Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Scripture Elf

Last year at a post-Christmas sale, this little elf stowed away in my cart. Something about his impish face, wispy hair and long, bendable appendages won me over. I paid for him (of course), and let him make himself at home in the Christmas box until the next year. The kids pulled him out, along with all of the other Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving and said, "What's this?" I wasn't even sure what to tell them, because I wasn't just yet sure myself what purpose he would serve!

I'd heard of The Elf on the Shelf a few years ago from a neigh
bor, who brought one to a Favorite Things party that was thrown during the holidays. The gist is that Santa sends the elf to live at your house during the month of December. He spies on the kids during the day then flies home to the North Pole at night, reports to Santa and then flies back and hides himself in a different spot each morning. So, when I saw this little elf, I thought he would be so much fun! But, like I mentioned in my last post, I was having an inner-struggle to introduce something so secular to our kids, and shift the focus away from what I feel is the most important thing. So, I thought. If this is going to happen, he will have to serve a dual purpose.

Miraculously, I stumbled upon a wonderful link on Sugardoodle, where someone had 24 days of scriptures about Christ's life and his attributes. Each day has a scripture with several verses from the Bible, detailing an even in Christ's life and then lists the attribute that Christ displayed. BINGO. I know it sounds silly, but I really felt inspired. It's just the thing I was looking and praying for.

So, on December 1st, a knock at the door and there was the elf, sitting on the step with a letter in his lap. It's rather lengthy, but it basically introduces him to the family, states his purpose and gives a few directions.
"Both Santa and your elf know that the real reason for Christmas isn’t about presents or Santa, but to remember our Savior, Jesus Christ and celebrate His birth. Jesus Christ is our greatest gift. We want everyone to try this month to be like Jesus and do what He would do. To help you remember, each morning your elf will be holding a special paper with a scripture attached. Your job is to read that scripture together as a family. Each scripture is about Jesus. Use these scriptures as your family scripture study!"

Their first assignment was to name him. "Buddy", but we usually just call him "The elf".

So far, it's been wonderful! The kids wake up excited. They run downstairs, find the elf, wait until everyone has seen it, then they pull off the scripture tag tucked in his sleeve and read off the scripture reference.

I sometimes pull a picture from the gospel art kit, and we read before everyone heads off for the day. The kids have a little fun, and they are on their BEST behavior knowing they are being watched, and we get to spend a little time each morning remembering Christ, our Savior. Win/Win!

By far the most fun has been thinking of where to hide him each night.

This night has been my favorite. I wanted to put him in some sort of sleigh. I took the bin of Trio blocks up to bed and dumped it out and started piecing bricks together. Josh said, "What are you doing?" I told him my plan and he said, "Oh, move over," and this is what resulted.

And awesomely detailed sled, complete with a sign that says, "Go," and the couch cushions to slide down. The kids went BANANAS!
Sometimes he's a little more mellow.
Sometimes he's naughty.

Sometimes he's thoughtful.
Sometimes he's adventurous.
He's friendly with the other holiday friends.
And never turns down a plate of cookies!

He loves the snow!

Here's tomorrow's hiding place! :)


tara said...

What an awesome idea Amy! Can't wait to do this with my own kids one day.

Jen said...

This is the MOST AMAZING idea! Thanks for sharing!

Holly said...

That is the cutest idea! I hope I remember that when we have kids. Or maybe I will just start it now because it's fun for grown-ups too!

Catherine said...

You are so clever!!! I love all the ways you thought to hide him. What a great way to incorporate your daily family scripture study. Genius!

Granma Faye said...

THAT is absolutely adorable! How cute ...and such a great blend of fun and spirituality where the fun (or secular) does not detract from the spiritual message of Christmas. Love it! (Holly's Mom)