Today is the day to finish your baking, and to decorate the house. If you’re not in the mood to bake more cookies, consider baking coffee cakes or mini loaves and wrapping them in Christmas plastic wrap, and tying some curling ribbon around the cakes. You can purchase some inexpensive foil pans with lids to bake your cakes in. Several manufacturers sell foil pans that are already decorated with a Christmas design.
To speed the baking process, and make it more enjoyable for Elves and moms alike, purchase gingerbread and coffee cake mixes. We have a chain near us called Trader Joe’s, and their gingerbread mix is outstanding, and very reasonably priced at $2.50 per box. Each box will yield two nice sized gift loaves of ginerbread. Another good mix is Krusteaz Cinnamon Swirl Crumb Cake and Muffin Mix.
The key is to keep things simple so that there is joy and peace in the Elf Workshop.
Is the tree up yet? Let the older Elves get the tree down from the attic and put it together. Ask them to get the ornament boxes down as well. If you have little Elves, and you’re fretting about them breaking special ornaments, leave those ornaments in the attic this year. Why not just have lights and homemade ornaments on the tree this year?
Christmas should be fun, not full of stress. Let it go. It’s okay not to put out every ornament every year.
Do you purchase a special ornament for each child at Christmas? Now might be a good time to give them their ornaments to hang on the tree. At my house, I wrapped each child’s ornament, and it became the first present of Christmas. My Elves really enjoyed this tradition.
Get some of your Elves busy making paper chains with red and green construction paper. Let the Elves fasten the chain links together with tape or a stapler to minimize the mess. Chains can serve as the tree garland, or they can be hung around the house.
Another easy Christmas house decor craft idea is to make paper plate wreaths. Start with very inexpensive, light weight paper plates. Elves will need to cut out the smooth center of the plate, leaving just the ridged outer edge intact. Next, let them color the outer ring green (or any other color they want), decorate it with glitter glue, and attach die cut stars, or other shapes to it. You can make your own die cuts by tracing around cookie cutters, then cutting out the shapes. Use some yarn or ribbon to make a wreath bow. Punch holes in the wreath and thread yarn or ribbon through to make a hanger. Let the Elves decorate the house with their creations. Wouldn’t it be cute to have a paper wreath on every bedroom door?
Elves can make simple photo ornaments by cutting out circles from file folders, and decorating them with stickers, glitter, and markers. Here’s a fun preschool version of a colored pompom ornament glued onto the cardboard ornament. Use a drinking glass or cookie cutter to trace circles on the file folders. If you’re like me, you have lots of digital photos on your hard drive that should be shared with family and friends. Print several pictures using your home printer, then let your Elves cut out the photos and attach them to the file folder ornaments. Decorate the back side of the ornament and write the year on it. Punch a hole at the top of the ornament, and thread some yarn through to make a hanger. After making these, you may want to keep all of them! Have the Elves hang their ornaments on your tree so they can be reminded of the fun they’ve had during the year.
If you have older Elves who enjoy making the photo ornaments, a large number of them can be taped all around the edges of a guest bathroom mirror to create a cute display. Guests and family alike will enjoy looking at the family photos while washing their hands! You can also tape the ornaments to a window, or on a child’s bedroom door or door frame for a dramatic display. Your Elves will love this idea, and will have a lot of fun hanging their ornaments up in their bathroom or on their door.
After dinner tonight, cuddle up together to watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ or our family’s Christmas favorite, ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’.
See you tomorrow for our fifth and final day of Elf Week. Have fun!
Check out the full Elf Week schedule.