Last year was our family's first year participating in the media-driven madness that is Elf on the Shelf. We purchased him, because our then 3 year old saw the 30 minute tv special and really liked it. Later that week, we saw an Elf on the Shelf box set in a store and picked it up. It was quite a lot of fun moving our elf, "Sheldon" from spot to spot each evening and watching Man-Cub eagerly search for him each morning. It wasn't until after Christmas that I really got into Pinterest and discovered all of the fantastical elf-y ideas that are out there.
This year, I had an elf plan, and of course that plan involves character education. You might say that character education is my hobby these days. When I look at these children, I see not only sticky faces and goofy smiles. I see adults that, with the right foundations, will become disciples of Christ and servants to others. Now, back to the elf.
Our elf arrived the same day that we were putting up the decorations, which happened to be during Thanksgiving week. I sneakily placed a package addressed to the kids on the front porch, and a few hours later when I knew that the mailman was on our street, I asked Man-Cub to go out and check our mail. When he discovered that the box on the porch bore his name, he was pretty pumped.
I then assisted him in "sounding out" the return address. You cannot imagine his excitement when he learned that the package came from Santa!
We took a seat on the stairs and opened the box, which contained Sheldon the elf and a letter from Santa.
The letter read:
Noah & Evelynn,
Sheldon was so excited to see you again, he couldn't wait one more day! So when I told him that you were decorating for Christmas early, he begged me to send him by express mail!
Remember, I bring presents because my heart is so full of Jesus' love. If Sheldon acts naughty or misbehaves while he is at your house, please remind him that Jesus loves him no matter what.
I will be seeing you both soon!
So the plan is for Sheldon to get into a little bit of mischief while he is here, and for Man-Cub to teach him all about grace and forgiveness.
There are some really cool ideas and resources out there for incorporating the fun of Santa with the true meaning of Christmas. One of our favorites is Veggie Tales: The Story of St. Nicholas. We love how it teaches our kids where the tradition of Santa Claus came from, as well as reinforcing the idea that; "I can love because God loves me, I can give because God gave."
I would love to hear all about how you incorporate the real reason for Christmas with the Santa fun!