We have come to realize this year that Santa is not still alive, that in fact he was a very kind man who lived a long time ago. And the truth of the matter is that Jesus is the only one who can see what you are doing at all times.
I wasn't the one who decided to reveal this "mystery", my boys drilled me a couple of weeks ago "Is he real?" I kept returning another question "What do you think?" And they realized what the truth was. At first they were a bit disappointed but then I reminded them that they have had a good Christmas every year and that this year would be no different. I was willing to let go of the fun of Santa in order to share with them the Gospel.
Grandma Shari gifted both boys with a large scale pocket calendar as soon as they were old enough to open gifts. The calendar points towards the birth of Jesus but as all kids do, they begin to get very greedy and expect gifts every morning and even throw fits when the gift doesn't "measure up" to their expectations. I really wanted to do things differently this year.
Then, as I was browsing Pinterest and came across this awesome idea for Kindness elves from The Imagination Tree it occurred to me that I was going to incorporate Elf on the Shelf with the Advent calendar with an entire month of giving.
Each day our elf Bart will come with a note of how we will give to others in order to receive our gift from the pocket calendar.
Day 1 came with this note (written by Robyn Rasmussen, please note the source when sharing):
They also each got a note of the verse from Isaiah 9:6-7 about the prophesy of the birth of Christ, with a sticker for them to wear during the day. This sticker was to remind them of all the great things that Christ is and the way they are to treat others during this season.
They were able to trade the papers for these adorable gifts of puppies.
Day 2 Bart was found with a very badly misspelled note telling them to use their scrapbooks that they received to hold the memories from this month. The first grader got a pretty big kick out of the fact that he caught the spelling error and the pre-k boy giggled about the backwards letters. So far it has been a great way to keep the reason for the season of top priority.