PARENTS' ADVICE

This is where you share tips and tricks with other parents, and ask and answer questions.

OUR TIPS

1- FINDING OUT THE ELF IS COMING TO STAY!

Legend has it that, starting on December 1 (25 days before Christmas), Santa Claus sends the Christmas Elves into people’s homes to see for himself if the children are being good and if they are doing good deeds in the Advent period leading up to Christmas. The elves have to go back to the North Pole on December 24 to make their report to Santa Claus, and also to help him out on the Big Night.

HINT: This letter can arrive before or after the practical jokes played by the elf. It can be fun to play a trick before the kids have seen the elf, to pique their curiosity.

We have provided a sample letter from Santa Claus, to tell the kids that the elf is going to come and stay with them :

Dear (insert child(ren)’s name(s)),

As I’m sure you know, Christmas is just around the corner. This is when children who’ve been good throughout the year get their reward.

I’m very busy right now so I’ve asked one of my favourite elves to lend a hand. He’ll be arriving soon to stay with you for a while. On December 24th, he’ll tell me whether or not you’ve been good and if you deserve the gifts you’ve asked me for.

I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun with the elf but first … you have to catch him! Be careful: he’s nice but he’s also very mischievous. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Your friend – Santa Claus

2- THE PERFECT ELF BAIT

Cooking with kids is always fun and, apparently, elves really, really, REALLY love desserts. In fact, the best way to catch your elf is to use chocolate cookies – with LOTS of extra chocolate chips!

See below for the simple, never-fail recipe used to catch Choco the Christmas Elf (the same recipe as in the book The Christmas Elf):

Preparation time : 15 min
Cooking time : 10 min
Total time : 25 min
Yield : 24 cookies

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups
1 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 tsp.
1/2 tsp.
1
2/3 cup
1 tsp.
1/2 cup
1 cup

Preparation :

1- Position rack in centre of oven and pre-heat oven to 350oF.
2- Using a mixer, beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in a bowl until creamy.
3- In another bowl, combine milk and cocoa. Whisk until smooth, then add to the butter-sugar mixture.
4- On low speed, add dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt (if using), then mix well.
5- When mixture is smooth, add chocolate chips.
6- Using a tablespoon, drop cookie dough onto cookie sheet, leaving approx. 2” (5 cm) between each cookie. Flatten with fingers.
7- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove from oven. Leave on cookie sheet to cool, serve and … enjoy!
8- Once the cookies are ready, use them to bait your elf trap.

Flour
Sugar (or half white, half brown sugar)
Cocoa
Baking soda
Salt (optional)
Egg
Butter
Vanilla
Milk
Large, semi-sweet chocolate chips

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