Enjoying the Holiday Season (and introducing our Elf)

Christmas is such an emotional time with the year coming to an end and the season filled with love, joy, happiness, laughter, remembrance and reflection.

Yet it’s easy to get lost in the craziness and chaos of the hallmark event. This year I tried to stay out of the stores and avoid getting swept up with the craze. Instead we have spent a lot of time together as a family drinking eggnog, listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas specials, baking Christmas goodies, decorating and crafting. Christmas isn’t even here yet and we have enjoyed a bountiful amount of quality time together (the rainy weather has also helped)! :)

I thought I’ve invite you in to see a little bit of what we have been up to. We kept things simple (or simpler) this year.

I didn’t get any family pics of us picking out a tree but they helped select the family and kids tree and to decorate both.

DSC_0046-001 Townes getting tangled up in beads. These didn’t make it on either tree but he sure enjoyed playing with them (supervised of course).

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Lily enjoyed decorating the kids tree. In fact she was little bossy about it that Jacob finally conceded. She was particular about where things should go and it was all within a couple of branches. She wanted the ornaments to be by their “friends”. She didn’t want them to be lonely. Her little imagination is blossoming! DSC_0056-001

I later caught he removing the nutcrackers to play with them. When it was time for bath, she took the the nutcrackers to “daycare” and told “her children” that she would be right back.

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This was our first year to do the Elf on the Shelf. It is a cute story where an elf, Santa’s helper, comes to visit daily and returns to the North Pole each evening to report back to Santa how the day went. He returns each morning and takes a new spot.
DSC_0059-001 Lily caught on instantly and Townes was quick to follow. They have enjoyed searching for him each morning and are proud once they locate the little guy. They all took part in naming him so he is Levon Little Timmy. Levon was influenced by Walt. It’s after a singer songwriter from the group The Band that Walt likes (and almost named Townes after) and no idea about Little Timmy.

Simple Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Toddlers

Here are a few of my favorite and fun locations.

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Elf on the Shelf in the Christmas Card holder

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Elf on the Shelf leaves a “Be Good” message.

DSC_0094-001 Elf on the Shelf in Jacob’s stocking.

DSC_0097-001 Elf on the Shelf hanging on a coat hook in the entry way (looks like he just crashed into the wall).

DSC_0114  Elf on the Shelf hanging from the chandelier.

DSC_0126-001 Elf on the Shelf on top of sugar canister in the kitchen.

DSC_0129 Elf on the Shelf playing with Townes’ toy.

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Elf on the Shelf climbing Santa’s ladder.

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Elf on the Shelf hanging out with the stag.

Lily picked out a couple of Christmas goodies to try. She picked out these Snowmay Marshmallow Pops that we saw on Pinterest and red velvet cake balls that we will be attempting today.

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To make these we slid 3 marshmallows on a lollipop stick. We melting white candy melts and then coated the marshmallows with the candy coating. Lily placed the mini M&Ms for the eyes, nose and buttons and I used writing gel to make a mouth.
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 They turned out pretty imperfect..

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especially compared to our Pinterest inspiration below…

that I think that makes them more special. :)

Family chilling out.

DSC_0161-001 He loves his momma, no doubt, but he’s face lights up when he sees his daddy return from a run!

DSC_0162-001 Sneak peek of a project finally completed!

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Panthers are blowing it up this year! Last weekend Walt and Jacob took Lily to her first Panther game.

DSC_0077-001 Lily enjoying hot cocoa to warm up from the game. 

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This week we watched the game on TV eating homemade popcorn.

I hope you are able to enjoy time off with family and friends. I’ve already been away from mine too long so I’ll be back later today or tomorrow with a quick Christmas tour.

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