Ashley is a guest writer today for Worshipful Living. She has an alternative for Elf on the Shelf for those families who do not do Santa but want a fun Christmas tradition.
In our home our kids know the truth about Santa Claus, but once many of my friends started the Elf on the Shelf tradition I knew I wanted to something similar for my own kids. I searched Pinterest for alternatives, but nothing quite fit what I was looking for. Then I got the idea for Follow The Star based off the Wisemen’s journey to find the Messiah.
Every few days the Wisemen & the star make an appearance with a note telling the kids something fun to do or an act of kindness. My kids know I’m the one setting it all up, but they love it anyway. The “magic” isn’t lost because they know the truth. And honestly, we do many of these things anyway during the Christmas season, adding Follow the Star just adds a little extra fun. They really look forward to finding them when they appear and it’s not something I have to do everyday of December! Thank goodness because I easily forget!
Here are a few of the ideas we did last year:
We read the gingerbread man & made gingerbread cookies.
I hid them on the DVD player announcing we would watch a Christmas movie & eat popcorn & drink hot chocolate.
We made Christmas cards for our grandparents.
Sometimes it was as simple as having pancakes with red & green M&Ms & watching a movie at breakfast.
And my favorite was when they surprised the boys after church letting them know we were headed to watch Frozen at the movies!
We don’t just tell our kids that Santa isn’t real, but we tell them how he came to be & about St. Nicholas. Last year on St. Nicholas Day the Wisemen led us to leave candy canes with Scripture on our neighbors’ doors.
I don’t want my kids to think Santa is bad, I just want them to know the truth & to keep our
focus on Christ & serving others. We watch all the traditional Christmas movies with Santa }}
We even take a picture with Santa!!! 🙂 If we went to Disney we would take pics with the characters there too. We also give Santa & his elves a candy cane with Scripture on it when we see them.
I love Christmas and this works for us. I think it’ll be a fun tradition to carry on each year & possibly something they might do with their kids.
Today is the 1st day of 2014 that the wisemen are making an appearance!
This year I decided to add John 14:6 to our star as a reminder to my kids that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, & the Life.
Another fun thing we do is a Jesse Tree using our Jesus Storybook Bible as a guide. I read them the story & read the Scriptures from my Bible, then we work together making an ornament to hang on our Jesse Tree.
Here’s a couple of pics:
I hope you found some ideas you like! If you decide to do Follow the Star with your kids PLEASE come back & tell me about it!!
Have a very blessed Christmas!