Better Than an Elf on a Shelf

7 Dec

The Elf on the Shelf craze has caught on big time in recent years, driven by marketing wizards and fun-loving families everywhere. According to those who know about elves, this special scout elf is sent from the North Pole to help Santa manage his “naughty and nice” lists. Families adopt these elves, name them, and then discover the elves hide in different places around the house, observing their lives. But they can be quite naughty themselves!

Some Elf on the Shelf antics:

  • Mischievous Artist Elf: Use a dry-erase marker to draw funny faces on the glass protecting some tilted, framed family photos – and post the Elf nearby with the marker in his hands.
  • Santa’s Helper Elf: Place the Elf in your kitchen cabinet next to a Ziploc bag ElfAngel_framedfull of “Reindeer food.”
  • Clever Marketing Elf: Prop the Elf near bottles of water with the labels, “Melted Snowmen for Sale.”
  • “Snow Angel” Elf:  Create a Snow Angel from flour on the counter, and then place the Elf in the middle of it.
  • Roasting marshmallow Elf:  Put a mini-marshmallow on the end of a small stick and put the stick in the Elf’s hand. Then place the marshmallow over the end of a tea-light candle.
  • Naughty Elf: Toilet-paper the bathroom and leave the end piece of the paper from the roll in the Elf’s hand.

Family Christmas traditions can be such fun … whether it’s The Elf on the Shelf, funny melted “Frosty the Snowman” cookies, or making bags of “Reindeer Food.”

But we must make sure our children understand it’s all fun that has absolutely nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas.

ElfAndJesus_cropped_WhiteEdgeI laughed hard this week when I saw a daughter-in-love’s photo of my granddaughter’s Elf – “Cupcake” – reading the Christmas story! LOL!

At least the family is trying to keep first things first during this Christmas season! I admire their creativity!

Some people will do away with all secular celebrations during the holidays – that is their conviction before God. Others will incorporate what they can without compromising truth. They will clearly distinguish between fantasy and reality, and always point their children to the Savior and why He came (John 6:38; 1 John 4:14; Luke 19:10; John 3:16-17).

In our home, we chose the second alternative – believing we’re in the world and we can learn to relate to it in positive ways, but we’re not of the world. So we enjoy the natural beauty of pine trees, snow and snowmen, holiday treats, concerts and special holiday programs.

We can have clean family fun, but we always keep an eternal, Gospel-centered perspective.

While the world conspires to shut Jesus out, we’ve tried to be creative in ways to place Him front and center in our lives, our homes, and our celebration.

One thing is for sure: Christmas is more than making room for an Elf on a Shelf. Much more. Let’s be sure the world and especially, our families, see Jesus and know how to make room for Him in their hearts.

What are you doing, in your Christmas celebration, to point others to the Savior?

— Dawn

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