I have very vivid childhood memories about Christmas. I remember how deeply I believed and how excited I was in the days leading up to Christmas. I can close my eyes right now and see the colored lights lining our house, smell the candles that were always lit on Christmas Eve, hear Nat King Cole Christmas carols playing on some cassette tape, and feel the increasing anticipation as we waited for Santa to arrive at our house. We always stayed up late on Christmas Eve celebrating our childhood while making the best family memories possible. I love my parents so much for giving this to me. It was a full sensory experience that is so ingrained into me that I have no choice but to recreate it for my children. I want to see them jump for joy when they spy Rudolph's nose in the distance, burst with excitement when they hear the ringing bells of Santa's sleigh and squeal with delight at the sight of all their presents piled around the tree.
One thing that did not exist when I was young was the Elf of the Shelf. It is such a simple idea that it is brilliant (another million dollar mommy idea that I missed out on!) I have really run away with this idea trying to make it bigger and better (and sometimes totally inappropriate.) Here are some of the fun antics:
Contrary to popular opinion Elves are not limited to the 4 main food groups of candy, candy corn, candy canes and maple syrup. They love smores but hate the idea of getting close to an open flame (elves are fearful of fire so never but your elf near the flames!) Luckily I have a solution that is so easy even an elf can do it! And really whats not to love about this...marshmallows, chocolate, cereal... oh my goodness!
What You Need:
- 2 Cups Golden Grahams
- 1/4 Cup Marshmallow Bits
- 1/4 Cup Milk Chocolate Morsels
- Handful of Red M&Ms (picked and sorted out of a bag of Christmas M&Ms)
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and serve. Seriously, how easy is that!!
My little elves absolutely love this! Though this elf picks out and eats all the chocolate pieces (she`s smarter than I thought!)
Food Play: Peppermint Play Dough
It is a rainy day here and we wanted to do a Christmas craft. I scrolled through Pinterest with my 4 year old and she rejected every art activity that had paint (thank goodness! that is always a mess!) and zoned in on the play dough idea. I had never made scented play dough and was up for giving it a try. We were all out of red play dough so we couldn`t make a full on candy cane theme. Green was just as lovely though. Pop the Elf even got involved!
What You Need for Play Dough:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- food coloring
- drops of peppermint oil
I added the first 4 ingredients to my mixer and began mixing. I than added the hot water followed by the food coloring until the desired color was achieved. Put in some peppermint oil to give it a nice elvish smell. Top it all off with a lot of glitter. The more the better!! If it feels a little tacky add some more flour.
Add in some cookie cutters and candy canes and you have yourself a play date.