DAY THREE – Wrap Gifts and Start Baking
On the third day of Elf Week, my mommy gave to me….
Wrapping paper, tape, tags and bows, so we could make
packages pretty for under the Christmas tree.
Let’s take stock of what we’ve accomplished on days one and two:
Day One: we got the family newsletter and Christmas cards all assembled.
Day Two: you made a Christmas list and budget, and you dropped off the Christmas cards at the Post Office on your way to shop for presents.
Day Three is for wrapping the gifts you purchased yesterday, and for starting your holiday baking.
I have two words to describe wrapping gifts, especially if you are a mom of little Elves:
Using gift bags will bring peace to your home. You’ll avoid the aggravation and tears of teaching paper gift wrapping by letting your Elves wrap gifts cute bags. Add some tissue, a tag, and a little curling ribbon to the handle, and you’ve got a very nice wrapping job. The best part of using gift bags is that no one cries when wrapping a gift. Every Elf can put an item into a gift bag and stuff in some tissue to hide the contents. Adding curling ribbon or yarn to the bag handle is the perfect way to let younger kids practice tying.
Walmart and your dollar store will likely have very inexpensive gift bags and ribbon. Costco is a great place to purchase a huge bolt of white tissue paper. Substitute newsprint, printed paper towels, or fabric for the tissue paper to create a unique look.
Decorate your bag handles with several strands of different colors of curling ribbon, grosgrain ribbon, twine, or thin scrap fabric strips to add inexpensive visual interest. Colored yarn is also a great option. If you prefer, get a bag of traditional, self-adhesive bows at the dollar store, Walmart, or other discount store, and let kids stick on 1, 2, or 3 bows on he front of the bag. Self-stick bows are easy to manage, and they make a colorful statement.
Gift tag names can be printed by all Elves. Have extra tags on hand in case of printing errors. Help the Elves by writing down a list of names so they can copy the names onto the tags. Self-adhesive tags work best, and are easiest for Elves to handle. If you’re a crafty sort, you can make your own tags by cutting rectangles and ovals from last year’s Christmas cards, or use file folders. Keep it simple by taping the tag into the gift bag. If you prefer, punch a hole on the side or the corner of the tag so you can put ribbon, yarn or string through it, then tie it on the handle of your gift bag.
Remember to take time to help small Elf hands with the tape dispenser and the scissors. We don’t want any accidents in the Elf Workshop! And we don’t want tears, either. After you’ve completed the gift wrapping, take a break and have a snack. While everyone’s resting a bit, take your baking ingredients out of the fridge, and clear the counter top. Get out your recipe cards, mixer, cookie sheets and utensils.
Today, you will mix up several batches of dough to keep for Day Four, and dough for easy drop or bar cookies you can bake today. Gather your Elves in the kitchen, and assign each one a task: measuring, mixing, dropping cookie dough onto cookie sheets, pressing bar cookie dough into pans, setting the oven temperature, and setting the oven timer.
Depending on the number of children and their interest level, you may only choose to make two or three batches of drop or bar cookies. That’s great! Better to make a small amount than none at all.
After the baking is done for today, clean up, and rest before dinner. Fix a simple supper of grilled cheese and tomato soup, or make pancakes and scrambled eggs. After dinner, give each Elf a sandwich size zipper bag, and let each one fill it with 4-6 cookies. Fix hot chocolate, cider, or tea for each Elf, pile the warm blankets in the car, and head out to look at Christmas lights or a living nativity scene.
If you’d rather stay in, go ahead and let the Elves fix their own cookie bags and hot drinks, gather the blankets in the family room, and watch a great classic movie with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman called ‘The Bells of St. Mary’s’. You’ll love it.
Tomorrow is Day Four of Elf Week, and you’ll finish your baking. Get a good night’s rest, and get ready to have more Elf Week joy tomorrow with your Elves.
See the entire five days of Elf Week schedule.