I wanted to start a Christmas tradition that was others-centered, fun, and most of all, doable. I liked two ideas: Elf on the Shelf---the kids look for a posable toy elf that finds itself in a humorous new situation every day---and 25 Acts of Random Kindness, where each day you do something in the community that might brighten someone's day.
I decided to combine the two and my husband suggested I share my plans here on my site because others might benefit from it.
Each morning the kids will be sent off to search the house for the elf (I plan on using a $3 ornament from Target instead of the elf that comes with the book for $30.) The elf will be doing a task related to our plan for the day.
When the kids find the elf in a bucket with a sponge, for example, I will announce that we are going to wash a family member's car that day.
I made 26 different activities and I'm sure you could think of many that are better than mine. Most of them can actually take place at home and only about 1/3 of them will cost any money, so I really think our family will be able to do this even though we have a newborn. :)
I also want to give a little card to whomever we are serving that tells the person we love him/her and has a verse that concisely explains the gospel. I'm not a fan of "pay it forward" or "random acts of kindness" because, at least in my opinion, that makes acts of service less personal. I don't want to treat people like a project. These acts of kindness are designed to help people in our community---most of whom we actually know---not to try to get warm and fuzzy feelings for being good people.
I lined the sides with washi tape and I plan on taping a business card for our church on the back.
Please feel free to download these and implement this in your family this holiday season!
PDF for list of Acts of Kindness and corresponding Elf on the Shelf placements
PDF of "You Are Loved" card (just cut it out and fold it over)
Send me pictures or tell me stories of how this goes for you and I'll compile them all in a blog post at the end of next month! :)
I hope this is a sweet time for you and your family and whomever you are seeking to serve! :)
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My name is Hope.
I'm 25, married to a rad guy, and raising three little people ages 1,3, and 5...and I'm now expecting my fourth. I like chartreuse, calligraphy, Coke Icees, childbirth, crocs, Studio C, and...alliteration.
Quick links to some of my posts:
Articles I've Written on Other Sites:
Youth Ministry's Family Blindspot - Christianity Today