Move Over Naughty ‘Elf on the Shelf,’ These Kindness Elves are Taking Over

Saint of the Day for November 6: St. Nicholas Tavelic and Companions (1340 – Nov. 14, 1391)
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By Amanda Thomason, The Western Journal, November 4, 2018

During the holidays as parents stress about getting perfect gifts, baking Pinterest-worthy treats, feeding their families, and keeping up with family holiday traditions, kids are often left a little less supervised than usual.

They know this. Sometimes, they bank on it.

That may not have been the sole factor that spurred the “Elf on the Shelf” craze, but after the debut of the book and toy elf in 2005, it’s become a staple in many homes. Plus, the very Grimm’s-fairytale-esque idea that elves are watching and snitching has been around for some time.

The toy itself is mostly a lighthearted game and a reminder to the kiddos to be good. The elf is a scout, hidden around the house to observe the behaviors of the boys and girls under its charge — though it also gets into all sorts of trouble itself (and begs the question “who reports on the reporting elf?”).

Yeah, it’s a little creepy if you think about it too much. But hey, if Santa sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake, then it makes sense that he’d send out his minions to do his work, too.

I’m not saying it’s okay, I’m just saying that it makes sense — unlike many other aspects of Santa.

The elf on the shelf supposedly reports on both kind and unkind acts, but most kids (and parents) seem to emphasize the negative side of that dichotomy.

Now, though, some enterprising people have developed a doll with not-quite-as-sneaky facial features that sits around the house and focuses on positive reinforcement and suggestions.

Many parents have found this a better use of dolls and time because instead of merely observing and participating in their own hi-jinks, they encourage kids to actively participate in kindness.

They suggest things like baking cookies and sharing them with friends, doing a simple chore for a neighbor, donating toys or gently used items to charities — anything that a child could handle.

Plenty of parents have jumped on this bandwagon and have shared their own suggestions for acts of kindness, so while parents who decide to start this tradition will still have to do most of the work themselves, there are some great resources out there from people who have paved the way.

What do you think of this idea — is this something you could see your kids or grandkids enjoying?