Thursday, December 29, 2011

Elf on the Shelf

To Elf or not to Elf that was the question for me this year. 
I had heard about the Elf on the Shelf last year and was really confused about what it even was, it seemed a bit strange. Once I learned what it actually was I thought ok thats cute but is it for us? Not sure. Well then one night while we were over at my moms house the movie "Elf on the Shelf" came on T.V. and we watched it. Ooops. Now we had to get our elf and we had to have a girl elf. 
So I was on a mission. I ordered our girl Elf - to the tune of over $40! off Amazon - and she was on her way from the North Pole to the Ritter household.

She arrived at our house a little late in December but my daughter didn't know, she was just excited she finally came! She named her Tori and we were off! I had been scouring Pinterest and Facebook for ideas for this little elf and was a little distraught that almost all of the ideas involved said elf being devious, making a mess and then getting in trouble. I kept thinking why in the world would I have this elf come to my house, watch over my child to make sure she is being good and then have her make messes and then put the elf in time out? Not to mention make messes that I then have to clean up! Don't we moms already have enough to do?

So our elf just did sweet fun things.

She turned the milk blue and left Maggie a sweet note:

Seeing my daughters reaction to the blue milk was AWESOME!

She watched over Maggie one night after she had nightmares the night before!

Then she complimented Maggie on her homemade ornaments!

The note said:

Dear Maggie,
I love your ornaments. Way to go! 
My favorite is the purple peace one! Love Tori

She cleaned out Maggie's stocking to get it ready for Christmas:

Tori followed us to Grandmas house!

And wrote her another note! This time it was elf sized! {Maggie had commented that Tori had messy handwriting and I told her when she uses a big pen or pencil from our house its hard to write, so she wrote this note from the North Pole and brought it back}

It said: 
Dear Maggie. Just a little note to let you know,
I'm with you everywhere you go! 
XOXO Tori!

Once I saw that I started thinking hum, how can I make this a spiritual lesson for Maggie? While Christmas and presents are awesome, I didn't want to miss out on the real reason behind the season! 
If Maggie will believe that a stuffed elf can come to life and follow her to grandmas house then surely I can somehow apply this to God!

So the last two nights Tori was planning to bring the message of Jesus to Maggie.

The first way was a tiny elf sized painting for Maggie. 
Maggie is really into peace signs so Tori made her this:

and the last night she was with us she wrote Maggie another letter.

Dear Maggie,

I have so loved spending time with you this year. Watching you everyday has been a joy! Santa and all of my elf friends are so proud of you. You were born into an amazing family. 
Always remember that. Even when you and mommy or daddy are mad at each other,
they will always love you no matter what!!

I wanted to remind you that even though presents are AWESOME Christmas is really about Jesus. Remember that God sent Jesus to earth a long, 
long time ago to live so that he would know how we feel about everything. 
So when you are sad, mad, scared, happy or anything Jesus knows  exactly how you feel!

And when you put all your trust in Him you will have such an amazing life!

Did you know that if it wasn't for God and Jesus me and Santa wouldn't have jobs?

You know how I was always with you this month, watching over you and protecting you? 
Well Jesus does that everyday all day all year long!

Today is my last day with you. I go back to the North Pole with Santa tomorrow - Ill see you next year but just remember, even though you can't see Jesus - like you could see me - 
He is ALWAYS with you.

Merry Christmas


PS Jesus will help you with your bad dreams. Just pray to him about them.

I hope that my daughter had fun and learned a little more about the real reason behind Christmas. How did you elf this year?


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I have a toddler and am thinking ahead on how to explain commercialized Christmas and the real meaning for Christmas. I think this is an amazing idea for had and giving this gift to Maggie is one she will remember! THANK YOU FOR SHARING :)

Shelly said...

I Love this!

I have not got the Elf yet and now that my daughter is in kindergarten she came home asking why we don't have one. I starting explaining to her that its not about if we are good or bad but that we have been given a gift through grace --she stopped me mid-sentence and just rolled her eyes --like yeah, i know the story and what's that have to do with the Elf doing funny stuff.

I love that the Elf had a return flight home and the letter was amazing! Way to go momma! Thinking I might just bite the bullet now hearing your story!