Our elf, Eli, arrived a number of years ago, in a year that money was really tight and I was frantically trying to find a way to make the holiday season magical and special without forcing our family to go hungry. I got lucky! One night when I arrived at work, I noticed that the claw machine at the front of the restaurant I served at had been filled with holiday plush including elves. Now I am by no means a master at the claw machine, in fact I don't think I've ever actually won anything from one, but one of the girls I was working with was and had developed an addiction for spending our down time at the machine, which worked out well for me since I just had to feed her the quarters and she managed to provide the elf!
That year we happily shared images with her of what our elf was doing and thanking her for the joy that she had helped provide, but we struggled with ideas, especially since Eli is not a traditional elf on the shelf. Now, things have gotten a little easier over the years, we've learned what he can easily do and what doesn't work well. We've collected ideas and a treasure box of things that went over really well but one of my favorite things is when Eli brings gifts for our children or even the whole family! The hard part is finding gifts for him to deliver that won't break the bank or take away from what's to come on Christmas morning! Thankfully, I've got a go-to list of items that fulfill all of our requirements for Eli approved gifts to be delivered before Christmas day! And, lucky for you, I'm happy to share that list with all of you...with a few tips or two!
Awesome Gift Ideas for your elf to deliver:
1.Letters from Santa! This is always a hit! Each year, Eli delivers a letter for each of my three kids from Santa. He starts off by thanking them for their letters and commenting on some of the things they've asked for. Then he shares a little about what's going on in the North Pole. I try to make this relevant to what they are going through. The year my youngest was born, there were some elf babies born in the North Pole. We've also had baking fiascoes and successes in the kitchen with Mrs. Clause, animal adventures with the wild life, new pets in the Clause house hold and more! Then Santa praises them for big accomplishments that year such as potty training, good grades, doing better with chores, ect. and addresses one thing they need to work on like cleaning their room, not talking back, ect. Then he usually says good bye and signs the letter. When these arrive, we all sit around and everyone (who can read) gets to read their letter from Santa out loud and we giggle, dream and enjoy them together!
2. Jewelry- There are some really cute novelty jewelry pieces and headbands perfect for school concerts, recitals or just for fun! These are great gifts to arrive from Santa in the hands of your elf! And they add some excitement for the festivities to come, too!
3. Books! Christmas books make great bedtime stories, but books are also a great way to fill those snow days or just spend these chilly days indoors! Not to mention how important reading is and, hey, anything Santa endorses has got to be cool, right?
4. Ornaments- This has become one of my favorite traditions! Almost every year Eli brings us ornaments for our tree. These are chosen specifically as a reflection of sorts of what we, as a family or as individuals, are interested in. We've gotten sets of Mario and Pokemon ornaments but we've also got some special hand made ornaments designed after the Ninja Turtles! These make us smile every year and are a just a fun way to add something to our tree!
5. Pencils/stationary- Pencils, erasers and even little pads of paper are perfect ways to take the festivities into the classroom and bulk up some of those must-have supplies! They also tend to come in multi packs allowing you to easily, and on a budget, provide for multiple children at a time, or just one!
6. Personal Hygiene products- This has been a huge help in more then one years past! Not only does it give you a chance to splurge on normal items to make them more fun, it's a way to encourage behavior that's healthy for them and that they may not want to do. Fun tooth brushes and tooth paste from Santa can make that nightly battle less of a battle (at least for a few nights) or bubble bath, lotion and shampoo can make bath time fun again (as can some new bath toys)! It can also making shopping for these dull items a little more fun!
7. Christmas Movies- This is a favorite because these are not gifts for one person, but for the family as a whole! When Eli brings movies, he's providing family movie night! (Throwing in some fun snacks doesn't hurt, either). This is such a cool way to add to your Holiday movie collection, share movies from your childhood your value or explore new ones together while getting into the spirit and spending time together!
8. Snow Gear- Hats, mittens and scarves! Let's be honest, we're constantly losing these things and sometimes, it's not much of an accident! This way, your kiddos are getting something they need, something useful and it's encouraging good habits. And, it's making something not so fun become fun again!
9. Certificates- Again, it's a great way to encourage good behavior and when Santa says it's desired behavior, well...it holds a little weight! From doing their chores, cleaning their room, going to bed on time and good grades to going potty like a big kid or even bigger achievements, nothing is above celebration! These make easy, quick and positive finds for your young ones with little work on your part and they'll start the day feeling great about themselves!
10. Candy- Candy is always fun and loved! Our kiddos love to play a game of "Find the Candy Canes" with Eli. Of course, the fact that Eli brings the candy and they get to keep it once they find it doesn't hurt either, I'm sure!
11. Hot Chocolate and a mug- Who doesn't love a nice hot cup of chocolate goodness on a cold day? It's the perfect refreshment to come home to after a day of playing in the snow, after walking home from school or just while your watching those movies your elf dropped off! And there's just something magical about drinking it out of a new mug that's just arrived form the North Pole! Want to get crazy? Add some fun toppers like peppermint, whipped cream, chocolate chips or Caramel sauce to create a hot chocolate bar!
12. Cards- This is great for those with birthdays in December especially! Birthday cards sent from Santa are a simple way to ensure that their birthday, which easily gets over shadowed by the holiday by many, is something super special! Or, just Christmas cards with their names on them to add to your collection of Christmas Cards!
13. Holiday CDs- Music creates the mood and are just so much fun to sing along with! They also make great additions to car rides and bath time as well as cleaning and bedtime! And, BONUS! This is another great item for the whole family to enjoy!
14. Holiday Socks- Admit it! They're just fun! Not a fan of holiday socks? What about fuzzy socks? It's the perfect time of year for warm foot wear and festive feet!
15. Craft or Cooking supplies- This is another great one for creating a day of family fun! When your elf delivers all of the makings for an awesome (if not tasty) creation, you get to creating! It's the perfect way to keep busy and entertained when it's too cold to go out!
So there we have it! 15 ideas for gifts your elf can deliver this December! And, lucky you! Not only was I happy to share some of my wisdom, I can also help you find some of the items on this list! All you have to do is click here to start shopping!
Does your elf deliver gifts? If so, what's been the biggest hits? Have you done any of the gifts on this list? How did those go over? Let us know in the comments and Happy Holidays!