Have you heard of the the Kindness Elves? They came about when Anna Ransom, the mom behind the blog The Imagination Tree, was looking for an alternative to the Elf on the Shelf. From what I understand, the Elf on the Shelf watches you and reports back to Santa on your behavior–a very creepy twist on the naughty and nice list aspect of the Santa myth. I have always enjoyed seeing the photos my friends take of their Elves getting into mischief throughout the month of December, and I give them so many props for doing that each night to create an allusion of magic for their kids. However, when thinking about what I wanted to teach Young Master Gray about Christmas, the Elf on the Shelf just didn’t fit. I found the idea of the Kindness Elves so refreshing. Instead of focusing on behavior or if Santa will reward your behavior with presents or not, the Kindness Elves encourage you to engage in acts of kindness during the holiday season, especially the last 12 days leading up to Christmas Day.
I heard about the Kindness Elves last year and attempted to include them in our traditions for the holiday, but it was simply too late and Young Master Gray would not have really comprehended the meaning anyway. I gave myself a pass and decided to plan ahead this year. Even this year I do not expect to go all out with our acts of kindness. I am looking at it as a trial run so that there is not too much pressure on Young Master Gray or myself. I mean, he is only two. While I do believe that he has some understanding of what we are trying to accomplish with our acts of kindness, I still don’t think he can fully appreciate it this year.
With that in mind, I kept our list of daily acts of kindness rather simple. I have a feeling that he will really enjoy it next year and even get in on the fun of planning what acts of kindness we should enact. The Kindness Elves arrive on December 12 and then the days that follow are the days we will perform our acts of kindness with Christmas Eve being the final day.
Day 1: Make a craft and send it to someone special.
Day 2: Collect toys you no longer use and donate them.
Day 3: Make a DIY Christmas card for somebody in the hospital.
Day 4: Make a bird feeder to feed the birds in the yard.
Day 5: Gather food and donate it to the food pantry.
Day 6: Give free hugs to friends and family today and brighten their day.
Day 7: Donate a toy to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital toy drive.
Day 8: Make a video for great grandma to tell her Merry Christmas.
Day 9: Make a DIY gift for your daycare teachers.
Day 10: Choose an animal from the Heifer International catalog to donate.
Day 11: Take treats to the fire station.
Day 12: Pick up your books and toys and put them where they belong.
I ordered our Kindness Elves from The Imagination Tree this year, but they sold out within a matter of hours. If you are interested in purchasing the official Kindness Elves next year, visit their Facebook page and sign up to be the first to know when they are available. If you would like to get started this year, you may be able to find some of these cute little elf ornaments I found at Target last year. In fact, since our elves are coming from the UK and have yet to arrive, these may be the ones we end up using this year.
If you already have an Elf on the Shelf and want to shift the focus to giving and kindness, you can give him a new purpose as kindness elf!
Get started with an introduction to the Kindness Elves and ideas for the 12 Magical Days of the Kindness Elves. Plus, 25 ideas for your Kindness Elves.
With or without the elves, I hope to encourage a spirit of kindness, generosity and service to others in Young Master Gray, during the holiday and all year round. Feel free to follow along on Instagram
and see what kind acts our elves inspire us to carry out this season. I hope the next two weeks are full of goodness and light for you and yours. Merry Christmas!