Turning the Elf on His Head

Thanksgiving is over; You made it! As for me, I never even got to enjoy a plate of food or a beverage because I was too busy wrangling an almost 3 yr old and almost 1 yr old in classic Holiday meltdown mode. I actually think I lost weight. So, yeah, that's my best diet advice for that Holiday.....

Over the next week, parents everywhere will bring out the Elf on the Shelf.... duhn-duhn duuuuuuhn

From what I can ascertain, this is done with either ridiculous elation over the possibilities or deep dread over the hassle. Last year, my mom (who never had to deal with Elf on the Shelf) proudly presented me one for my own kids. Being the ultimate wise guy, I made my Elf appear at my brother's house with a note saying he was there to train for the season under their Elf. I know... Brilliance, right? Score another year to figure out what the hell to do with the whole thing.

It may come as no surprise that I despise Elf on the Shelf.

Our once-intern, Jake, would say that it's because I hate all things fun. I think that's a bit of an exaggeration, Thankyouverymuch. I just dislike overconsumption, self indulgence, extensive consumerism, and general narcissistic behaviors. So, maybe I do hate all modern versions of fun.... siiiiiigh. Regardless, Elf on the Shelf is something I just can't seem to escape. Instead, I am going to embrace it, on my own terms.

I mean, what if the Elf on the Shelf served a greater purpose?

What if our Elf on the Shelf showed up explaining that he was here because Santa had selected us to be BOLD, to be KIND, and to spread Christmas Cheer with reckless abandonment? What if Elfie-Poo (that's his name) were sent to guide us to begin to take steps to CHANGE THE WORLD? And so one morning, I wrote this little poem...

Download your Kindness Elf poem here!!!

Elf on the Shelf, in our home, will be a catalyst for December Presence!

December 1st, Elfie Poo will arrive with this poem in hand. Each week, he will present my sons with a challenge for the week, a call to action for a greater purpose. I wonder if your Elf could do the same? Here are some ideas you might put forth:

  • Instructions to pick two neighbors that might enjoy some poinsettias and deliver them
  • A box to fill with some toys you've outgrown and donate them
  • Taking up the garbage cans of the neighbors around you
  • Baking a treat to deliver to someone who's down in the dumps
  • Purchasing a toy for Toys for Tots
  • Sending a handmade Christmas card
  • Taking some Christmas stickers to the park to give to the others

The list can go on and on and the challenges could get as big as you want! My boys are young, so these are appropriate for us right now.

Your Elf on the Shelf can still poop mini marshmallows!

You can still do all the funny Elf things, if that's your jam. I'm just suggesting that maybe you could use your Elf to do something bigger, too. Once a week..... it's not much. I bet your children will amaze you with the depth of their kindness and breadth of their little hearts. Let's be BOLD and KIND together!

If you are following along with us....

Week 1: Christmas Kindness Bingo

HERE is a link to our Christmas Kindness Bingo card. Click on the link to print 30 cards and then just select any of the pages 3-32 to print however many cards you need. Each card is different and your kids can complete the acts of kindness that appeal to them, including an opportunity to think up their own Christmas Kindness! As each child gets Bingo, display their card in a prominent place. At the end of the week, have a chat about which acts of kindness you did and how it impacted someone.

Week 2: Make Ornaments to deliver to friends, teachers, mentors, or a senior home.

This recipe is super duper easy. It also is just like making cookies.... without the cookie dough binge! In a bowl, combine 2 Cups applesauce, 2 Cups Cinnamon and 1 Tbsp of regular old white glue, like Elmer's. Mix it just like cookie dough, roll it out and cut the shapes. The dough is very easy to work with and doesn't stick at all. Be sure to poke out a hole at the top of the shapes for the string or ribbon. Bake at 200* for 2- 2.5 hours. YOUR HOUSE WILL SMELL AMAZING!

Week 3: Slime Goop for a Friend

My son LOVES to make goop.... AND IT IS SOOOOO EASY! With all the cool glitter glue options, you can make some really neat ones, too. It's the perfect gift for a youngster to give to a friend. Simply combine equal parts liquid starch and glitter glue. Mix it all up with your hands like you are kneading bread. If it continues to be sticky, just add a bit more glue until you get it right!