Elf Ideas / The Christmas Web
Christmas elves have been a part of our Christmas Tradition for many years, starting with our grandchildrens elves in 2005. I realized last year that the elf could become a supportive teaching tool emphasizing our family beliefs and values as well as being a lot of fun for the kids, my wife and me. With this in mind last year we put a new twist into the elf’s traditional stay in our home. We decided to ask our elves to help us develop our children’s Christian character as well as have fun. We’ve for years also had The Christmas Web as a part of our Christmas Tradition which we've tied into the elves role. Here are some of the ways we've put our two Family Christmas Traditions together.
Christmas Web Idea #1
Saint Nicholas' Day
In the United States, the custom associated with Saint Nicholas Day is children leave their shoes out on Saint Nicholas Eve in hope that Saint Nicholas will place some gifts in their shoes. Our elves are always there to observe and to report back to Santa; who is a descendant of Saint Nicholas . Saint Nicholas' Day, observed on December 6 (in Western Christian countries) and December 19 (in Eastern Christian countries), is the feast day of Saint Nicholas and has become a part of our month long Christmas Tradition.
Nita, my wife, brought Saint Nicholas Day into our family's holiday traditions and we added elves making the day one of our Elf Ideas. I've come to think that introducing our kids to other culture's Christmas traditions is a real positive, it's good for our kids to know that there are other ways of celebrating holidays and other Christmas traditions around the world.
Christmas Web Idea #2
Friends and Family
As we grow older we learn that after family, friends are most important. Friends and family share good times and it’s your friends and family that stand with you in bad times. I've found that friend are plentiful when your young and in school but diminish with age. It's the early friends in life that need to be cherished. As a part of our month long Christmas Tradition we and our elves promote the idea to celebrate with our friends and family.
Christmas Web Idea #3
Take care of your Mind, Body and Spirit.
Over the past several years Yoga has become a weekly activity in our home, and our children have come to understand that we have a Mind, a Body and a Spirit and that it’s important to develop and maintain all three to be a well-rounded and healthy person. Our elvf idea is to remind us today of our commitment to Mind, Body and Spirit. As a part of our Christmas Tradition we try to attend a youga class together.
“There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind - you are the one who hears it.”
Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
I just finished this book. I wish my elf on the shelf had shared it with me as a teenager, I would have avoided much pain and I'd be a better person today.
Christmas Web Idea #4
Trusting Your Brother and Sister
Our kids don't always get along, but they do trust each other. When I was growing up I had an older brother, we fought continuously but I always knew if I needed him he'd be there for me and I could trust him to cover my back.
The elves idea is to displaying the importance of "trust" today. Two of them are holding up the third providing a swing for their brother. Again we use the elves and The Christmas Web to emphasize our family values as a part of our Christmas Tradition.
Our daughter died on December 26, 2014 after a twelve year fight with cancer. Her brother was devastated; he believed even after watching her twelve year fight that she would not die, that she'd somehow survive. Our elves will from now on teach the importance of your brothers and sisters. Our elves will teach the importance of family, it's part of our Christmas Tradition.
Christmas Web Idea #5
Giving Hugs is as Good as Getting Hugs
Hugging builds self-esteem. As a newborn our family's touch shows us that we're loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still embedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted in our brain, and hugs remind us at a spiritual level of that. Hugs connect us to our ability to self love. So today the elves idea is to give and get as many Hugs as we can. To put it simply "Hugs are a part of our Family Christmas Tradition."
Hugging is synergistic, which means the whole is more than the sum of its parts: 1+1 = 3 or more
Christmas Web Idea #6
Kindness Breeds More Kindness
Think of the last time you were that beneficiary of a "Random Act of Kindness" and how it made you feel. You felt good, the giver felt good and you wanted to pass it forward.
Our elves ideas to teach "Random Acts of Kindness". When the children come down for breakfast this morning they find their elf and their magic wand next to their breakfast setting, at the end of the string is a note.
“Some time today do something kind for someone who you cross paths with, someone you know or don’t know. When you come home this evening I’d like you to share your random act of kindness with me.” Love ya, Lucie .
Random Acts of Kindness should be a part of all of our year long Family Traditions.
The Elf has presented such a fantastic opportunity to teach our children the true valuable lessons of a good life. The Elf is in our homes for the full month of December and our children are so receptive of their Elf's every movement and message. Let's throw in the habit of preforming a Random Act of Kindness and call it what it is, it just might catch on and the world could become a better place ans a result of your Christmas Tradition.
Christmas Web Idea #7
Share Your Good Fortune
When the children come down for breakfast each Sunday morning in December they find their elf with their magic wand next to their breakfast setting, their holding money. In the bottom of their cereal bowl is a note:
“You’ve been good this week and I told Santa, he sent you this $3.00 for you and he’s asked that you share it with someone who needs it more than you. Ask your parents for some ideas as to who that might be. When you share ask who you share it with to touch your magic wand; this will send a message to Santa that you shared your good fortune."
Sharing your good fortune should be a year long Family Tradition.
Christmas Web Idea #8
Life is a Series of Decisions
It never ceases to amaze me how people are afforded such great opportunities as a result of their hard word and dedication and yet they make bad decisions that are most often clearly a decision based on Right or Wrong.
The elves are sharing their idea on the subject of Right and Wrong.
Another family value that has become a part of our Christmas Tradition.
Christmas Web Idea #9
Christmas Morning and The Christmas Web
The elves have flown back to the North pole with Santa, but before the packed up they left each of the children with a "special Christmas gift" that only Santa and their elf knew about. So that no one gets the wrong "special gift" they hid them at the end of the string on their magic wand; at the end of The Christmas Web.. The string leads them through the house to the delight of all until the "special Christmas gift" is found and brought back to the Christmas tree and the whole family.
The true benefit of The Christmas Web came as our children got older; it slowed Christmas morning down and turned into a family interactive activity that can be passed on from generation to generation.
It's my hope that our family values translate into strong character and Family Traditions that will pass on from generation to generation.
Shortly after I was born I was baptized in the Catholic church. I wore a Baptism Dress the same worn by my older brother and would be worn by my two younger brothers. Then it was lost for 60 years, stored away in a box in an attic, then claimed by someone not directly related to our family and stored in another attic. It was recently found and I immediately knew what it was: a family tradition. A family tradition that will once again become part of our family.
Family traditions are the anchor of a family, family traditions are what hold families together.
Christmas Web Idea #15
Show Some Love for Your Grandparents
Stay connected; with technology it's easy to drop them an email, share pictures or call just to say hi. Then hand write them a note, they'll treasure it.
Get to know them better; open family picture albums and learn about them when they were young and your parents, and listen to their stories.
Acknowledge their love; respond to their cards and gifts that you receive,just say 'thank you."
Visit them; take some time and go to their home and share what you're doing with them; and ask them for their help on your projects.
Help them out; if you live close and you know their working on a project offer to help.
We have three Elf pixies here, two have aged gracefully and their life has become simple, few conflicts, more peace of mind, and more comfortable with themselves. But the still need love and it's most welcome from their children and grandchildren. Our elvesshows his grandparent elves some love.
Christmas Web Idea #16
Our elf idea today is to show some Motherly Love not just today but every day.
Mom thinks of her kids all the time even when their not with her.
Mom Loves her kids in a way that they don't understand.
Mom will always be there for her kids.
Mom loves her kids even when they neglect.
Mom is the best friend you'll ever have.
"Some time today let your Mom know how much you love her and that you'll always lover her."
My mom died when I was 8 years old. She was eaten up with cancer in 1953 at 31 years old, so I had a limited time to experience Motherly Love. Now my daughter died on December 26, 2014 also from cancer, my grandson was 9 years old. He too had a limited time to experiencing Motherly Love. If your a mother cherish every day.
Christmas Web Idea #17
Always Tell the Truth
When you lie your nose grows long. We all know this from the story of Pinocchio.
Our elf idea today is to impress upon the children the importance of always telling the truth and we as parent must remember to reward the truth even when it's hard hearing the truth.
Pinocchio asks the fairy how she knew that he was lying. The fairy replies: “Lies, my dear boy, are found out immediately, because they are of two sorts. There are lies that have short legs, and lies that have long noses. Your lie, as it happens, is one of those that have a long nose.”
Christmas Web Idea #18
Elf on the Shelf Shoots for the Moon
When Larry Page, founder of Google, was asked by Time Magazine why Google doesn't put some of it's efforts towards curing cancer he responded. "Curing cancer is to short term of a goal adding three years to a persons life, we'd prefer a goal to eliminate death" -para-phrased
Google encourages it's employees to set Ridiculously Ambitious Goals. The theory is if you Shoot for the Moon what ever you do achieve will be awesome.
Our Elf on the Shelf Shot for the Moon and landed on the set of the new Star Wars movie The Force Awakens.
Christmas Web Idea #19
Save a Little Today be Rich Tomorrow
A note from Santa and one of his helpers:
"If you save $10.00 a month from age 7 to 13 then $25.00 a month from age 13 to 20, then $100.00 a month from age 20 to 65 and it growers at a rate of 8% a year you'll accumulate $367,972."
Christmas Web Idea #20
Find Your Unique Ability
A note from Santa and your Elf:
"You have and Mind, Body and Spirit and together they provide you with an incredible force called “Your Unique Ability.” It’s a combination of your talents, passions, and skills it's what you can do better than anyone else. Trust me, you have it now it's up to you to find it."
Christmas Web Idea #10
The Family Christmas Party / Gift Exchange
I wanted to put a new twist into the dreaded "Gift Exchange" when our extended family gathered for "The Family Christmas Party". The drawing had already taken place and the gifts had been procured, when the family arrived each giver was given a magic wand. At the time of the exchange each giver was told to
"Go hide your gift that your giving, and trail the string on your magic wand back to here. Once all givers are back, hand your magic wand to your respective recipient. Wind the string back on to the magic wand to find your "special gift". First two back (one male and one female) get another special gift... from Santa."
The "Gift Exchange" took on new meaning with 20 gift seekers racing through the house; it turned into a contact sport that will be an annual event.
Elf on the Shelf Idea/ Christmas Web Idea #11
Assists The Easter Bunny
We've always had an Easter morning Easter Egg Hunt. We also have always had "A Special Egg" hidden for each of our children, we tried a specific color for each child but year to year that got confusing. Then we started writing their name on the egg but they'd find each others eggs and that didn't work. So we brought the elves and the magic wands into our Easter Tradition. Now when the child wakes up their magic wand and elf are on their pillow with the string leading to somewhere in the house where they find their "Special Egg" with a gift card or money in the egg. This is how our Easter Morning Traditions starts.
Christmas Web Idea #12
Santa's Helpers works with the Tooth Fairy
The Tooth Fairy comes as usual but employes the elves to make a scavenger hunt out of finding the tooth reward. Our children wake in the morning to find their elf with their magic wand. The trail of string leads them to their tooth reward. In addition to the reward we always allow the elf to leave a new tooth brush and dental floss. Once again the elf disappears in all the commotion, presumably back to the North Pole.
Christmas Web Idea #13
The Elves reward the whole family with a trip to the beach!
Using the Elves to teach our family values as a part of our Christmas Holiday Tradition seemed like such a good idea that we decided to extend the teaching of our family values into the balance of the year. We kept with the reward theme and we continued to try to keep The Christmas Web involved as an extension of the elves actions. The kids had continued with their Random Acts of Kindness, and The Sharing of their Wealth and many of the others, so one Friday they found a picture of their elves on the beach with an explanation that they had been so good after Christmas the the elves found us a place at the beach and we were going the next week. They didn't see the elves when the arrived at the beach but we assured them that the elves would be watching and there might be more rewards in the future.
Christmas Web Idea #14
Oul Elf Lucy tries to be the First Female Elf to Drive in the Indy 500!
Lucy worked for three years to become an Indy 500 driver in hopes of being the first Female Elf to drive in the Indy 500 but could not qualify for this years race, but Lucy is not a quitter and will continue to work to make her dream come true. She may have to lower her goal to the Indy Lite Series. The message is that you can achieve anything that you put your mind to and that setting your goals to where no ones else has gone is not bad, but be prepared to adjust your goals and change your direction.
"If you set a crazy unachievable goal and work to achieve it, you'll still achieve remarkable things."
Winners never quite and Quitters never win.