Two years ago my family started a new family tradition: Elf on the Shelf.
We did not buy the “official” elf but instead used an elf ornament that we already had. Here’s how it works: each night I hide the elf somewhere around the house. In the morning the kids try to find it. Sometimes the elf is getting into mischief. Other times the elf is hiding in an inconspicuous place. Every morning becomes a bit of a scavenger hunt.
The legend behind Elf on the Shelf is that the elf watches the children throughout the day. Then at night, the elf travels to Santa’s workshop and reports on the children’s behavior. Basically, the elf is always watching and is prepared to tattle on you if you misbehave.
It’s a modern take on “He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.”
We have not promoted the legend part of Elf on the Shelf in the Bonnema household. Zoe and Riley just have fun trying to find him everyday. But I did hear of one parent who found that her kids completely changed their behavior during the Christmas season because they knew the elf was watching. They were on their best behavior throughout the holidays. So she decided to keep the elf around year round!
I don’t think that’s what Helen Rice meant when she said “Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day.”
What would it look like to live Christmas everyday?
For me, Christmas represents joy, peace, laughter and gratitude. It means the birth of our Savior and extra time with family. Christmas is the revelation of how deep God’s love really is. It’s about creating memories and giving gifts and sitting by the fire.
When you think about it, there’s no reason why we cannot live like this everyday.
Maybe the Christmas season should not be seen as an end to a year, but a head start into a new way of living.
I am reminded of the chorus of angels in their declaration of Jesus’ birth:
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
A season of peace. A time of joy. An opportunity to connect with our Savior.
Live Christmas everyday.
May this Christmas season be a springboard into a whole new way of living.
This Sunday is our Big Music Sunday! The format will be similar to a Lessons and Carols service. You’ll hear from members of our choir, the handbells, and more. I can’t wait!
See you on Sunday!
P.S. Tomorrow at 4 pm our Incarnation Bible Study continues. You can join us at this Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89649464082