New Year’s Eve Fun Traditions

Sometimes I look at my kids and think to myself, “What am I supposed to do with these little ones to entertain them?” I always want fun traditions around holidays and I put pressure on myself to make sure I do so. New Year’s Eve is one of those holidays that I want to start some family traditions but haven’t quite yet. It doesn’t have to be jam packed, but having something “to do” sounds fun. I want my kids to look back on their childhood and remember the things we did each year repetitively. I decided to do some research on what other people do for the holiday and this list is comprised of some of the things I plan on incorporating into our own family traditions. Feel free to comment below with some of your own family New Year’s Eve traditions.

  • Interview your kids and ask about their favorite things. Videotape it too!
  • Have a movie marathon
  • Campout in your own living room as a family. Put up a tent!
  • Play minute to win it games.
  • Have a gift or bag to open every hour until midnight. Instead of a toy inside, try putting a fun question everyone has to answer.
  • Watch home movies from the year. A great way to remember all the fun stuff you did!
  • Pop a balloon every hour. In every balloon have a silly activity that everyone has to do together.
  • Make New Year’s Resolutions together and share them!
  • Have a dance party.
  • Do a photo booth! Great way to remember how your kids change every year.
  • Let your kids invite their friends over to make treats together.
  • Have everyone write a letter to themselves about what you hope to happen this year. Open it on new year’s eve next year.
  • Dress up in fancy clothes, or have masquerade masks just for fun.
  • Do a family time capsule to open the next year.
  • Make fancy non-alcoholic drinks for the kids in special glasses.
  • Have an iron chef contest.
  • Do a craft. Make your own ball to drop, party hats or noise makers!
  • Watch the ball drop in another time zone.
  • Count your blessings! Make a list of things that happened that year that were blessings in your lives. Put them in a journal or album to look back on.
  • Eat some black-eyed peas. They bring good luck!
  • Talk about new years traditions from around the world, or from your own ancestors.


The ABSOLUTE BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe!

Finding the best sugar cookie recipe can be quite the challenge. I find that the cookie is either too doughy, tastes too much like flour, the kids won’t eat them, or you have to refrigerate them so long and the dough comes out rock hard. I found a recipe ( I wish I could claim it as my own) that is FANTASTIC and I had to share it with all of you because it is just that good.

it comes together quickly.

it does not need to be chilled.

it can be doubled easily.

it holds its shape with very little expanding when baked.

The recipe I am giving you makes a large batch of dough because I like to bake a lot of cookies. Also I like to roll and cut my cookies fairly thick…to hold a lot of frosting. Incorporating the last cup of flour may make you nervous. It will be dry and look crumbly. Turn out the dough and work with wet hands and/or more flour until the dough is smooth and ready to roll.

Most asked Q and A about this recipe:


  • The final dough really comes together and has a texture close to Play-Doh. Wet your hands if you need to. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Don’t be afraid to use more flour and incorporate it in while you are “kneading” it into a smooth ball.
  • Forget everything you know about sugar cookie dough. Don’t be afraid of sprinkling more flour as you roll it out. Use the scraps! Mix them back into the unused dough and keep going.


  • If you need to make the dough in advance you can chill it. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Bring the dough to room temperature before rolling and cutting. You may need to use more flour on the countertop.


  • I almost always suggest pulling out these cookies and the 8-9 minute mark. They will continue baking on the cookie sheet for a few minutes while they cool and set. After cooling for about 5 minutes I use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.


  • You can use salted butter (just out the 1/2 teaspoon salt). In the past I’ve omitted the salt and the recipe is fine. It is more bland but these cookies are made for frosting.
  • If you must chill the dough just leave it on the counter top for 10 minutes before rolling or work the dough with your hands for a few minutes.
  • You can omit the almond extract if you do not have it available, however the taste is really fantastic with the hint of almond.
  • Keep in mind that the recipe yield will vary according to how thick you roll your cookies and how large or small your cutters are.
  • Bake for 6 minutes to test. They should be soft. Leave them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cool completely. If you reach 7-8 minutes and the edges turn brown your cookie will be crisper.

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

YIELD: 3 dozen cookies

PREP TIME: 30 minutes

COOK TIME: 6-8 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 38 minutes

Soft cut out sugar cookie recipe that keeps its shape and dough does not need to be chilled before baking- perfect edges every time!


  • 1 Cup unsalted butter
  • 1 Cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth, at least 3 minutes
  3. Beat in extracts and egg.
  4. In a separate bowl combine baking powder and salt  with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer turn out the dough onto a countertop surface. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.
  5. DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH. Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).
  6. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.



Christmas Traditions Worth Starting

I LOVE traditions…especially around the holidays! Our family has started some pretty neat traditions that I think are worth sharing. From spending a day baking Christmas cookies to packing the kids in the car and driving around looking at Christmas lights, we have started some traditions that I simply cannot go a season without.

  1. Toledo Zoo Lights Before Christmas (One of our FAVORITE family traditions! The Toledo Zoo puts on quite the show and is enjoyed by everyone big and small)
  2. Tam-O-Shanter’s Children’s Wonderland (My daughters LOVE the train ride, the old and new displays, pictures with Santa and the endless crafts you can make).
  3. Levis Commons Santa House (The BEST Santa experience in the Toledo, Ohio area. He not only has Mrs. Claus with him, but he spends so much time with each little one and one family enters the house/cottage at a time to create an intimate experience).
  4. Listening to Christmas music and putting the Christmas tree up (We listen to 101.5 and put the tree up…It is GREAT!)
  5. Getting into our winter jammies and driving around town looking at Christmas lights (You can dress this experience up with snacks and hot cocoa)
  6. Bass Pro Santa Workshop (Another GREAT experience where you can see Santa for FREE, play games, write a letter to the big man in red, and make and take a craft home).
  7. Christmas service at church (CedarCreek Church offers an experience like no other…it is a beautiful production).
  8. Baking Christmas cookies (See the following recipes from Food Network:)

I would LOVE to hear your family traditions in the comments below!



Halloween FUN (and safety tips)!

I LOVE Halloween and the fun of dressing up your littles and having them trick-or-treat. The fall brisk air, crunching of the leaves, kids running around having the time of their life, etc. is simply the best. I remember being younger and running from house to house, knowing which houses gave out the best candy and making sure to hit them up first before heading to the “less ideal” houses. I remember the police officers driving down the road handing candy out of their car doors and making sure kids were remaining safe. Everything about my Halloween memories make me smile and bring positive vibes my way.

From a parents standpoint, it makes me nervous thinking about all of the things that could go wrong on Halloween night. It’s dark outside, people are dressed in costumes, etc. It can be overwhelming thinking that someone might want to harm your child and Halloween is the perfect night to do it or even that costumes can create dangerous scenarios for your child. I decided it would be a good idea to post some Halloween safety tips for parents looking to stay this holiday season.

Top Tips

  1. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.
  2. Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  3. Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
  4. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
  5. When selecting a costume make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
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Healthy Halloween Treats

If you know my household, you know that I am pretty crazy when it comes to eating clean and making sure we get all of our daily fruits and veggies in. It is so important that kids get a balanced diet and plenty of exercise in a day. I have created a list of healthy holiday treats that will fancy any toddler/preschooler/school-age child/adult. Enjoy and let me know what you think!


Halloween Yogurt Bark

author: Fork & Beans
serves: Serves 4
  • 4 (5.3oz) cartons of nondairy yogurt (preferably orange-colored)
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil (optional)
  • ¼ c. blueberries
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • ½ yellow nectarine
  • Monster Googly Eyes
  1. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment or wax paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all the yogurt cartons together. If using the coconut oil, add now. Pour into the pan.
  3. Top with the sliced kiwi, nectarine, blueberries, and googly eyes.
  4. Place in freezer until set.
  5. Cut into pieces and allow the little ones to choose their own yogurt bark.
 *I used Silk yogurt alternative but you are free to use whatever nondairy yogurt is your favorite. There really is a lot of freedom with this Halloween Yogurt Bark idea so have fun with it and play around. Use the ingredients you love but just make sure that it has a Halloween flair!


Presentation is everything! Stack pineapple, orange slices and whipped cream or yogurt to create a healthier take on candy corn.

Halloween Fruit Kabobs

1.For the marshmallows, use a black food coloring marker to draw a ghostly face onto each marshmallow. (This is a great task for older kids to help with!)  Let the marshmallows dry for a few minutes before using.

2. Wash and cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces.  Add a strawberry, piece of melon and then a ghost marshmallow to the skewer.  Repeat the pattern until you are at the top.

Jack-o-Lantern Stuffed Peppers

These festive Stuffed Peppers are perfect for Halloween!

 Course Main Course
 Prep Time 25 minutes
 Cook Time 35 minutes
 Total Time 1 hour
 Servings 4 servings, 1 bell pepper each
 Calories 426 kcal
 Author Beachbody


  • 4 medium orange bell peppers
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. raw 93% lean ground turkey
  • ½ medium onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • Ground black pepper to taste; optional
  • 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce, no sugar added
  • 1 cup black beans drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Slice stem end off peppers. (Reserve for later use.) Remove seeds and veins from peppers. Cut a jack-o-lantern face out of one side of each pepper. Stand peppers upright in baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add turkey; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until almost browned.
  5. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  6. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  7. Add chili powder, cumin, pepper (if desired), tomato sauce, and beans; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  8. Add rice; mix well.
  9. Fill peppers with turkey mixture. Top with reserved stem end of peppers Add water to the baking dish. Cover with foil.
  10. Bake peppers for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender-crisp.
  11. Remove stem top of peppers, sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  12. Replace tops and serve.
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Bursting with Flavor: Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken

Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect time to dust off the grill and gather together with family and friends to thank the Lord for our many blessings as we remember the heroic men and women who have given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy!

What better way to celebrate than with a super quick-n-easy meal that allows us more time with our family and less time in the kitchen! Firing up the grill is definitely one of the easiest ways to get a healthy meal on the table in just minutes!

Another plus is that grilling results in less mess and less dishes. And of course, you just can’t beat the savory flavor of grilled meats, which is why it’s one of my favorite cooking methods.

This super easy Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe is my new go-to favorite. I love that I can make the marinade ahead of time, which means even faster turn-around time on busy weeknights! I also throw some veggies on the grill at the same time for a simple side dish that complements the chicken perfectly and adds a boost of nutrition!

Dinner doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious and healthy. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create quick-n-easy dishes just bursting with flavor! And remember you can always save even more time by grilling extra chicken that you can use to create other healthy weeknight meals.

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken


2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 Tbsp lime zest (about 2 limes)
2 Tbsp lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sea salt


1. Place chicken thighs in a 9×9-inch baking dish; set aside.
2. Place remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor in the order given. Cover and process on low until fine chopped and blended.
3. Transfer 1/2 cup of the cilantro-lime marinade to a small bowl. Evenly distribute the remaining marinade over the chicken, making sure to well coat.
4. Cover chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour. Then remove from fridge and pre-heat grill to medium-high heat.
5. Grill chicken about 3-4 minutes, until the edges become opaque. Then flip the chicken over and brush with reserved marinade. Reduce heat to medium and cover grill. Continue cooking until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy!

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St. Patricks’ Day Crafts/ Science Experiments You Won’t Want to Miss with Your Young Kids

So I may be a little late with the March calendar of crafts/ science experiments, but I figured the 11th was good enough to get it out there. Most of my “crafts” are science experiments because my kids LOVE to tinker and explore. I also like my “fun things to do with the kids” to be educational and allow deep conversation to brew. Don’t get me wrong, there are times for the cute crafts, but I use them sparingly because there are so many amazing experiments out there with basic ingredients/ materials you have hanging around the house…so why not right!?! I have done some research on Pinterest and various teacher sites and have come up with a fantastic list sure to make your March fun and a HIT with your kids!

I love this “I am Lucky” St. Patrick’s Day craftivity because it helps children reflect on who they are as a person and helps them value what they have around them. So often, our kiddos don’t spend time thinking about what makes them a good person and appreciating the good things in their life. In this activity, students create a four-leaf clover.  On each leaf, students write something that makes them lucky. You could also come at it from the perspective of something they’re thankful for or appreciate.

Skittles Rainbow Experiment

How fun is this Skittles Rainbow science experiment?!? So easy and will surely bring the “Oooh’s” and “Ahhh’s” from your kids or students. Place skittles (in a rainbow pattern) around a slightly sloped plate or bowl, add luke warm water until just the edge of the water touches the skittles, wait about 30 seconds and watch the magic happen!

Exploring Colors with Baking Soda and Vinegar

In this science activity, not only will children get to create a chemical reaction, but they’ll also be able to explore color mixing and create some colorful “artwork”!


Tray to hold the materials

Baking Soda

White Vinegar

Food coloring

Ice cube trays



Place a fair amount of baking soda in the bottom of the tray.

Fill ice cube trays with the primary colors (food coloring) and vinegar

Using a Pipette, place different colored drops in the baking soda. Practice mixing the colors to make secondary colors.

How to make Shamrock Crystals

  • Borax
  • boiling water
  • a wide mouth glass mason jar
  • green and white pipe cleaners
  • string
  • a pencil
  • food coloring.

Instructions for making the crystals

First, twist  your pipe cleaner into the desired shape.  I set out a few templates of shamrocks (printed off the internet) for the kids to look at.

You will need 3 cups of boiling water per mason jar, 1/2 cup of Borax for each jar.  The more saturated your solution is, the larger your crystals will be.  Stir until all the borax is dissolved and the solution is clear, add food coloring if you desire.

Tie a string around the tail of the shamrock and tie the other end to a pencil.   Gently lower the shamrock into the solution making sure that it is not touching any sides or the bottom.  Set the jar in a safe spot that will not be disturbed.  We let ours sit overnight and the kids were amazed to find the pipe cleaners were transformed into crystal-encrusted decorations.  Gently cut off the string and display in your window.

Magic Milk Experiment

Place milk in a shallow dish and add some drops of liquid food coloring.

Now grab a *magic* toothpick.  What?  You don’t know where to buy magic toothpicks??  Just dip the end in dish soap ?

and let your kiddo touch the milk with it.

The colors instantly shoot out at lightning speed creating a wake of rainbows!  Try dipping the toothpick in the color first and then the milk and you’ll make rings.

Do it a few more times and then just sit back and watch.  As the soap disrupts the surface tension of the milk, the colors dance around all by themselves.  Kind of like a funky kaleidoscope.

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How do I effectively Explain Easter to Children?

As my kids get older and are ready to learn more in depth about Jesus, I find myself scrambling to explain and worried that they don’t “get it.” Explaining Christmas is so much easier than Easter right?!? – babies, sheep, angels, stars. It’s pretty much all about love and presents: things your kids can relate to. Sure there’s the nasty part where Herod kills the baby boys, but that’s not an essential part of the story and you can leave it out if you want to.
Easter, on the other hand, is much tougher. You have the joy and celebration of Palm Sunday and the even bigger joy and celebration of Easter one week later. But in between, there is betrayal, denial, torture, pain, and death. How do you explain all this to children?
My first instinct is just to skip it, to go directly from Palm Sunday to Easter without that disturbing stop at the cross. As tempting as this option is, it is not the best choice for my girls. We can’t experience the real joy of Easter without first reflecting on the pain and sadness of Good Friday. If we skip over the cross, our children are going to approach Easter with a “So what’s all the fuss about, anyway?” attitude.
This is not to say that we should run out and rent The Passion for our kids to watch. However, there are many age-appropriate ideas, Easter books, and videos you can use as a starting point for sharing Easter faith with our kiddos. Preview the books and videos first to make sure they
  • Match your beliefs
  • Are not too violent
  • Include Jesus’ resurrection as well as his death
I never want to tell the story of Jesus’ death without also telling about his resurrection.
Here are some other activities I found online that you can use to explain Easter to your children (which I plan on making the resurrection eggs):
Make resurrection eggs
You can buy sets of resurrection eggs or you can make your own. To make your own, label 12 plastic eggs with the numbers 1-12 and fill them as below:
  • Egg 1 – a piece of fur to represent the donkey Jesus rode into Jerusalem
  • Egg 2 – a cracker symbolizing the Last Supper
  • Egg 3 – a piece of soap, symbolizing Jesus washing the disciples’ feet
  • Egg 4 – three dimes to symbolize the 30 pieces of silver Judas received to betray Jesus
  • Egg 5 – a feather to represent the rooster that crowed three times
  • Egg 6 –  a thorn, symbolizing the crown of thorns that was put on Jesus’ head
  • Egg 7 – a die to symbolize the lots that were cast for Jesus’ clothing
  • Egg 8 – a small wooden cross or a nail to represent Jesus’ death on the cross
  • Egg 9 – a piece of black paper to symbolize the darkness that covered the earth
  • Egg 10 – a piece of cloth to symbolize the cloth in which Joseph wrapped Jesus’ body
  • Egg 11 – a rock to symbolize the stone that sealed Jesus’ tomb
  • Egg 12 – Leave this egg empty to symbolize Jesus’ resurrection
You can open one egg a day for the 12 days before Easter or open a couple eggs a week. It is extra meaningful if you can open Egg 12 on Easter. As you open the eggs, talk about what each item represents.
Clean pennies
Your children may have difficulties understanding that Jesus died for their sins. First of all, you may need to explain to them that sin is anything we do that keeps us from being friends with God. Bring out some grimy pennies and tell them the dirt on the pennies represents their sin. Then mix ¼ cup of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Put the pennies in the vinegar mixture for about five minutes. They will come out shiny and clean! Explain that Jesus makes us shiny and clean too.
 Answer questions honestly
Your children will ask you tough questions like “Why did Jesus have to die?” and “Why didn’t God help him?” Answer as best as you can – chances are you ask yourself these same questions sometimes! Admit that you don’t understand it all yourself, but explain as best you can that Jesus died for us because it was God’s plan. Such questions are a sign that your children are growing in faith and wanting to understand for themselves, not just accept what they have been told in Sunday School. Rejoice!
Keep the emphasis on Jesus
Easter morning can easily become more about candy-filled eggs than Jesus’ resurrection. Keep the focus on Jesus, with the Easter Bunny a very secondary character.
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What’s Next?

“What’s next?”

I heard Annora say that throughout Christmas and I was getting a little annoyed.  I kept reminding myself that she is a little one and the excitement has been building for quite a while…just breath mom…

“Stop and enjoy the blessings you have in front of you!” I kept saying. I said it all evening Saturday and all day Sunday. I also reminded her that some kids don’t get any presents at all…to be grateful.

I woke up pretty early yesterday morning and started reflecting on the holiday season, the hustle and bustle of Christmas traffic and then…life in general. You know what I immediately thought…

“What’s next?”

I felt God reminding me to “Stop and enjoy the blessings you have in front of you Mary!” Live in the moment and stop looking so far ahead to “what’s next.”


CHEERS to living for the now! I’m going to go snuggle my little ones and not worry so much about “what’s next!”


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The Elf on the Shelf…Yes or No? (SPOILER ALERT)



I am a sucker for art projects, holiday activities, baking and getting involved in the community for holiday events so when I had kids, it was only “OBVIOUS” that I was going to go all in with them as well…

Right before Annora was born this Elf on the Shelf idea hit the community and BLEW UP! By now you’ve likely all heard about the Elf, but just in case you’ve been in hiding or trapped in a Christmas time warp for the past few years, here’s the gist of it: Sold with a book that tells his story, the Elf sits on a shelf (and on toilets, in freezers, atop batches of freshly baked cookies… but more on that later) and keeps a watchful eye over the inhabitants of the home…AKA your children.

When everyone is alseep he flies home to the North Pole, where he reports back to Santa on whether the kids have been good or bad. Then he zips back to the house in time for everyone to find him precariously perched in some new, wildly entertaining spot the next morning.

Apart from being many families’ new favorite Christmas tradition, the Elf on the Shelf is also a multi-million dollar industry. As the Washington Post notes, “Within seven years of his birth, the Elf has scored his own Web site, Twitter account, $16 million in sales for 2011, an annual growth rate of 149 percent and a movie deal.”

Fun right? A little Christmas joy along with an easy way to keep the children behaving for about a month. What could possibly be wrong with this seemingly harmless practice? We weren’t sure we wanted to build up such a lie to our (at the time) child.

When our first-born came along and was of age for traditions to start, my husband and I needed to make a decision because we weren’t so sure having an elf in our home for 4 weeks a year was sending the right message about Christmas (I know…we are slightly over-protective). We had a list of cons such as:

1.He is naughty. 

For someone who is supposed to be encouraging kids to be good, the Elf seems to spend a lot of time making mischief. He tears apart pillow cases, writes all over bathroom mirrors, he toilet papers the Christmas tree and gets into “laundry fights,” strewing clothes all over the floor. And yet, when the children he’s watching over-step and are out of line, he doesn’t hesitate to write a note letting them know that yes, he did tell Santa about the Sharpie-on-the-leather-couch incident and no, Santa is definitely not impressed.

2. He is manipulative.

Plenty of parents have concerns about the idea of using the threat of Santa’s little tattle-taling helper to coax kids into behaving themselves. It reinforces the message to even very young children that the only reason to be good to each other is to get stuff.

Isn’t that just an extension of the tradition of jolly old St. Nick himself, though? After all, as the song goes, “He knows if you’ve been bad or good…” Like most busy moms out there, I have nothing against a little bit of well-placed bribery. 

Those 2 objections were well talked about in our household and we weren’t sure the Elf would be welcome…but we also discussed the pros to having him around.


How fun would it be to write letters to Santa, have the elf take them at night and come back with a Santa response letter the next day?  

Or…Your elf listens to your wishes that you whisper to him/her and reports them back to Santa for you?

Or…Your child explains the Christmas story to your elf using the nativity scene and you make sure the real meaning of Christmas isn’t lost in translation.

Or…Your elf brings gifts from Santa and places them under the tree throughout the month just because he caught you being an awesome kid?

We decided that the pros outweighed the cons and “Elsa” the elf was born. She doesn’t get into mischief at all. She does, however, move around our house (but just because it is fun to watch the kids try to find her in the morning). Santa writes letters to the girls but every letter talks about the true meaning of Christmas and encourages them to “Go be like Jesus.” Elsa brings the girls gifts (PJ’s for Christmas Eve night and a book about Christmas when she arrives at our house the first time). And lastly…we don’t use our elf, Elsa, to threaten our kids. We reprimand them like we always do and leave the elf out of it…she is there to report good things to Santa.

santa-letter-4 santa-letter