So you’ve got some printable gift ideas (You’ve made your list but have you checked it twice?) but how do you decide who should be on the naughty or the nice list?  Have you heard of the Elf on the Shelf?  A growing tradition, it stems from a book published in 2005 that comes with a toy elf.  The story describes how Santa’s “scout elves” hide in people’s homes to watch over events, flying back to the North Pole overnight to report the good and bad.  Each morning the scout elf flies back to hide in a new spot around the house.  Many families don’t just use the elf to remind their children that Father Christmas compiles his own lists too but have expanded the tradition to encompass the elf’s own mischievous antics…

IMG_2179.JPGAmy at Living Locurto welcomed their elf Peter early this year so he could hang out with her in her studio and give her a preview of what he’ll be doing at their house this year.  And if yours hasn’t arrived yet then he can bring the Elf Printable Arrival Letter with him that Peter has penned to share with you that encourages children to donate some of their toys in the spirit of the season for giving and helping others (and it’s probably not a bad idea to clear a bit of space in the toy box before they experience the receiving side of the festivities on the day itself too).

IMG_2145.JPGIn previous years Peter has done some wacky things – “He really enjoys taking marshmallow baths and is always up to something silly!”  Amy asked her Facebook fans to share their Elf on the Shelf photos too and compiled a Free Printables Elf on the Shelf Posing Guide e-book for families looking for pose inspiration.

ElfSuperBusyMumSuper Busy Mum’s Debs would’ve “loved to have had loads of fun little print outs of everything from sweet little “Be good” messages and “Welcome to your North Pole Breakfast signs” and more” at her disposal when they started their own Elf on a Shelf tradition so she made up for her initial lack of resources by designing some for her readers to use in future years.  Her Free Elf on a Shelf Printables include the signs I’m back, I’m here, North Pole Breakfast, Behavior report, Santa warning, Elf Mail, Nice List, I’ve hidden 10 coins…, Santa Treat!, Elf Note and Elf School.

IMG_2143.JPGThe elf named Kyle that visits the house of Cheryl from Moms & Munchkins  doesn’t arrive until one week before Christmas because she guesses “he already knows that we’re pretty well behaved”.  She’s sure that he’ll start arriving earlier as her “son starts to get older and can enjoy the crazy elf antics a little more” and has been preparing by searching out some printable ideas they’ll be trying soon.  Her Free Elf on the Shelf Printables list includes official naughty and nice list notices from Krista Conway, a magic elf dust sign from Sweet C’s Design and a goodbye note from Juneberry Lane.

IMG_2146.JPGCrystal, a Dallas mom blogger to five boys who writes at Crystal & Co., has also been searching the internet to compile a list of 26 Elf on the Shelf printables finding “anything from games to play with those little ones to a fun elf size photo booth!”  “These printables are fun and bright and sure to make those kiddos of your love that little elf even more. I just love the fun our little elf brings out in me to. I wish I had one of these little guys when I was younger.”  Her list includes a recovery kit from Over the Big Moon, her own lunchbox notes, Hoosier Homemade’s banner and cupcake toppers and a magic elf key tag from East Coast Mommy.

IMG_2144.JPGAshley at Frugal Coupon Living provides FREE Elf on The Shelf Printable Notes for elf antic scenarios including “marshmallows are meant for so much more, snowball fights and fun on the kitchen floor”, “yummy cookies will make you drool, I mastered baking while you were at school” and “the laundry pile so tidy and neat was calling my name, mision complete” as well as a blank card to add your own rhymes to.

ElfMagicPuddingDesign Dazzle’s Toni details a recipe for Magic Elf Pudding + Free Printable on her blog.  “Why is the pudding magic? Because the pudding starts out white and turns green when you add milk.”

Not everyone is an Elf on the Shelf fan though as Not Your Average Mom’s Susie puts quite vehemently in her blog post It’s the most, annoying tiiiiiiiiiimmme, of the year but if you share her sentiments or those of other parents who don’t want to bring a “spy elf” into their home then take a look at Jackie’s list of 7 Cute Alternatives to the Elf on the Shelf she compiled from around the web for her blog Happy Hooligans.

Do you love finding printables on the internet?  Do you have particular favourites?  Or have you featured some on your own blog?  Email karen.malpass @ with your links and we may be able to feature them in a future post.

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