This year we started a new tradition that adds to
our advent calendar. This is our new elf Gilligan (the kids are supposed to name him) and he hangs
around the house every day to spy on the kids for Santa. Then he magically flys back to the North Pole each night to report whether they've been good or bad and then comes back and hides in a new spot.
I found this at Hallmark and was intrigued (after hearing about some of my friends doing something like this last year) for a few reasons. 1st -- it's fun. 2nd-- it's perfect for blackmailing your kids.
Gilligan came with a story book explaining that the kids need to be good in order for him to return to Santa and get their treat (I added the treat part since that's what I usually do every December with our advent calendar) which they find with Gilligan each morning. We've gotten creative with where to set him (it has to be a high spot so the kids don't touch him and make him lose his magic) and they have a great time finding him every morning. (At least they sound like they're having fun. It's hard to tell at 6:30 am when I'm trying to drown them out.)
Can you find him?
So far he's worked brilliantly. When the kids are driving me crazy all I have to say is, "Gilligan's watching."
That's what Thanksgiving was full of this year. Several of Jason's cousins we hadn't seen in awhile traveled this way and with their kids and we ended up with a lot of little boys around the same age. They ended up having a pee-wee turkey bowl of their own! (Sorry the images are blurred--I didn't have my camera so I used my phone. I actually like the effect.)
Ok, so mostly they liked to jump on top of each other and wrestle. The older boys understood the concept of football a little better than the smaller ones. (Like McKay, who waited until there was a dogpile and then jumped on top.)
Here's most of the group. (The ones we got to hold still for a few seconds.)