Last year, I was so looking forward to starting Elf on the Shelf with my oldest. But after reading about “the Kindness Elf” online I decided to give it a try. I was excited that Nora seemed to understand it last year, so I am even more excited to bring Jingle the Kindness Elf back into our home this Christmas season.
Last year, we introduced Jingle to Nora by him showing up at our house with her very first cup of hot chocolate and leaving a letter about who he was. Her first “mission” was to call someone and tell them that she loved them – something super easy yet thoughtful for a 2 year old to do. A few other “missions” that Jingle gave to Nora were to make cookies for a ladies group at our church, visit an elderly friend, make cards for our pastor and elders at church, donate a toy to charity, to fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child and to go help Daddy with chores for the morning. All of these are simple, tangible ways that she can be kind to others during the holidays. So many times it can be all about giving kids everything they want this time of year. But really is there no greater gift than teaching your child to give of themselves?
Once a week, we also had Jingle make a special visit after nap time with a “fun night” scheduled for Nora. One night we went and looked at Christmas lights, another night we watched her favorite movie (Frozen, of course!) and ordered pizza, just the 4 of us. It’s so fun being able to put special time aside to do those things together as a family during what’s normally such a busy time of the year.
The awesome thing about the kindness elf is that you can make it whatever you want it to be. You can do it every day, every other day, whatever your heart desires! If you have older kids, you could do some things that are geared more towards their age, like serving meals at the city mission, giving a gift card to a homeless man on the corner, donating to your local food pantry, shoveling snow for an elderly neighbor….the list could go on and on.
Although Nora is still young, I hope and pray that over the years of doing this that she learns that it truly is better to give than receive. And at the same time be a reminder of the Greatest gift that was ever given in Jesus on that holy night so many years ago in Bethlehem.
So how about you? What kinds of acts of kindness or service does your family like to do together at Christmas time? I would love to hear some of your suggestions so “Jingle” can add them onto his list for Nora to do 🙂