Good morning! How’s everyone doing out there? Icky bugs seem to be wreaking havoc across the country (certainly in my home and in the East family’s home). If you’re going through it, we’re sending positive thoughts. Happy to share our detailed and very thoroughly researched sick day Netflix queue too!
To keep things merry and bright? We’ve got plenty of fun holiday reads heading your way—starting today.
On tap this fine Friday: Answering your questions about Elf on the Shelf and baby’s first birthday. Don’t forget, you can submit a question for the newsletter here!
Our answer: I appreciate this sentiment so much. Before Sparkle, our family’s sneaky little Elf on the Shelf, made her debut last year, I told everyone I would never participate in this new-fangled tradition...but here I am.
- Quick backstory: The Elf on the Shelf phenomenon began in 2005 when SAHM Carol Aebersold published a book called The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition with a companion elf figurine to encourage children to behave throughout the month of December.
- By 2020, an estimated 36% of families with young children were participating with their own elves and shelves.
But is it for you? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
The pro: It’s a fun way for kids to engage with the excitement of the season, complete daily scavenger hunts, do acts of kindness, help around the house, and partake in other Santa-approved activities. This morning, our elf “appeared” in my daughter’s room and I woke up to the sound of her reading to Sparkle. It doesn’t get better than that.
The con: It’s another thing for parents to remember during an already busy time of year. Anyone participating knows that moment of panic—“Oh my gosh, did I move the elf?!”
The final word? Do what feels right for your household. Like any holiday tradition, Elf on the Shelf can be as complex or as simple as you want. Give it a try and you might be surprised how fun it is! And if engineering a cheery, made-up persona for a small figurine isn’t your speed, no sweat. Dad/the cat/grandma is allergic to elves! Sorry, honey!
Our answer: Happy birthday to your little one! Turning one is such a big milestone for babies and parents. Let’s celebrate with some first birthday gift and experience ideas.
- A great place to start? The East family’s very own toy shop, Teddy & Bear (yes, I’m picturing Shawn and Andrew with elf hats on). Click here for some gifts perfect for your new one-year-old.
- You may have a crawler, scooter, climber, or blossoming walker on your hands! Gifts that support your child’s newfound interest in and discovery of movin’ and groovin’ are the best—like this shape sorting grocery cart from Melissa and Doug or anything from this list of Montessori-inspired movement options.
- When you’re one, it’s all about getting those chubby little hands on new things. Layer up on textures—from soft Naomi the Squishmallow narwhal to Infantino sensory blocks—or really any developmentally appropriate gifts for almost-toddlers (here’s an impressive list).
- Not looking to add to the toy bin? Sometimes the most fun comes from an empty box or laundry basket! You could also venture out to your local aquarium, indoor playground, or even the good old grocery store. So much to do and see!
Submit a question to be featured in a future Q&A here.
Have these Christian millennials fixed the news?
It’s called The Pour Over, and it has two goals:
1. Keep its readers informed about world events
2. Keep its readers focused on Christ
That means providing politically neutral coverage of events and pairing it with brief Biblical reminders.
A Momager Christmas. Kris Jenner, the self-proclaimed Queen of Christmas (we’re fact-checking that with Mariah Carey’s team as we speak), recently displayed an impressive collection of Elf on the Shelf dolls for each one of her gazillion grandkids. That’s a lot of elves.
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All you need is baby feet. A sneak peek of Patrick and Brittany Mahomes’ second baby, Patrick “Bronze” Lavon Mahomes III, got us thinking about baby announcements. Did you do one? Was it a social media occasion or an old-school snail mail postcard? Why are baby toes the best thing ever?
Congrats are in order! Speaking of baby toes, a heartfelt high five to our FamilyMade buddies, Jaclyn and Seth, who recently shared they’re expecting a new addition to the family! The best news!
If you have a small (or large) victory, tip, or trick, hit reply and share! I’d love to hear from you.
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You are the key component. Holidays, birthdays, weekends like this one—remember that what your family wants most is time with you. There is no magical elf or toy store purchase that can compete with that. We think you’re pretty cool, too. 🥰 See you next week!