The only Christmas decoration I have left this year is our Christmas stockings. There is nothing like starting over to make you reevaluate what you've done in Christmases past and look to Christmases in the future to get you all excited about starting new family traditions for Christmas present. Enter Buddy stage left.Buddy is our elf on the shelf. He gets hidden each night in December leading up to Christmas. Then each morning the kids get to find him and Buddy hangs out on a shelf all day reporting to Santa if the kids have been noddy or nice.
There is a whole website dedicated to Elf on the Shelf where you can play Christmas games with your kids, fly through the North Pole, and even resister your elf with Santa. You can print up an adoption certificate for your elf to welcome him/her into the family and Santa can send a letter to your printer for the kids. It's really amazing.
I looked all over for a cute elf to buy, but the only ones I found looked like Gremlins. At Robert's I picked up an 8 inch artist's manikin for $5 (40% off coupon) and the red, white, and lime green paint. The hat and shorts are cut out of an old green sock and then hand stitched. The red buttons and brown ribbon suspenders where glued on. And finally I drew the face on with a permanent marker after a few practice runs on paper. I wanted to leave him faceless, but then Coy pointed out that if Buddy didn't have eyes he couldn't see what they were doing and if he didn't have a mouth he couldn't report to Santa. Good point. I then cut off the tips of two shish kabob skewers and glued them on for ears just to make sure Buddy could ear too.