My Favorite New Tradition: Elf on a Shelf

I love the Elf on the Shelf that my sister gave me this year. It is a cute little book and this comes with an elf that you name as a family.

This little “elf” appears in the house around thanksgiving and “flies” to the North Pole to tell Santa what he's observed in that room that day. Then the next morning he “flies” somewhere else to observe.

So far, he's been in the den, each child's room, the car, the kitchen and the hall. On Christmas day he “disappears” until next year.

Each morning, my kids wake up eager to find the shelf elf! It has been hilarious.

As I'm sitting here blogging, my daughter just got up and said “Where's Mombu” today. That is the short name for our shelf elf.

The long name?

“Mombu Dogface in the Banana Patch” … it is sort of a long story but let's say this… we have two girls and three guys in our family and when it came to voting… my daughter and I lost. (Although our name (Rhee Ree) wasn't much better… and is another long story.)

It is these “private jokes” and fun family traditions that knit us together and make our home life a great one. We have tough times but we go through them together.

I think this is a great thing to do in a classroom in December. This is a time of year when kids are a little tired and it helps to have something like this.

What are your new traditions for your holidays?

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Angeles Berman December 1, 2007 - 8:35 pm

This is soooo cute!!! I love the little elf and the idea of magic in the air for the kids. It’s wonderful!!!
This year my daughter Ativka just come back from Brazil for Christmas. She was there as part of The Rotary Youth Exchange Program and she is going to cook some “brigadeiros” (chocolate and milk dessert).
We had a Polish girl (Aleksandra )and a Brazilian boy (Eduardo)at home last year and this one we will have some large photos of them in our dining room just to remember how happy we were together and to tell them we are still a family :-)
ven though they are in their countries now.
Best wishes in this season and thanks for sharing your ideas with us. :-)

Karyn Romeis December 3, 2007 - 9:45 am

We don’t really have traditions, much. My family’s traditions and those of my husband’s family were so different that, when we started our own family, we realised we were going to have to build up our own from scratch.

Because it was particularly important to my husband, we hold our celebration on Christmas eve, but that’s about the only tradition we have held onto. The rest is quite minimalist.

Instead of a tree we have a manger scene and our gifts get placed around that. We don’t go in for Santas and robins. Our house isn’t ablaze with lights.

We keep a batch of mulled wine topped up, which we drink with gingerbread biscuits.

Because we don’t enjoy turkey much(and there are only four of us – too few for a turkey), we have something like roast beef, with Yorkshire pudding, roast beetroot, butternut, parsnips and potatoes.

We don’t much like Christmas pudding either, so we have a dessert of our own choosing – it differs from year to year. Usually it’s my own fruit cocktail dessert.

One tradition we have kept from my side of the family is that one of the children gets to decorate the table. Since my “children” are now well into their teens, I suspect that it is becoming a chore, though, which is sad.

I confess that I find Christmas a difficult time of the year since we moved to the UK and are no longer surrounded by vast numbers of family and friends.

Trends in Global Communication Conference December 3, 2007 - 11:37 pm

I was an exchange student in Holland. When my children was born, my “Dutch Family” sent each child a pair of decorative wooden shoes. In Holland, on St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 7 I think), children put their shoes out for St. Nick to fill with candy and what not. My children put their wooden shoes outside their door at night for Santa.

Christmas eve we have spaghetti with shrimp sauce (from my husband’s side Italian side of the family-his grandparents were from Italy) after we return from Christmas Eve mass. We then watch a local program with the NY state youth choir and orchestra, drinking hot chocolate or egg-nog.

Anna B. December 6, 2007 - 12:47 am

This is the second year our elf “Jingle Bells” has visited. It really is a wonderful tradition that you will enjoy for many years.

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