Our Christmas Kindness Elves

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December 1st, 2017

It is December 1st and in our house this is a big day! It’s actually a big day for more than one reason but today’s blog topic is only about the MERRY one of those reasons. December 1st is the day my husband and I decided to make a go at a “committed relationship” after just one week of knowing each other and thus began our holiday season love story but that isn’t what this blog is about. Maybe I will write my own Hallmark Holiday Movie about our love story (that would be the MARRY reason lol) but today, I am here to introduce you to  the MERRY reason, Joy & Caleb, our Christmas Kindness Elves! They arrive with a little mini Christmas Kindness Brunch on December 1st and this is our 2nd year with them visiting for the month of December.

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Here’s a bit of the backstory…

The Kindness Elves just began visiting our family last Christmas, after I had spent about 4 years debating the idea of beginning some sort of Elf on a Shelf alternative. {*DISCLAIMER* I say alternative because I am not a big fan of the Elf on a Shelf, I was never a big fan of Elf on a Shelf in fact. WHY?!? Keep on reading…} First, the well known Elf on a Shelf fad didn’t begin to the over the Christmas season until after my first daughter was halfway through her Santa years so it would never have been something I could have pulled off introducing to her without having red flags go up in her mind about Santa all together. Being a bright kid and being raised by a few sceptics, we had barely managed to keep her on board with the Santa thing to begin with when she first began to question it. By the way, if your child hasn’t begun to question Santa, just wait for it, it will come (and if you are anything like me it will hurt when you hear it for the first time). For us it came almost immediately after our oldest began kindergarten and her peers began to become “unbelievers” so………………. I wasn’t trying to throw any other red flags her way when it came to the big guy.

Aside from that fact though, I don’t really love the idea of having an “elf” trick my kids into behaving through the holidays by telling them that this elf goes back to Santa, I mean that’s the whole reason we play the Santa card, I don’t want to double bride them to behave by giving myself another “job” to do during the holidays because let’s face it, I do all the rest of the holiday prep most of the time anyways! Then add to it that half of the appeal (if not in fact the ENTIRE appeal to the kids) is that the Elf on a Shelf gets into mischief and makes messes while we sleep! REALLY, my kids do enough of that during the day, now I have to let an elf make messes at night too? I just counted my blessings and laughed at the Facebook feeds of all the funny, creative and sometimes somewhat inappropriate Elf on a Shelf posed pictures that filled my newsfeed while silently enjoying the fact that I had escaped it…

I thought I had escaped the elf thing all together, until daughters #2 & #3 were both in school & preschool and then teachers started using them in the classrooms and soon my girls began to question why all their friends had an elf visit and we didn’t……..

…….this went on for a few years until, in a moment of weakness I blurted out,

“We don’t have an elf because I told Santa not to send us an elf that is only going to make more messes and get into more mischief than you girls do already! My hands are full with four of you little mess makers, I don’t need anymore!”

….to which I received big shocked, doe eyes on both their faces, and then I felt bad. Really bad. It was that moment I knew we needed to have some “Kindness Elves” in our life, to encourage US ALL to remember to be kind through the stressful holiday season.

Introducing the Kindness Elves

Though I would love to take credit for the idea, because I absolutely am infatuated with the idea, I can’t. I stumbled into this idea about 4 years ago and fell in love with the concept.  You can check out where my rendition of it originated from here, at The Kindness Elves Home Website. Now even though I had known about this idea and this website for awhile I was only a fan of the idea in theory. For the first few years I was familiar with the concept I had no intention of introducing my family to it as another tradition, my girls were about 11, 6 & 3 at the time and it just didn’t seem necessary.  However things with kids have a way of changing and as I explained previously, my girls #2 & #3 became infatuated with the Elf on a Shelf and brought it up regularly for more than one Christmas season and then we added our little girl #4.

So last year in my moment of weakness when I had the revelation that we did all need a kindness reminder infused into our holiday I was in hurry up mode. Though the original idea has a ready made set you can purchase, I opted to find “elves” without ordering the original ones so I could still manage to execute it last year because I was deciding to jump on this idea last year just a few days before December 1st and I just plain and simple didn’t have time. Target to the rescue! They had some very cute fabric doll ornaments last year in their early Christmas inventory and when I saw them, I knew they would be perfect, and thus the idea was set in motion. I took them home and straightened out some paperclips to feed into their plush bodies to allow me some flexibility in the limbs & making them bendable and then I set off on creating our new Holiday tradition…

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Here’s a Peak at How Last Year’s Visits Went…

Last year when they arrived they left a trail of red confetti and a super SWEET Christmas inspired brunch. They continued to appear with confetti the first week, UNTIL the elves “got the hint” that it annoyed mom and then they started “to clean up after themselves” and the confetti stopped but the fun surprises and kind ideas they encouraged my kids to do didn’t stop. That kept on coming every morning until Christmas, and my girls loved it! They woke up and ran to find where our elves had moved to every morning and were eager to tackle the ideas and challenges the elves gave us every day amidst our existing chores, tasks and obligations. Joy & Caleb provided some great ideas about how to infuse our Christmas season with some Christmas Kindness with ideas like baking cookies for a friend, writing kind words for a sibling or peer, giving small gifts, hugs or compliments to people, and evaluating their own blessings by looking for ways to give back some of their blessings to those in need.

What I love the most about this idea is that it encourages positive behavior by getting the kids excited about their own positive behavior so I feel less like I am bribing them to behave for gifts until Christmas AND it is shifting the focus back to the real meaning of the season. I will be highlighting some of my favorite tips and tricks to executing the Christmas Kindness Elves as our season continues but here is a glimpse at our favorites from last season!

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If this is an idea you are interested in there is still time to execute this year, pick any small childlike dolls or elf dolls and introduce them into your holiday whenever it makes sense to your family! Maybe they appear after school on Dec. 1st, maybe the arrive when Christmas Break begins, maybe they only count down the last “12 days of Christmas” or maybe you just plan and plot this season for some ideas and ways to implement it next year! If you decide to give it a try in your family I would love to see pictures of your elves or hear stories about your success in introducing them to your family!

 

P.S. No judgement on ANY Mommas out there who have chosen the Elf on a Shelf tradition, you are great moms going above and beyond for your kids Christmas memories and that makes you a ROCKSTAR!

P.S.S. No judgement on ANY Mommas who have chosen to not incorporate ANY Elf’s, Elves or other magical miniatures into their holiday season, to each their own and I salute your willingness to just tackle the Christmas shopping and wrapping!

As always, thanks for reading, have a Dazzling Holiday Season and a magical memory making Christmastime with your family!

~Rebecca

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