10 Ways To Make Christmas ‘Magic’ Without Stupid Elf On The Shelf

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It is no secret that I am not a fan of Elf on the Shelf and one of the biggest reasons it grates on my nerves is that it seems to be a symbol of the high expectations our kids now have. So many parents who use the Elf say they do it because, Christmas magic. Do you guys all remember being a kid at Christmas? There were so many simple thrills and kids now still enjoy them. Licking the spoon while they help bake cookies, decorating the tree, helping wrap presents. To me, the holidays are inherently magical for children and don’t really need a lot of theatrics and embellishing. There are so many little (and cheap/free) things a parent can do for their kids to make Christmas “magic” without that god-forsaken Elf:

1. Hot Cocoa Parties All Day, Errryday 


I don’t know why, but my children go ape-shit for hot cocoa. I bought hot cocoa K-cups so it’s easy as can be and they think it is basically the bee’s knees. Like, The Polar Express convinced them or something.

2. Let The Kids Decorate

tree decorating

Yes, I know- this can be beyond stressful. However, my very best memories of Christmas as a kid most definitely involve helping my parents decorate the tree. If you don’t want them touching your ornaments (and I do not blame you) let them make their own or cut a paper chain.

3. Make A $6 Craft Store Gingerbread House

gingerbread house

This was a huge win for me as a parent. It was hella cheap, occupied my kids for over an hour, it was super easy and a few days later, I got to eat gingerbread roof coated in frosting and candy. I think I may buy another one this weekend.

4. Let The Kids Help Bake Cookies

snow white baking

This was the pinnacle of the holiday season for me as a kid. I am not too into baking now but I always make at least a batch or two so the kids can help. They love setting out cookies for Santa that they baked themselves so that’s about as adorable as it gets.

5. Go For A Stroll To See The Lights

vacation house

This is obviously free and kids dig it- mine go crazy for Christmas lights. Hell, they even like the neon sign at Subway. Kids are so easy, I cannot emphasize this enough.

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