Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our Christmas Elf on the Shelf

So we are a little behind on getting started with the whole "Elf on the Shelf" thing . . . I think the fad started around here last year or the year before, but we didn't really plan to do it just because we had enough family traditions we liked to do and to keep up with.  But then this past weekend, there was the Elf on the Shelf movie on t.v., and we decided to record it for our kids and if we liked it, thought we would show it to them.  Well, it was a really cute movie, and I thought it focused on a happy meaning of Christmas . . . Christmas is for forgiving, for believing.  Our boys really enjoyed the show and mentioned that they wondered if they were going to get an elf.  So, my husband who really gets into Christmas and Christmas traditions, more than myself, decided that it would be fun if we could find one to add to our traditions.  Well, with it being the 12th of the month already, many stores were sold out of them.  But we finally found one at Hallmark and got it last night.

We were still kind of struggling with how to present it to the kids.  Even though they had seen the movie, we have always been careful about presenting the other things of Christmas, such as Santa, elves, rudolph, etc. as fun things, but not the most important things.  As Christians, we believe the REAL reason for Christmas is to celebrate Jesus' birth.  We are not against our kids enjoying believing in Santa though, and allow them to have fun with it.  But with presenting our new elf, we wanted to make sure the focus was not on whether or not they were doing good or bad for the elf to report back to Santa in fear of not getting as many presents if they were bad, but we wanted to send a different message.  So, we decided to replace the book that comes with the elf with our own letter.

We planned it perfectly, and it could not have gone any better . . . the boys were back in the bedroom getting their pajamas on with Scott, I quietly went outside and got the elf and put it on our front porch, then rang the doorbell and ran back inside and made it back into the chair I was finishing Christmas cards in, just as the boys had seen me before they left the room to put on their pajamas.  So, when they came out of the room, we all followed them to the door.  When they opened the door, they were so surprised to see the Elf on the Shelf sitting there.  Just earlier, they had been outside and came in saying that they had seen a red light blinking in the sky.  They wondered if it was Rudolph or maybe some of the other little elves flying around.  It really was so cute when they started guessing that maybe Rudolph or the other elves brought it and rang the doorbell.  We brought it inside, and when they opened it, this is the letter they found from their elf:

Hi Kids!

Thanks for welcoming me into your home.  I’m excited to be here.  I think you’ve heard of me and my friends, and how we like to come live with you before Christmas to watch over you and see what kinds of great things you are doing.  I do fly up to the North Pole to talk to Santa each night too, but don’t be afraid; I’m not trying to catch you doing anything wrong.  Just the opposite . . . I’m trying to catch you doing all the right things!  It’s always encouraging when we make the right choices, isn’t it?  We feel better about ourselves, we know that we’ve pleased our Mommies and Daddies, and most importantly we know that we’ve pleased Jesus.  
Did you know that Santa is a servant of Jesus just like you are?  Santa wants to please Jesus just like you do, and one of the ways he does that is by bringing gifts to all the boys and girls at Christmas time.  You may think that Santa only brings gifts to the good little boys and girls, but that’s not always true.  Sometimes he brings gifts just to let a child know that he or she is loved and treasured just for being who they are.  That’s the way that Jesus looks at each of you too, did you know that?  
Jesus was born on Christmas as part of God’s plan.  The Bible teaches us that later Jesus died on the cross for our sins, so that we may receive the free gift of salvation through Him.  We don’t have to do something right all the time to receive Jesus’ free gift. We just have to believe in Him and accept Him into our hearts and lives and trust Him to be our Savior.  When we do decide to trust in Jesus as our Savior and accept Him as our free gift, we automatically want to do good things to please Jesus because we love Him so much.  But we can’t do everything right 100% of the time, can we?  Jesus understands that we all make mistakes, and that is called sin.  But the important thing is that when we do sin, that we realize that we’ve done something wrong and that we ask Jesus to forgive us.  Jesus will forgive you every time, did you know that?  He gives you a clean start to each day, if you just pray to Him and ask Him!  Isn’t that amazing?  
So, I hope that you will think about how much Jesus loves you this Christmas, and that He is the REAL reason that we celebrate Christmas time!  It’s always fun to visit my family that Santa sends me to during Christmas time and I love being able to report back to Santa each night that the kids in the family are doing their best to please Jesus with their actions and words every day.  So, I hope that you’ll have a fun time looking for me each morning when you wake up!  You never know where I might be hiding next!  
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to name me.  I need a special name that only you kids can give to me.  I can’t wait to see what name you come up with for me.

Merry Christmas!
Your Christmas Elf 
So, it was a fun night at our house . . . the boys named their elf Zippy . . . I wonder where Zippy will be hiding in the morning? :-)


1 comment :