25 Acts of Kindness Your Christmas Elf Can Encourageby Elizabeth MacDonald
Watch out social media, the elves have come out to play! A very popular elf in particular will be making his appearance on everyone's walls.
Parents use this prop to convince their children that Santa is real, and the elf is alive. There are multiple rules to observe (like never touching the elf), and many ways to utilize the elf to make sure the children are behaving so that Santa doesn’t see their names on the naughty list. Come on parents, we are so much better than manipulating out kids to be ‘good!’ (Or, we are at least good enough to use the elf to teach kindness WHILE encouraging non-naughty behavior!)
What happened to helping our children become the best people they can be by building them up and helping them to experience the joy that comes with doing good? This magical elf that we all seem to possess, it is the perfect opportunity for us to instill the act of kindness throughout the Christmas season.
Believe it or not, there is a rather large following for the 'Kindness Elf.' You can use the Elf on a Shelf that you already own, or you can make or purchase any elf, angel, or other Christmas figure that you are drawn to! (Or purchase the original Kindness Elf to support a family business!) The entire premise is that your elf becomes a part of your daily holiday lives. She can move at night while everyone is asleep, but there are no real rules about touching her (unless, you feel that is needed in your home). Most families use the elf for 'The Twelve Days of Christmas Kindness," but you can use it all season long!
Here is how our Kindness Elves work in our home…
Yes, I said elves. We started with one elf three years ago, and now we have four. My kids basically collect them. I do have five kids – so maybe it makes sense? Or maybe I’m just a sucker. Our elves do not appear with hand written notes, but yours can! I do not have time to masterly plan these elf things – but please, please go for it!
My elves are stuffed in the Christmas tubs and come out with the decorations the day after Thanksgiving. My kids pull them out and run off to play with them for a few hours. The elves play house, race car derby, and go for a bike ride before they join us for dinner that evening. Together, as a family, we talk about all of the kind things we can do from now until Christmas. We talk about being kind all year and how important it is to better ourselves, others, and our earth. We create a list of things we can actively do to spread love, cheer, and kindness.
Our elves serve as a daily reminder to perform a task from our list. I really do not overthink the whole process. Actually, the simpler the better. I know my parenting limits, and what I can truly accomplish. I do not want anything added to the list that won’t be completed. You may want to dream a little bigger than us, but this year, our Kindness Elves will help us to perform the following 25 things.
*Remember, you can move and set up any scene you want each night for your elf. We avoid anything ’naughty’ and our elves typically play a huge game of hide-and-seek throughout the month.
25 Acts of Kindness Your Christmas Elf Can Encourage
- Bring a card to a neighbor.
- Bake cookies for a friend.
- Mail a letter to a relative.
- Donate a new toy.
- Send hand-me-down clothes to someone.
- Invite a friend over so their mom can have an afternoon to herself.
- Clean up trash at a playground.
- Spread wildflower seeds in nature.
- Buy someone a coffee.
- Visit someone unexpectedly and bring a meal or treat.
- Give money to someone who needs it.
- Give 3 compliments to 3 different people.
- Call a grandparent to just say hello.
- Pick an Angel Tree ornament and purchase a gift.
- Say ‘Happy Holidays’ to everyone you pass.
- Give the mailman a treat.
- Help Mommy with_________ (dishes, laundry, bed making, etc)
- Invite your siblings to play a game.
- Donate books to the library or local shelter.
- Hold a door, carry a bag, or do something to show you are trying to help someone.
- Send flowers to someone.
- Leave a small gift for a friend (on their doorstep or in their mailbox).
- Hand out candy canes to strangers that we pass.
- Use chalk to leave messages on a sidewalk.
- Make something from the heart instead of buying it.
Join the online facebook group for kindness elves: https://www.facebook.com/thekindnesselves