If you haven't already heard, we've had a new house guest the past couple of weeks. He's here visiting from the North Pole and his name is Fred. He's our Elf on the Shelf.
The traditional way of doing an Elf on the Shelf is to read the book that comes with him, which says that the elf is here to watch the kids behavior and report back to the North Pole each night. So each morning he's found in a new place since he's leaving and coming back each night.
But I decided to do ours a little different. I didn't want their behavior to be a result of Santa watching. In our home we teach that Jesus is watching and good behavior is always expected, not just at Christmas time, and I happened upon another idea on Pinterest that fit with that a lot better. Our elf came in a box from the North Pole, but instead of the book he had a letter from Santa with him.
In short, the letter said that Santa had been trying to teach this elf about Jesus love and about making good choices, and he thought that since Halie and Burl were learning those things too that maybe they could help teach the elf for a few weeks until Christmas. The catch is that he's very good and very still all day, but he loves to play and be a stinker at night.
So, instead of the elf being here to make sure they have good behavior, he is here for them to teach him about Jesus love and how he can make good choices and not be such a stinker.
The box was waiting on the porch for them one morning when they woke up.
Even Gretchen had to check it all out.
Thinking of what to name him. She finally decided on Fred.
The first morning they found him hiding behind the recliner with the blocks all over the floor and building a castle.
Another morning he had unraveled the toilet paper in the bathroom!
What a stinker!
Naughty Fred got into the M&M's!!
Coloring a picture. He even drew an elf hat on her!
Uh-oh! He got into the toothpaste. Halie was not happy about having to clean up this mess, but it turned into a good teaching moment and we talked about responsibility and taking care of and loving someone even if they don't make good choices.
On this particular morning he had Halie's doll house out of the closet and all set up, and apparently took a potty break.
Whoa! This hog has bad breath!
Under the kitchen table playing with the kids' Christmas train.
Hiding in the kitchen cabinet. They looked EVERYWHERE for him that morning and could not find him. Finally, when Burl went to get Gretchen a treat he discovered him.
This one made Halie laugh the hardest. He replaced the stockings with their undies!
And did you see him hiding nearby behind the topiary?
Watching a movie and having a snack.
This one deserves some explanation. Robert loves to tease Halie that her beloved Alex the Lion eats people and she is VERY insistent that he does NOT. So on this morning she found Fred hanging on for dear life to the stair railing, wielding a toddler's butter knife for protection from the vicious Alex.
Trying to pretend to be as innocent as Mary. I think not!
I guess he had some last minute shopping to do because on this morning he was found digging through Mommy's purse with cards and money askew!
Some mornings he's been found just hiding in a new spot, not being mischievous or naughty at all, but sometimes he forgets that's he's supposed to be making good choices.
He sure has a been a fun new tradition this year. We have a few more fun ones planned until Santa comes to get him in a few days, so I'll be sure to share those later as well as some other Christmas happenings.