It’s that wonderful time of the year again. Santa Claus is coming to town and our family is itching to start decorating the house and the tree. As a parent, I love looking for new traditions or memories to start with my family. I’m finding there are so many of them! Today though, I wanted to share just a few of our family’s favorite Santa Claus rituals with your family:
The Elf on the Shelf
Thanksgiving ends, and our elf arrives. That’s right, Santa’s helper. Our elf sits on the shelf, or TV, or wherever he chooses to land that day and watches over our children. Making sure they are not fighting, are doing their chores, or completing their homework. Then each night he flys back to the North Pole and Santa and gives him a full detailed report of how they have been that day. The next day the children wake up and have to find where their elf is sitting to watch them that day.
Hallmark actually makes obtaining your own family elf a rather easy task. Each gift comes with an elf that your family gets to name and a storybook about the elf. It also answers a lot of questions about what you can tell the elf, what the elf is watching for each day, and where the elf goes at night.
The Elf on the Shelf has been a wonderful addition to our family. Not only do the kids get along, but they get a long great! And if they start to fight, give me a dirty look when I tell them to finish their chores, or fail to complete their homework, all I have to tell them is that “the elf is watching” and suddenly good behavior becomes top priority again!
The elf and storybook run $24.95-29.95 and are available on line at the link above or at any Hallmark Gold Crown store. It is a seasonal item, and is not available year round in store.
Santa Around the World
My little girl loves to see how people celebrate Christmas around the world, and this website has quickly become one of her favorites. You can see how Santa celebrates Christmas in various countries. For some countries, Santa fills shoes with presents instead of stockings. For others, Christmas is as early as December 5th!!
When we were given a pickle by our friends one year as a Christmas gift, we had no idea what the story was about or what the meaning behind it was. We were able to find the meaning of it and other holiday traditions by using this website. Mid to late aged elementary aged kids will get more out of the website than younger children as they are learning about Christmas in other countries for school.
Nordic Santa Tracker
This has become the official website of all of our children and their family members on Christmas Eve. And it has now become the most popular Santa tracking system for children around the world. Simply go to the website starting December 1st and you can officially join Santa on his track around the world. You can see which state he is in, and how close he is getting to your home on Christmas Eve.
Santa’s Sleigh Bells
When I married my husband, his family had a new tradition that I had never heard of. On Christmas Eve, when you hear Santa’s sleigh bells, it is Santa’s warning that he is close and that all little children must go to bed if they are to get presents from Santa. The secret is: someone is outside in the backyard or front yard ringing a string of bells. For those children becoming “non believers” have a neighbor or neighbor friend come by and ring the bells so everyone can hear and non believers can see that everyone is still in the room. Usually there is so much mass chaos with little children pushing each other over to get into bed that the non believer can’t really see who is in the room or has left the room anyway.
Hopefully one of our family Santa Claus rituals will inspire you to start a new Christmas tradition in your home this year.