Inviting an elf to stay in an elf house!

Tomorrow is the first of December, which, amongst other things, means that a lot of elves will be popping up around the world.

I know my children are hopeful Tinkles will be back to stay with us, and are already wondering where they will find her in the morning.

Inviting Alfo the Elf

In honour of all those children hoping and waiting for the elves to arrive, I wanted to share a story I came across during the week.

Steph and family had Alfo the Elf stay with them last Christmas, so Steph’s son very politely wrote him a letter earlier this month to invite Alfo to come and stay again this year. That in itself is lovely and I applaud Steph and her son for writing to Alfo!

Alfo the Elf in front of his caravan

Alfo the Elf – he could be Tinkles’s twin as they look so alike!

But Alfo is also very polite and he replied in his own letter. Alfo said he would love to come back and stay with the family, and asked if they could build him a house so he has somewhere safe to stay.

I just love this idea, and love the elf house that Steph’s son* came up with:

elf house and Christmas tree

I’m sure Alfo will be very impressed with his new house! Merry Christmas to Alfo, Steph and family 🙂


* With a little help from Mummy…

A chocolate Christmas igloo!

What on Earth is a chocolate igloo, let alone a Christmas chocolate igloo, you may well ask!

Obviously, it is an igloo made out of chocolate, and decorated for Christmas!

two views of a chocolate igloo

Making an igloo from chocolate…

So a friend came across a Cadbury competition where you needed to create a Christmas house from chocolate. As lovers of both Christmas and chocolate, we couldn’t resist and set a time to create our chocolate house.

As we sat there with our mounds of chocolate (four 350g blocks and a 250g block of chocolate, plus some white chocolate melts and lollies), we had the idea of making an igloo from individual pieces of chocolate instead of just sticking together big blocks. Let’s face it, Santa lives at the North Pole so a Christmas igloo seems reasonable – and slabs of gingerbread to make a house is one thing, but a gingerbread igloo wasn’t going to happen!

Of course, making an igloo took more than the 40 minutes estimated for a Cadbury Christmas house!

We broke blocks of chocolate into pieces then formed the igloo using more chocolate as the mortar. It was our first time building an igloo so we made the first rows a bit too upright (ie we should have started the inwards slant sooner) but it worked out in the end.

We went with a flat roof as we weren’t sure we had enough chocolate left nor confident of our engineering skills to get it to curve the whole way in 🙂 But the flat rood made adding a chimney easier!

Adding decorations was easier – melted white chocolate for snow, cut up snakes to make a wreath, sour straps to make garlands of tinsel, cut up jelly lollies to make lights and some milk bottles to be the penguins at the door. And we mustn’t forget Freddo was inside the chocolate igloo (who else could live inside a chocolate building?)

Why a frog in an igloo?

Ok, there aren’t a lot of frogs roaming around the North Pole waiting for Santa to drop in, but Freddo is made of chocolate and seemed the right resident for the house!

Freddo Frog sindie a chocolate igloo decorated for Christmas

Seeing Freddo inside the igloo, my eight year old decided there was a story behind the frog. She wrote a lovely story about a little frog who ended up at the North Pole and built himself an igloo to live in.

It was also my daughter who thought of the penguins – I was thinking of milk bottles at the front door to suit the old milk deliveries but she saw them as penguins which was a much better idea! A little black icing to make eyes, and Freddo had some company!

Alternative Christmas houses

So, that is our Christmas chocolate igloo – what do you think? It won;t win any architect awards, but I think it is fun and a very good first igloo building attempt! Maybe you can try making a chocolate Christmas igloo – if you do, we’d love to see photos!

What other alternative Christmas houses have you seen or created?

chocolate igloo in a snow storm!

Freddo stuck in his chocolate Christmas igloo in a snow storm!

Christmas preparation traditions…

I don’t know if you’d call it a Christmas tradition really but every November I spend the third weekend preparing for Christmas – that’s this weekend for 2011.

I don’t do other things that weekend and get the kids out of the house as much as possible (my parents take them on the Saturday every year) so I can concentrate on my to do list:

  1. sort all the loose socks – pairs get put away and most others go in the rag bag or a charity bag

    Putting away books

    There’s a certain satisfaction having books lined up neatly 🙂

  2. empty the kitchen pantry and put things back neatly, noting what things can be used in the next week or so to clear more space. Anything not likely to be used gets put into a charity bag (often there’s a box at school around now to collect them)
  3. empty the fridge and freezer. Again, things go back in neatly after I review what’s there and plan the next week’s menu accordingly
  4. tidy the cupboards and shelves in the lounge room – putting people’s stuff back in their room and other things into the rubbish or charity bags. What’s left is put in neatly
  5. I sort my kids' books then toys, too. Pulling aside things they’ve grown out of (usually that means moving on to the next child) and removing broken things (to repair where feasible, throw out otherwise)
  6. If I have any time left (which I never do!), my plan is to sort through clothes drawers to remove anything to small or too worn.
Cleaning the house in November gives me mental and physical space to enjoy (and survive!) December!Click To Tweet
image of Santa, baubles and red stockings on a dark background

Even Santa has to deal with lost socks!

This really is about Christmas, not just a spring cleaning, as it gives me space for Christmas things (stocking up on food stuffs for Christmas events and places for new gifts to be stored after Christmas) and also gives me some mental space and energy to cope with December and the whirlwind it always becomes in our house. Of course, it also makes tidying the house easier during December when we have more visitors so that helps, too.


I don’t do normal housework for the weekend and only give the emptied cupboards and fridge a cursory clean as I go – I focus on the stuff rather than cleaning and find I can get through a lot.

I’m not a clean freak (at no other time of the year do I do housework stuff for more than an hour at a time!) but I find this really sets us up nicely for Christmas so thought I’d share the idea for others to use. And now I am psyched up, my glass of wine is finished so I’m off to find all loose socks in the house…


Images courtesy of

Twas the night before Christmas humour…

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.
They’d been worn all week and needed the air.

Share your Christmas story