Saturday, December 1, 2012

Keep Christ In CHRISTmas- With A Little Help From An Elf

So a few years ago we jumped on the "Elf on the Shelf" bandwagon.  We've had fun seeing what kind of shenanigans this little guy, lovingly named Lincoln gets into while we're all asleep.  

This year though I debated on bringing Lincoln back.  He'd had a good run.  In his time with us he did everything from make snow angels out of sugar on my kitchen counter, to take Barbie for a drive around the playroom in her convertible.  All of this was starting to be a lot of work (for me) and I didn't feel right about "scaring" the kids into behaving just because a little elf was watching.  I want them to want to do the right thing- and not just for 24 days in December.  

So a couple weeks ago when I found something on Pinterest about "Jesus, Santa & the Elf on the Shelf" I got excited.  The blogger talked about how she didn't want Santa to be the only focus of Christmas for her kids.  The more I read the more I agreed.  

I in no way want to take any of the magic of Christmas away from my kids. But I do want to keep Christ in CHRISTmas.  Included in the blog I read was a letter from Santa about the elf that would be joining them.  In the words of Gru from Despicable Me- "Light bulb!"

That's when I knew that Lincoln would be coming back; but this time with an even bigger purpose.  I took the example of the letter from the blog and tailored it to fit us.  Tonight when the door bell rang the kids ran to find a box on the porch.  They knew exactly what it was right away.  Ava even yelled out "It's from Santa!"

As we read through the letter I snuck a few peeks at the kids faces.  It was fun to see them take it all in and try to process it.  

Santa knows about God and Jesus?  

God knows about Santa?


Now I'm excited!  The wheels are spinning and I've got tons of ideas on how we can love big, give big and help others during this Christmas season- and beyond.

Tonight at church our Pastor said something that I had heard him say before but I wrote it down again: We are blessed to be a blessing.  That's just what Brian and I's focus is for  our family. Christmas is not about all the stuff you get but rather what Christ has already given to us.

So you know me, I'm a planner and I've already got lots of ideas going about how to spread God's love through random acts of kindness. I can't wait to get the whole family involved!  

Before we put the kids down for the night I asked them where we should put Lincoln.  They suggested we put him on the shelf by the backpacks.  So that's where he is.  After we tucked them in I walked down the hall and looked up at Lincoln.  There he was sitting next to a mirror and in the reflection of the mirror I saw our cross collection hanging on the wall across  from him.  

It made me smile for sure.  We can and will keep Christ in CHRISTmas, even with a little help from an elf.

Here's the letter we got from Santa for anyone who might be interested:

Dear Brooke, Ava and Parker,

I hope you three kiddos are having a great Christmas season and getting ready to enjoy Grandpa Ron, Grandma Cindy and Grammy when they visit.  I hear they are coming in a few weeks to see you!  I also hear you had a lot of fun having an early Christmas with Grandpa Jim and Grandma Marcia.  What fun!

This package I’m sending you has a very special friend of mine in it – Lincoln, one of my little Elves.

Why am I sending him?

Well, this time of year – this time we call “Christmas” – gets very busy and kind of crazy.  Everyone just focuses on “want, want, want.”  Have you been telling your Mommy and Daddy what you want for Christmas?  It’s ok to want a few things, but I’ve seen people – grown ups and kiddos – get very selfish with all the stuff they want.  They want so many things that they forget the whole reason we even have Christmas….
Jesus – God’s son who was born a long, long, long time ago…
The very first “Christmas present” ever given to the whole big world.

I don’t want you kiddos to forget about Jesus as you prepare for Christmas.  I want you to enjoy all the fun – hot chocolate, singing Christmas songs, candy and presents – but I don’t want you to forget the most important present: God’s love for us and His son, Jesus.  

I don’t want you to forget that it’s still important to love others … to be nice to other people … to help other people (even your Mommy, Daddy, and each other) … to show other people how wonderful Jesus is.So, little Lincoln is here to help you kids (and your Mommy and Daddy) remember these important parts about Christmas: Jesus, God’s love and our job of joyfully sharing that love with others through our gifts, kind words and loving actions (the things we do for one another).

My Elf is going to hang out at your house, watching everything that happens … as a reminder for you to:
  • -Love each other
  • -Speak nicely to one another
  • -Help each other
  • -Help your friends and neighbors too
  • -Give to people who don’t have all the stuff you have
    • -Remember that God loves you kiddos so, so, so much.

Take care of Lincoln– he and I will talk every night about you kiddos and how you are doing this Christmas Season.

Looking forward to seeing great things and wonderful love from each of you,