You guys…can I just tell you how much I love today’s guest blogger? Lauren and I actually went to high school together–but I was a year older, she was a cheerleader and I was on drill team, etc, etc. So while we didn’t know each other super well, I always thought she was just the cutest, most genuine girl ever. And I was right. I have so loved reconnecting with her, watching our very similar first-borns grow up through the blog world, and following along with her journey to life on the farm in Nebraska. I only wish that we’d timed it better so that we could’ve both lived in KC at the same time!!!
Anyway…I’ll stop babbling! Here’s Lauren 🙂
Hey all! I’m Lauren over at From Blacktop to Dirt Road. And is it just me, or is Mr. Nash just the cutest little man-child there is? Right, I knew I wasn’t alone 🙂 I was so excited when Vanessa asked me to guest blog, especially if it meant that she would have more time for snuggles with her new little guy! Today I’m sharing with you about a fun new tradition I started with my girls this year, the Kindness Elf.
I was so looking forward to starting Elf on the Shelf with my oldest, Nora, this year. But after reading about “the Kindness Elf” online I decided to give it a try. And boy has he been a hit!
The Kindness Elf works a lot like Elf on the Shelf in that there is something new that he is doing every morning when your littles wake up. The difference is that he gives them a mission of kindness for the day, an opportunity to show love or gratitude to someone.
For example, our Kindness Elf, Jingle, introduced himself to Nora this year by giving her her first cup (ever!) of hot chocolate and gave her a mission to call someone and tell them that she loved them (something simple for a 2 year old). A few other “missions” that Jingle has given Nora are to make cookies for a ladies group at our church, visit an elderly friend, make cards for our pastor and elders at church, donate a toy to charity, to fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child and to go help Daddy with chores for the morning. All of these are simple, tangible ways that she can be kind to others during the holidays. So many times it can be all about giving kids everything they want this time of year. But really is there no greater gift than teaching your child to give of themselves?
Once a week, we have also had Jingle make a special visit after nap time with a “fun night” scheduled for Nora. One night we went and looked at Christmas lights, another night we watched her favorite movie (Frozen, of course!) and ordered pizza, just the 4 of us. It’s so fun being able to put special time aside to do those things together as a family during what’s normally such a busy time of the year.
Operation Christmas Child box all packed up and ready to be sent to a small town in Mexico
The awesome thing about the kindness elf is that you can make it whatever you want to be. You can do it every day, every other day, whatever your heart desires! If you have older kids, you could do some things that are geared more towards their age, like serving meals at the city mission, giving a gift card to a homeless man on the corner, donating to your local food pantry, shoveling snow for an elderly neighbor….the list could go on and on.
Although Nora is still young, I hope and pray that over the years of doing this that she learns that it truly is better to give than receive. And at the same time be a reminder of the Greatest gift that was ever given in Jesus on that holy night so many years ago in Bethlehem.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!!