I'm sure you've heard about The Elf on the Shelf. It's a super popular Christmas toy and the gist of it is this: each family's elf (or elves) are sent from Santa Claus to watch the kids and make sure they are good, before they get presents on Christmas. The elf moves around every night and some parents have taken it to great extremes; Elf on the Shelf Shenanigans would definitely be an event in the Motherhood Olympics.
My husband bought our family (well, more specifically, me) an Elf when I was pregnant with Olivia, who is now 2. 2015 was Elfincia's first Christmas with us (yep, you get to name your elf) and we've played along with moving her about, although I've never emphasized the whole "You're being watched" thing.
This year, I wanted to do something different.
I did a lot of research (TGFP - where my Pinterest moms at?!) before deciding how I wanted to set up Elfincia this year. I saw elves that encouraged acts of kindness and elves that didn't appear when the kids had been naughty. Moms are creative, man.
Things have been a little rough in our house lately, what with toddler tantrums, preteen hormones, and teenage boundary pushing? We needed some good. We needed some joy. We needed some gratitude.
Enter the Gratitude Jars.
When Elfincia arrived on the morning of December 1st, she brought a jar for each person in the family, with their name on it. She also left a note.
On the afternoon of December 1st, this already feels like a success. Everyone's jar has a couple of notes in it and the 10 year old smiled bigger than I've seen in awhile as he read the note from his dad this afternoon.
Elfincia will also be encouraging some random acts of kindness for us this season, as I try to shift our family's focus from the get-get-get mentality back to what this season is really about about: giving, gratitude, and spending time with the people you love.
Would you like your own copy of this letter? Download a customizable copy here! (No email address required!)