Elf on the Shelf, real Christmas trees, Alan Titchmarsh and Kelly Hoppen

Within seconds of December arriving, the Christmas bug well and truly infected our household and struck down Hanna worse than the most severe case of man flu.

It’s an annual affliction, which is only likely to worsen as the years go by, with a child with half her genes added in.

A new house triggered a requirement for a real tree and new decorations. Apparently a fake tree in a property you own is a no-go!

Tree decoration attempt one – plus a new member of the family

So off we trekked to a host of garden centres, looking for the perfect festive fir, equipped with our inner Alan Titchmarshes to ensure we got the most suitable specimen.

After an extended hunt, and as darkness fell, we encountered the problem of fitting our 7ft tree into a Kia Picanto, as well as a baby…and ourselves.

It was then we learned owning our own home, as well as being parents, meant we were destined for a life which required weekly trips to the tip and for an item not ideally suited to fitting in such a small car poking one – or both – of us in the face.

With our tree barely crammed in, branches blocking the view to the baby and all signs of the outside world around us, we headed home, whacked it straight in the newly bought stand and prepared for decoration.

After a wrestling match with a set of tangled lights, a domestic disagreement over what multiple-of-hundred lights we needed, ditching of Hanna’s choice of the tackiest angel the Range sold and a second draft of decoration placement as the inner Alan became a channelling of Kelly Hoppen, we were done.

Icicle drops fill the voids and are broken by teardrop baubles, cascading to subtle silvers, whites and blues…and a shedload of warming and bright lights!

But that wouldn’t suffice the Christmas bug.

Elf on the Shelf is a cool concept, especially for kids old enough to determine between right and wrong, enabling parents to make sure their little ones are behaving well. The elf will tell Santa if they are naughty, as he is sent to watch over them in the run up to Christmas.

Being one, Albie is too little to understand what it’s all about, so naturally Eric Jinglebottom has become our lodger and we are consumed by the daily antics, wondering what he is going to get up to while we sleep!


Albie is in a phase where he clearly knows when he is being cheeky. Followers on Instagram will already know this. But the more he’s told off, the more he finds what he’s doing side-splittingly hilarious.

Some of the naughty stuff Eric will no doubt get up to might normally act as a cautionary tale for young Albie, but given the above, the task seems fairly fruitless!

His early antics have proved more brainteasers than behaviour lessons. Take day three, for example, which raised more questions than answers…

How the elf did he get in there?!

How did he get inside the glass? What was he doing? How did he write a ‘help’ sign and place it outside the glass he was trapped in? And how did he survive the night with limited oxygen?

The mind boggles. I’ll try to keep you updated on some of his adventures.

Click here to see Albie’s hilarious reaction to today’s elf adventures

Eric’s penguin catapult capers on day four





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