The holidays are here! I married a man who is OBSESSED with Christmas, and I inevitably, have inherited and obliged to this obsession. Thankfully, our children also get caught up in this time of year and love getting the decorations down (as I think to myself, "Oh no...not more knickknacks. That just means more things to dust!") and playing Christmas music well before November is over. This year God has laid on my heart to embrace the magic, but also ensure the true meaning of Christmas abounds in everything we do as December is fast approaching. We enjoy thinking about Santa and making a list of gifts for the kids, but I also want our children to know this season is about giving, much like the life led by our Savior, Jesus. I got to thinking about how we could accomplish this, and found this link on The Imagination Tree about kindness elves. Yes, we partake in the Elf on a Shelf tradition and we love it because it contributes to the magic of the season, but love the idea of our elf encouraging kind behavior to report to Santa, instead of being a threat of reporting horrible behavior and our children being intimidated or scared. We also want Jesus to be the center of our celebration, so this idea emerged. Our children will find our elf tomorrow with this letter:
Dear Tessa and Dempsey,
I have missed being with your this past year, but have been helping Santa get ready for Christmas. As an elf, I enjoy helping Santa and being kind to others, just like Jesus did when he was born. He spent his life serving others. So, when I go back to Santa each night at the North Pole, I can't wait to tell him all about the kind things you have been doing for others each day. I will even bring some ideas with me when I come to your house each day.
Today, I have brought a list of Bible verses for you to read with your family. They tell the story of Christmas because I don't want you to forget the real reason why we celebrate Christmas-Jesus!
God bless and remember to be kind to others!
Love, Bernard (Ephesians 2:10)
I found the list of verses (at the end of this post) on pinterest to read each day that tell the story of Christmas. This will be with our elf and letter.
Our elf will bring a different idea and materials if needed for an act of kindness each day. Some ideas include:
Let your sibling play with one of your toys.
Make a card for someone at school.
Give ten hugs today.
Take cookies to a neighbor.
Go through your toys and donate the ones you don't play with anymore.
Go through your clothes and give the ones that don't fit to someone else or donate them.
Take hot chocolate to a Salvation Army bell ringer.
Give the cashier at the store a note with your favorite verse on it.
Read your sibling a book.
Leave a present or cookies for the mail carrier.
Make a card for a soldier overseas and mail it off.
Write a relative who lives out of town a letter.
Take cookies to the fire station.
Take a care package to a homeless person.
If you have any other ideas for acts of kindness that are simple and don't require much money or prep work, please share! Merry Christmas and God bless each one of you!