As many of you know I sent the Elf on the Shelf packing last year. My reasons were many, click here to read more. Though, I must admit, it did feel like something was missing last year. I missed the added enthusiasm the children displayed; their eager eyes every morning, and that extra dose of magic that added to the already exciting anticipation of the birth of our King. I wanted a tradition that centered on the true meaning of Christmas. I really despised the whole idea of; if you are good you will get something…um, hello, what about the overflowing joy that fills your heart when you give? I want to be able to ask my children, how are you coming along on your Christmas list? And their response to be something along the lines of, good, I just have Nana and daddy’s gifts left to buy, not, I have narrowed it down to 12 things I want! I figured there was nothing like that out there and then I happened upon a kit in the clearance section of the local Family Christian Bookstore, The Christmas Angel kit.
The kit came with a book, toy stuffed angel, golden dust, and tin for storage. Book & stuffed animal combo sound familiar? The basic idea is that the Christmas Angel comes in the evening when the children sleep and writes a message, an act of kindness to complete, in the golden dust (glitter that is spread in the bottom of the tin).Hmmm….I was totally skeptical!
I stood there in the clearance section for a lengthy amount of time having a conversation with myself. (I am really hoping I am not the only one who does this…always keeping it real, no matter how embarrassing).
I asked myself the following questions:
If I purchase this am I simply replacing one ridiculous tradition with another? Will this tradition encourage a selfless Christmas or foster selfishness? Is it about the receiving or the giving? Is this tradition practical, will we be taking on too much during an already very busy season?
My responses to my own questions (I know, I am a total dork):
If I purchase the Christmas Angel kit I will have more flexibility and control over the tradition since I would be the one writing the messages, the acts of kindness, in the gold dust. I could also alter the messages if need be, if we do not have time to complete an act of kindness one day I could instead leave a message expressing affirmation for a random act of kindness a child facilitated the day before (it is so important we acknowledge and praise a child when they do good, far too often we only focus on punishing them when they do something bad). This tradition would definitely be focusing on the giving, making someone else’s day brighter, and fostering a selfless Christmas. Conclusion, this new tradition would not be ridiculous, this tradition would fill our hearts with the joy of giving, and this new tradition would center on something real, the Christmas Angel.
So I bought it!! And the day after Thanksgiving we read the book and I introduced the children to our new tradition!
How was it received by the children?
The children were beyond elated. We read the book and all three of them, including our 10 year old, were enthralled. They even decided on a schedule of who shall sleep with the stuffed angel each night. Then they made a special request before they went to bed, they asked if they could write the angel a thank you note in the golden dust, it melted my heart to hear them request such a beautiful thing. Thus began their communication with the Christmas Angel.
CLICK HERE to purchase your own Christmas Angel Kit and checkout some fun activities!
Need some acts of kindness ideas:
Examples of what we will be doing include, make an invitation inviting our neighbor to dinner, donate toys & books, decorate cookies at a nursing home, sing carols with friends, let a sibling go first, help mom without being asked, take stuffed animals to the children’s hospital, make a thank you note & treat for local firefighter and police, thank your guardian angel, etc. Keep it as simple as possible; remember this is supposed to add to your joy not take away from it. And don’t forget to entwine some messages of affirmation and praise for those random acts of kindness you children do.
What are some acts of kindness you do as a family during Christmas? What traditions do you have during this joyous time of year? Please share.