A friend called me this morning to ask my opinion on all things Santa/Jesus/children. She teaches a group of young moms each week. Most of them are new Christians. They had lots of questions for her about what she believes about Santa and how to incorporate Santa into Christmas without taking away from Jesus. Or, if that was even possible.
I told her what we do. I explained to her why we do what we do. But, as usual, it made me reevaluate we do and why. One of the things we talked about was The Elf on the Shelf. We got the Elf and Book back in 2006 at Mistletoe Marketplace. For the first time in my life, I think I was cutting edge because no one I knew had one. Now, I barely know anyone who doesn't have one. That Elf is quite the rage.
The newest thing about the Elf is to come up with creative mischievous things for your Elf to get involved in. I never jumped on that bandwagon. Not because I don't think a lot of those things are cute, because they are. But, because my oldest child is VERY literal and very much a rule follower. On about day 2 of the Elf pulling a prank, Jonah would probably say something along the lines of "Mommy, if the elf reports back to Santa about my behavior, shouldn't he probably behave himself? I don't think he is being a very good example to me or to Micah." So, for that reason, and lets be honest, the sheer fact that I can barely remember to move the Elf each night much less be creative, we stick to the basic premise of the book that allows the Elf to be content just sitting on a shelf!
Also, in relation to the Elf. We never elevate the Elf's power over that of Jesus. I don't think it is fair to pull an elf out each Christmas and constantly remind your child that the elf is watching and reporting back to Santa when you never do the same with Jesus throughout the year. I didn't want to this little doll to be more a reminder of negative behavior and consequences than the fact that God sees everything he does and wants him to make good choices...ALL YEAR LONG.
We spend this season watching all of the Christmas movies but especially those with a Christian theme. Jonah loves the Veggie Tales, Hermie and Charlie Brown Christmas movies. And, let's be honest...Home Alone. HA. We do let him watch that but we use the negative behaviors and actions to talk to him about what different choices could have been made.
We all have a different way of doing things with our children based on our own beliefs. I've spent a lot of time planning/thinking/praying about ways to make this season meaningful for my children while helping them to truly understand the greatest gift this world has ever known. My job as a mother is to do all I can to present Jesus to them and lead them to the point where they recognize their need for Jesus and invite Him into their hearts. I can hardly wait for those days to come!