So when we were unpacking the Christmas decorations tonight we came across the “Elf on the Shelf.” This was gifted to us years ago, but we have never gotten on the bandwagon of the Elf spying on you and reporting to Santa, etc. But this year Grayson said he wanted to read the book and name his Elf and go through the motions.
When I sat down and read the book I really didn’t like the message it was sending- “be good so we can tell Santa and you will get toys” so we talked about a way that we could play with and enjoy our elves (we have a few more I got as ornaments!) that was more positive and fun for the whole season.
After all the kids were in bed I got to work creating the elves first act of kindness.
I wrapped up a few of our books. These aren’t new books, just some off our shelf that I thought the kids would enjoy. Yes, there’s 3 because there are 3 of them but they aren’t labeled… Just one for each to open.
And here are our elves happily presenting their gift. I hope for the card to serve as an introduction to the idea that each day as we anticipate Christmas we can slow down and show kindness, acknowledge kindness, and receive kindness. These acts can be as simple as reading books from our library together or writing a note to a friend. Or perhaps we can show kindness on a larger scale by making a meal for another family or bringing warm clothes to those in need. I hope the elves will inspire the children. The children inspire me to do more for others, appreciate the little things, and slow down and show kindness.
It’s so easy as a parent to want to gift your children with (material) things. And yes, Santa already has several things purchased and ready for the big day. But along with these tokens of our love we can gift them with kindness. We can slow down and just be with them. Do things with them. And teach them through small simple examples that time and togetherness are the true gifts of the season and that there are simple joys to be experienced each and every day.