

  1. On December 20th, 2011 at 4:57 pm Laurie Mitchell Says:

    The elf thing…I am glad it is “trending” as my kids are getting older as I am hoping to hold off and never have to participate in that activity! 🙂 Santa has to bring kids that don’t have enough money things that they need…like coats and hats and mittens and clothes so there isn’t enough room in the bag for a lot of toys :(. I love the crafty part. I have loved every single craft project I have ever done with the kiddos – mess and all (although we still do things like this regularly my kids are old enough to not make much of a mess and I have probably put the horror of this part of the projects somewhere deep in my subconscious! ha! ha!) I truly love every post you write! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  2. On December 21st, 2011 at 12:35 pm Jane Says:

    We are just entering the crafting phase at our house, too. Paint makes me twitch. But glitter sends me to the fridge for Mommy juice!
    As for the elf…just THREE more freaking days of moving her. I’ve been talking about how she will hop into Santa’s pack as soon as he unloads toys at our house – and go back to the North Pole until next year. YIPPPEEE!

  3. On December 22nd, 2011 at 2:54 am Dana Says:

    We don’t have an elf but Serena asked if we had one and I told her I saw him the other day and he’s good at hiding. I can’t see spending $30 on that thing. She’s has seen it in the bookstore and I just don’t think she’d buy the whole idea. She hasn’t brought it up again. Love the idea of painting the birdhouses. Enjoy being a stay at home mom Michelle. Working full time leaves you with really no time to do fun stuff like that, especially when your single. Love your kids!

  4. On December 22nd, 2011 at 9:13 am Shannon Says:

    I love that hat on Tessa!! I love owls right now. I’m not good at crafts with Emily. I dislike the mess so much. It just stresses me out. We’ve done a few things and i’ve lived thru it so I need to take a chill pill. (i hear xanex is good! 🙂 )

  5. On December 22nd, 2011 at 1:39 pm Sonia in MO Says:

    I bought our elf when Hannah’s was one, during after Christmas clearance for 75 percent off – and we’ve had fun with ours 🙂 Some nights he doesn’t move – I think he’s as exhausted as Mommy is – so I just explain those are the days she must have been extra good and he had nothing to report back at the North Pole. But this year she’s a bit more inquisitive and when we passed a stack of them at the local Hallmark this week she was sure suspicious. Elf may have run his course this year…lol. What is most annoying is when she comes home from school and says “So-and-so’s elf brings her a present EVERY DAY – why doesn’t mine?” Gee, thanks to the over-enthusiastic-about-the-elf parents for THAT issue.

  6. On February 1st, 2012 at 7:18 pm Abuela Says:

    And I LOVE my red bird house…it sits next to Tessa’s picture. I need to retrieve the red ornament her Mom painted at about the same age, and put them together 🙂