How our elf has become an important Christmas tradition: When I decided that we would welcome an elf to our home as part of our Christmas celebrations and traditions, I was met with mixed reactions from friends and family.
Some reacted with a very negative response or some with ambivalence.
What a waste of time! Don't you have a life?
Others were rather more interested…
Tell us more, what's it all about.
and others with mirth
And others…(my favourite response)
What a great idea. That's fabulous!
I had seen the original Elf on the Shelf and liked the concept of a magical elf that visits and reports back to Santa about my little ones behaviour. I saw the hundreds of ideas on the many pinterest boards and blog posts that others had written, how their elves were naughty and occasionally downright rude in their behaviour. I also discovered another Christmas elf tradition; Kindness Elves. And so, after looking in to all the different ideas on the net, I decided to have our elf be our own special character who combined all the good things about the festive season and the values I want my children to possess.
Jingle is not the one you see in the Elf on the Shelf tradition, he is green skinned and plush and wears red and blue clothing. He has a cute, friendly face and huge ears. My children liked him instantly.
He arrived one morning in our Christmas tree with a scroll from Santa introducing the concept of a visiting elf and asking the children to name him. After a bit of debate, he was christened Jingle Glitterbottom. Each night when the children are asleep he does something funny or silly. He is never naughty, nasty or unkind as I feel this defeats the reason he is visiting. After all, how can he report back to Santa on their behaviour if he is being naughty or rude?
Each day that Jingle is visiting us, he leaves a little sweet treat, game to play or Christmas craft activity for the children to do. He always leaves a note saying what they need to do and reminding them of the following good character traits he wants them to think about or remember to do. He usually chooses one of these a day as his focus.
These are the focus of his visits. And the most important part of the reason I decided to have an elf visit. It gives the children a positive and good focus for that day. These things help make them better people and have an affect on those around them in a real and tangible way. I reinforce this throughout the day and talk about how important these things are.
The tasks he asks us to do include
Sometimes he has fun things for us to do
The delight on the children's faces when they find him each morning and read his note is so special. He is so much more exciting than an advent calendar and he teaches them about the real spirit of Christmas. Jingle has such a positive impact on my children and helps make the countdown to Christmas that much more special.
I know many out there don't like the elf tradition, but our family definitely gives it a great big thumbs up!