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Elf on the Shelf Alternative

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Christmas Tradition Overwhelm

I talk a lot about how social media can make us mothers feel like failures.  It paints unrealistic pictures of what we should be doing every day.  Christmas is coming up and we are about to get FLOODED with things to buy, events to do, new traditions to start, recipes to make…..

Dont get me wrong I LOVE Christmas.  I LOVE to decorate my house and make is smell like a giant Christmas tree.  My husband and I want it to look like Christmas threw up all over our house.  I LOVE gingerbread and hot chocolate.  I am a wee bit obsessed with ugly Christmas sweaters!

Don’t Forget the Real Meaning of Christmas

BUT there is a Child that means so much more than the gifts and the events and the traditions.  Christmas is not a time to stress yourself out with making everything perfect.  It’s a time to celebrate the birth of a Man that would die so that you didn’t have to be perfect.

So when you start to feel overwhelmed this season, take a deep breath, a step back and remember that a “perfect” Christmas isn’t what this season is really all about.

With that little disclosure out-of-the-way lets take a look at the elf on the shelf from a more graceful perspective.  It’s a cute idea and if it’s what you do every year I am totally not knocking you for it.  It is not something that we are choosing to do at my house and here is why.

To me the Elf on the Shelf is a creepy marketing ploy and I am not buying.

Firstly, my children do not need any extra encouragement to be naughty.  They just don’t.  We are not going to laugh at the Elf dragging out toilet paper and making a snow angel in flour on my counter.  My kids will totally do that and I will have to explain that only Elves get to be naughty.

I am not going to bring even more stuff that my kids don’t need into the house in the form of gifts from the Elf.  We have a moderate playroom which works so well for my kids and I refuse to let the Christmas season overload it all over again.

Honestly, I just don’t want my kids to get all worked up every morning about a toy.  I don’t want them waking up with that toy as the first thing on their mind.

I am not a Scrooge, I promise.  I don’t see anything wrong with the Elf on the Shelf but it’s just not for us.

Alternatives to Elf on the Shelf

Advent Nativity

We do have a few cute alternatives that we choose to do during the month of December.  We have an adorable little felt Nativity that my daughter gets so excited about doing every morning.  It’s an advent calendar that I picked up on a clearance rack at our local Christian bookstore several years ago.

This one is not exactly the same but is pretty similar. I cringed at the price at first but honestly you will probably come out cheaper in the long run since you buying additional little gifts or clothes or pets or all those other crazy accessories they have for the Elf these days.

The advent has 24 days and each day you get a part of the nativity scene.  An angel, a shepherd, a sheep and so on.  I always leave Baby Jesus for the 24th.  Its a great way to put the true meaning of the season at the forefront of your mind each day.

Wise Men Seeking Jesus

Another super fun alternative to the Elf is Use this adorable plush set from Hobby Lobby as an alternative to Elf on the Shelf. Put baby Jesus away for safe keeping and let the Wise Men "search" for Him each night. You kids will enjoy looking for them and finding them in silly places each day. On Christmas Eve place baby Jesus and the Wise Men all back in the Nativity scene.have a set of Wise Men seeking Jesus.  No toys, no tricks, no silly messes.  Just a fun little hide and seek type activity.  You can put the Wise Men in crazy places, like the freezer, or the sock drawer.  This is just another fun way to make the season more Christ-centered.

I love nativities.  I have a ton of them but for this activity I would suggest something that is not breakable.  Hobby Lobby has a super cute plush set this year that would work perfectly.

Or this hand-painted set below from Peg and Plum is so beautiful

Use this adorable nativity set from Peg and Plum as an alternative to Elf on the Shelf. Put baby Jesus away for safe keeping and let the Wise Men "search" for Him each night. You kids will enjoy looking for them and finding them in silly places each day. On Christmas Eve place baby Jesus and the Wise Men all back in the Nativity scene.

Whatever you decide to do or don’t do this Christmas is up to you!  Don’t let me or any other moms on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook make you feel like you aren’t doing enough or you HAVE to do more.

Christmas is about the birth of Christ. Period.  End of Story.

Christmas dinners, gifts, events, celebrations are all just a bonus.  You really want to give your kids an awesome Christmas?  Teach them the meaning behind it because Jesus will stick with them forever.  Buddy the elf…. he will probably get eaten by dust in your attic by next Christmas.

What Elf on the Shelf Alternatives does your family have?

 

Comments

  1. I love these ideas!! I still have no clue what Elf on the Shelf is about but I love the hiding the nativity scene! So fun! And we always do an advent calendar but I really like the nativity one!!!

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