Say hello (again) to The Elf on the Shelf, Santa’s skinny sidekick who keeps our kids in check. We all start with good intentions. But then the darn elf forgets to move. Fret not, we’ve got you covered:
Elf Hack # 1 Ask your elf to set a nightly, recurring iPhone alert to go off after your kids are in bed. (Just don’t call it something obvs like “elf!”) The “Harp” ringtone is particularly magical.
Elf Hack #2 Have him snap an “elfie selfie.” If he forgets to move, scroll through your pics and say, “He fooled us! He stole my phone and took a selfie. What a trickster!”
Elf Hack #3Is your elf out of places to sit? Suggest she follow @ElfOnTheShelf on Twitter for location inspiration sourced from hardworking mamas.
Elf Hack #4Blame the dog/cat/gerbil/fly that MUST have touched your elf accidentally, causing him to temporarily lose
his magic. Build him a protective covering made of candy canes and washi tape (who’s Pinterest-y now?) and refer to tip #1.
Or just place your elf … on the shelf. After all, she’s not “Elf in a Hot-Air Balloon.” Keep it simple: The easiest hunt is magic enough.
…and with family and friends, of course! Canon’s new, interactive Facebook app, North Pole PIXMA, lets children write letters and electronically draw pictures to send to Santa’s workshop (and to your Canon printer using Cloud Technology) through December 24th. Once your child sends her creation to Santa through the app, she’ll be shown a video of the crew, including Santa, Ms. Claus, the workshop elves and Abominable Snowman, receiving her wish list at the North Pole. There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit. Plus, you can save the printed copy as a keepsake or share the list with all your little one’s prospective gift givers this year.
In the past week, my 6-year-old has lost 4 teeth. She has trouble eating, and I just can’t help snapping a million pictures of her toothless smile and video taping her talk. I asked her what her classmates think of her new smile and she said “No one in my clath hath teeth.” The poor thing. 1st grade is rough.
The other night, I reached under her pillow to swap a tooth for a dollar and I found a note written on an index card that read: “This stuff is for you the tooth fairy. I love you. Love, Leli.” And, as if it couldn’t get any cuter, she drew an arrow at the bottom and wrote “Write back.” Her tooth was sitting in the middle of a bracelet with a toy flower, a button, and a bead. I melted. I took all of the gifts and wrote on the back of the card in swirly letters, “Thank you, Leli. You are so special and I love you.”
It seemed like the only thing to do, but when she woke up in the morning, ecstatic and dreamy eyed, I felt pretty guilty. She said, “If I knew what size the tooth fairy wore, I’d make her the prettiest little dress,” and I thought, What am I going to do when she finds out the truth?
What am I really doing when I forge a letter from the Tooth Fairy, or wrap the presents from Santa in different wrapping paper? Am I making her childhood magical, or am I setting her up for heartbreak?
I remember when I was in 2nd grade and my teacher told a boy in my class to stop telling the truth about Santa, because some kids still believe. I went home to my parents and said, “I don’t know why my teacher made it seem like he’s not real.” That’s when they broke the news, and that’s the first time I experienced the feeling of betrayal.
Not to get all dramatic, but 7-year-old me couldn’t believe that my parents (who I thought loved me) would lie to my face and make me look like an idiot. That’s really how I felt. So why am I doing this to my child?
Honestly, part of it is because I want to make the most of her innocence before it’s gone. I can be Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Mama, and best friend, until she’s around 12 when I’ll become Mom, and my only super power will be the ability to suppress and annoy her. But another part of it is that losing your teeth without the Tooth Fairy would be the pits. And wrapping gifts at midnight while she sleeps without the cookies for Santa would be unfair (whoops, that’s me again).
I’ve come to terms with the fact that one day, she’ll peek behind the curtain and find me — the master manipulator; but I’m determined to rack up as many smiles as I can before that day comes. Hopefully love will magically make her forgive me.
This morning’s Today Show coverage of Manti Te’o's imaginary girlfriend came with an unwelcome extra—an outing of Santa Claus, thanks to an ill-chosen tweet that was highlighted during the piece. The tweet, which appears halfway through the 3-minute segment (along with a voiceover that reads it aloud), says, “You think Manti Te’o's sad now? Just wait until he finds out about Santa Claus…” You can check it out here:
A friend of mine ended up driving her son to school crying, while she tried to explain it away. I imagine that she’s not the only one trying to contact the Today Show today to say, “What gives?” And I’m pretty sure that the segment producer is in hot water, especially as there were probably plenty of other clever tweets about the Manti Te’o situation that didn’t involve destroying a child’s belief in Santa.
It’s not the first time in the past few months when a morning news show has angered parents over their lack of a spoiler alert—parents were ready to come after Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer with pitchforks after she explained during the morning show that parents move the Elf on the Shelf at night, while touching the Elf (a no-no as any Elf-on-the-Shelf owner knows).
It’s a tricky situation. Morning news programs are supposed to be all about news—the truth about what’s happening in the world. But these programs are often on when kids are around as they get ready for school. And it means that newscasters on these shows should maybe be a little more careful about sharing the truth about the magical creatures that are still real to a significant portion of their viewership.
Did you catch the snafu this morning on the Today Show? And are you planning a TV blackout around Easter Bunny season?
Getting any kind of letter in the mail is exciting for a child, but imagine how thrilled your little one would be to open the mailbox and find a note from Santa! Through the U.S. Postal Service’s “Letters from Santa” program, your child can receive a personalized letter from jolly old Saint Nick postmarked from the North Pole.
Here’s how it works:
Write a letter from Santa to your child (make sure to sign it “From, Santa”)
Place the finished letter into an envelope addressed to your child with a North Pole return address. Include a First-Class stamp.
Insert that envelope into a larger envelope, with the correct postage, and send it to:
North Pole Postmark Postmaster 4141 Postmark Drive Anchorage, AK 99530-9998
Mail your letter out by December 10, 2012 and Santa’s helpers will have it delivered in time for Christmas!
Image: Portrait of Santa Claus answering Christmas letter (via Shutterstock)
Wal-Mart Pulls Formula After Baby’s Death
Wal-Mart has pulled a batch of powdered infant formula from more than 3,000 of its stores nationwide after a Missouri newborn who was given the formula became gravely ill with a suspected bacterial infection and died after being taken off life support, the retailer said Wednesday.
NORAD Santa Trackers Stand By for Another Big Day
Santa already is piling up big numbers on social networking sites this season, so the volunteer Santa-trackers at NORAD are bracing for tens of thousands of calls and emails when their operations center goes live on Christmas Eve.
Woman Seeking Food Stamps Shoots Her Children
A woman who for months was unable to qualify for food stamps pulled a gun in a state welfare office on Monday and staged a seven-hour standoff with the police that ended with her shooting her two children before killing herself, officials said.
Sugar Is on the Menu for Kids’ Breakfast
Only one in four children’s cereals meets government guidelines for limits on sugar, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group, a consumer advocacy organization.
Steroids May Boost Survival for Very Preemie Babies
Giving steroids to pregnant women at risk for preterm birth as early as 23 weeks during their pregnancy may boost an infant’s overall chance of survival and reduce the baby’s risk of serious developmental issues, including brain injury, a new study says.
Students Gripe About School’s 5-Strikes Grammar Policy
Summit Christian Academy in Missouri has released a new policy, effective in January, stating that students will have to rewrite their papers if they have more than five grammatical errors. On the rewrite, however, they won’t be able to get anything higher than 75%.
…from Santa! The perfect surprise for any kid who’s written more letters to jolly ol’ St. Nick than he’s received, the Santa Postcard App for iPhone and Android allows you to send your child a real postcard from the “North Pole.” Choose between five Santa Claus photos, add a customizable message and within a few days your child will find a merry message in the mailbox. With each postcard being only $1.99, you can send some Santa mail to everyone on your nice list!