Painting the Town offers two holiday challenges

Contest entries can be posted to its Facebook page

Washington Township’s Painting the Town organization has two challenges for the community this month to help boost morale and holiday cheer.

Residents are being asked to take photos of their most creative “Elf on the Shelf” placement and photos of gingerbread creations to share on the Painting the Town Washington Township Facebook page. 

“Especially this year, none of us are doing what we typically do on the holidays,” said Vicky Binetti, Washington Township Environmental Commission chair. “Perhaps we are more confined and spending less time gathering with others, which is something we would usually do this time of year.

“It’s a way for folks to connect in terms of their creativity,” she added of the challenges. “And in a way it is creativity, but as a family experience as well as a community experience.”

Binetti suggests participants use the challenges as a way to share their holiday traditions with the community or use their experiences over the past year to create something new.

“I think some people probably have traditional things that they do,” Binetti noted. “In another way, I think everyone’s experience will guide them, you have seen a few quarantine elves. No one would have thought of that a year ago.” 

The “Elf on the Shelf” contest has seen creative ideas, from quarantining elves to those taking on virtual learning. The photos show creativity as well as a sense of community.

The winner of the elf contest will receive a niner box from Mama Bundtz donuts.

“My family did have an elf, Buddy, and enjoyed his silly antics for many years,” said Kristine Storm, part of Painting the Town’s creative team. “Some parents are getting an ‘Elf on the Shelf’ break for a few days or weeks and posting hilarious elf quarantining pictures. Others are using it as a chance to show kids they are not alone and even their elves are home schooling, wearing masks and social distancing.”  

The gingerbread creations can be anything from houses and mansions to cookie reindeer. All participants must purchase their own supplies and decorate the creation themselves. Among those posted so far are a dog house and a gingerbread village. 

The winner of the gingerbread contest will receive a Starbucks gift card for $20.

Entries can be added to the comment section of the original post on Paint the Town’s sustainable Facebook page, where there are over 30 entries for “Elf on the Shelf” photos and 15 entries for gingerbread creations.

“The more the merrier participating would be wonderful,” said Storm, who hopes to receive over 100 creations. “The pandemic is contagious, but positive energy is, too.”