Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Elf = Parenting Fail

On top of being very purposeful about the Christmas season (you can see these posts about our Jesse Tree and gift-giving), we also wanted to begin a tradition that was for pure fun. We started Elf on the Shelf.

We've told our kids about Santa (gasp!) Actually, we've told them the whole story, that Santa was a real man named Saint Nicolas who gave gifts extravagantly to others because he understood God's extravagant love for his people. This book has been a great tool to tell his story.

We've also used these videos from Jelly Telly to answer questions about why we celebrate Christmas.  

But let's get real. The Elf on the Shelf is way more about fun and silliness and creating memories than about communicating the real meaning of Christmas to our kids. But I was still a little stuck on the creepy little elf that Santa sends to sits on a shelf and spies on kids to compile his "naughty and nice" list. Until I read this uh-mazing little letter from Santa explaining the elf in a gospel-centered way. What?! It's true. In it Santa denounces the "naughty and nice" list, and explains sin, grace, and forgiveness.  That sold me and I bought Eli, our little elf the next day.

Come December 1st, this package arrived on our doorstep, straight from the North Pole.

Ever since, Eli has been getting into mischief every night. The kids love waking up every morning to see what he's been doing while they've been sleeping.

So last weekend Jamy had a great idea of having Santa call them. Using a little website to personalize the message, Santa called each of them individually to tell them he's stopping by our house Christmas Eve and that they're both on his "Nice" list.
This is where the huge parenting fail comes in.
  1. We won't be here Christmas Eve.
  2. Santa had written a letter saying there was no "naughty or nice" list.
  3. We didn't even realize the mix up until the kids promptly wrote these notes to Santa. 

Since Isabelle's is hard to read, here's the text:
Thank you for calling. I wish you knew but I am not going to be here on Christmas Eve. I hope you love Jesus. I got a card from you and a preset and you said you did not have a naughty or nice list. But when you called me this morning you said I was on your nice list. Why is that? 
P.S.  I think there is so many of you. 



House number: 1146

For Grandma's house
I had to include this important part of Bella's letter!


So, we did what any good parent would do. We scrambled to fix Santa's clear flub. That night, Eli delivered the kids letters to the North Pole directly to Santa. He arrived the next morning on our dining room table with an explanatory letter from Santa (you're right, there's no list but I know you're learning to trust Jesus and love and care for others...) along with some coins to put towards their gift for others in the World Vision Catalog.

That night lying in bed, Jamy asked if we were horrible parents keeping up the charade. I just smiled at the memories we're creating. We'll pay for therapy later.

1 comment:

  1. OH dear.... he he he....Love the elf on the shelf. ;) We don't do that. But it looks fun.


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