Interview with Tommy The Real Elf
Tommy The Real Elf is the self-proclaimed head of Public Relations for the North Pole!This life-size Elf on the Shelf and cancer survivor is on a mission to spread Holiday cheer throughout Chicago. He is a contestant on truTV's new show Santas in the Barn where 10 Santas (Tommy being the only Elf) compete in hilarious festive challenges for a chance to win $100,000!
Tommy began to tell me how it all started....
"“In 2012 I was at a Friend’s Holiday party and one of my friends was joking around calling me the Elf on the shelf. I was like I don’t have kids what’s that? He shows me the picture and I see it, I get it....."
Then he explained he had an idea...
"Why not just do a silly Holiday card. I put the whole outfit together and he(his friend) shot the photo..... So now it's become this Christmas tradition every year. It keeps growing and now I do charity events and different things. I have therealelf.com and The Real Elf store.
It's my personality just heightened. I love the Holidays and now I am a cheerleader, the north pole ambassador. "
Was there a moment you enjoyed most about competing on the show?
"The experience itself was exciting. I never would have imagined that someone would be saying that you are basically going to Christmas camp and you are going to make toys, climb chimneys and sing Christmas carols in a red onesie. Sort of a crazy experience. Making toys was fun..... real kids judged them. I thought that was fun. The whole experience was just a dream I felt like I was in a Christmas book and I got to be one of the characters. I would do it all again in a heart beat. It was such a blessing. ….how random that something that I started doing a couple years ago would coincide with a reality show. "
Tommy travels around Chicagoland and takes "Elfies" with fans which have included a few famous faces.
Any famous celebs that you haven’t met yet that you would like to take an Elfie-Selfie with?
"I have the hashtag #Letstakeanelfie. Selfies are lonely why not take an elfie? I think Ellen Degeneres would be so much fun…Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Oprah would be awesome. …
There was a mom that came up and said “you really put me in the Holiday spirit we have been having a tough time and you really just brightened my day” that means so much more to me than a celebrity picture. "
What is your advice for kids to stay on Santa’s nice list?
"It’s funny how parents will use the elf as a parenting tool.When kids do something good when they are not told to do it. When there is a kid that opens the door for someone.. the kids that pay it forward and just want to do something good … for the younger kids doing what they are told, doing their homework, listening to their parents and just having good behavior. I always say we don’t look over just one thing we look over the whole year. There are stellar kids out there that are doing wonderful things. It’s paying it forward and going out of their way for someone. It’s the little things when you least expect it. "
Tune into the finale of truTV's Santas in the Barn on Christmas eve at 8/7C.
Tommy the next time I am in Chicago Let's take an Elfie!
Don't send a boring card, try PopCards! They ship in 1-2 business days!
PopCards are the newest innovation in Greeting Cards that combine both a photo and video in an augmented reality experience.
It is so awesome and super simple.
Check out the tutorial below:
I tried out Popcards myself and it is incredibly awesome! It is essentially a card that comes to life. I LOVE it and I shared the cards with my co-workers and they love it as well. These cards would be great for special announcements, birthday invites and so much more.
The app is totally free. Learn more here: https://www.popcards.com/
I remember my mom frequently making cinnamon ornaments to hang on the tree and tie on presents. It is a simple DIY project and will have your home smelling incredible. Be sure to make in advance because the ornaments will need time to dry.
You will need:
1/2 cup of glue
'2 cups of applesauce (you can use 4 applesauce snack cups)
2 cups of cinnamon
white fabric paint for decorating
In a bowl mix the glue and applesauce. Gradually add the cinnamon until mixture becomes a dough like consistency.
Roll and cut out into cookie cutter shapes. Poke a hole on the top with a toothpick for the ribbon to go through.
Let the ornaments dry completely before decorating with fabric paint.
Stewart Goodyear’s latest album - The Nutcracker: Complete Ballet for Solo Piano
If you are looking for music to get you into the Holiday spirit be sure to check out Stewart Goodyear's latest album.
"Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, a perennial favorite and a staple of most major ballet company seasons, has been recorded numerous times by the world’s orchestras and ensembles. The shortened Nutcracker Suite is also a popular selection from many pianists, past and contemporary. Masterful pianist Stewart Goodyear, however, does something that’s never been done before - arrange the complete ballet for solo piano in a luscious recording. "
Purchase it here: http://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-The-Nutcracker-Stewart-Goodyear/dp/B0141UCCHI
Hot Chocolate Reindeer
These adorable hot chocolate reindeer make a great stocking stuffer and gift for your friends or co-workers. Very inexpensive and adorable!
You will need:
-disposable plastic icing bags (2)
-sandwich bags (2)
-red pom pom
-black or brown pipe cleaner
Pour the hot chocolate mix in the plastic icing bag. Be sure to have the mix go all the way to the tip of the bag. Cut some of the excess of the bag at the top and fold then tape. Then place this into another icing bag.
Next in a sandwich bag put a small handful of chocolate chips. Then fold the top of the bag and seal with tape. Place in the icing bag on top of the hot chocolate. Repeat this step with the Marshmallows.
Once all hot chocolate ingredients are in bag secure the top of the bag with ribbon. Then use a pipe cleaner to wrap around the top to be the antlers. Bend the pipe cleaner in a zig zag pattern.
Glue on the eyes then the red pom pom for the nose then place a bow on top.
How adorable is this sock snowman? This is a great DIY project you can do with kids.
Here is what you need:
-White tube sock
-orange felt(carrot nose)
-any color felt you like (scarf)
-pom pom any color you like (hat)
-fishing line or white string
-16 oz rice (uncooked)
-fill the sock with the uncooked rice. Tie the top of the sock up to where the rice fills it (this is just to secure it so the rice doesn't fall out).
-next create the 3 sections of the snowman (small, medium, large snowball) by tying the sections with string. I used fishing line.
-With the top(head) part of the snowman roll the excess of the sock(where you initially tied it) wrapping it around the head this will be the hat. Then glue on a pom pom.
- next cut a small triangle of orange felt for the nose and with the marker draw on the eyes and mouth on the head of the snowman.
-then cut a strip of felt and fringe the end to create the scarf. Glue that around the neck.
- Lastly with the marker draw the buttons of the snowman on the body. Or you can even glue on small buttons.
You can creative with this project and it is super easy.