Inside this post, you’ll find a great alternative to The Elf On The Shelf. This post contains affiliate links
My friend sighs and rolls her eyes. We’re sitting in our local coffee shop talking about the holidays, our crammed December schedule, and how we’ll survive the holiday season when she bursts out “Oh my gosh, I have to do that damn Elf again!”
She goes on and on about how her kids love The Elf On The Shelf, but she’s tired of having to move Buddy the Elf every night, and then she turns to me and says,
“You know, I’m not even sure if my kids act any better with Buddy hanging around, I just don’t think it’s worth it. I wonder how I can get rid of that Elf.”
I giggle to myself and am instantly grateful that I didn’t jump on that bandwagon.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think the Elf can be fun. Over the years, I’ve scrolled through Facebook and laughed at the antics those pesky Elves get into. I really love the one where Elsa freezes him in a block of ice. Now that’s brilliant.
But, I’m just not interested in doing The Elf on The Shelf.
Nope, No Elf On The Shelf In This House.
When I think about the memories I want my children to have and the values I want to instill in my children, The Elf On The Shelf isn’t something I want in my home.
As a Therapist and Mom, the Elf On The Shelf gives me a bad feeling because:
- it forces kids to be good because of an external motivator, The Elf, who’s always watching to see if you’re behaving. It’s far better for a child to learn appropriate behavior because of internal motivations of wanting to behave.
- The Elf is all about the presents. If a child is bad, then Santa doesn’t come and they don’t get presents. This just reinforces the commercialism of the season, right?
- if I’m going to do a big tradition, like the Elf, I’d much rather choose something that will teach my children values and reinforce what the holidays are all about…and it ain’t about the presents.
- Plus, he’s just a little too creepy for me.
But, I do appreciate the magic of The Elf.
I can see why it’s fun and why so many families have decided to bring an Elf into their homes.
So instead of The Elf On The Shelf, I’m introducing my kids to The Kindness Elves.
The Kindness Elves
The Kindness Elves are magical friends who love nothing more than to sprinkle kindness and joy wherever they go!
They love to visit and spread this happiness with children, encouraging them to do small acts of kindness in their daily lives.The premise is sort of the same as The Elf on The Shelf, but better.
Each day your child wakes up and looks for The Kindness Elves around the house. Instead of finding mischief, they find an idea for a random act of kindness from The Elves.
Once the kids to the random act of kindness, they are rewarded with a little postcard congratulating them on their act of kindness. This little postcard fits into their Little Book of Big Kindnesses to keep.
- encourage kindness, empathy, and taking care of others,
- recognize the good things kids do, instead of focusing on the bad,
- are in line with the true spirit of the holidays, and
- bring magic and excitement to the holiday season,
As your children do these random acts of kindness during the season, they not only learn how to show kindness to others, but they feel the joy and elation of doing something for someone else. They learn to LOVE to spread kindness.
This is a holiday tradition I can stand behind.
They are culturally diverse and come in a variety of colors. I know you can find a set that works perfectly for your family.
Now that I think about it, maybe I should send a set of Kindness Elves to my friend, I bet she’d like them better than Buddy The Elf.