With the popularity it’s gained over the years, you’ve almost certainly heard or seen the “Elf on the Shelf” holiday season tradition.
“Elf on the Shelf” is a little book that tells the story of how Santa knows who’s behaving or not. It comes with a little elf friend who is supposed to keep watch on the kid and report back to Santa each night. The caveat is that the elf cannot be touched because he might lose his magic. Kids seem to love this, we cannot argue with that. However, some Catholic parents aren’t that into the secular idea. For instance, the story states that the elf keeps watch from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. For Catholics, many would like their kids to know that we recognize that time of year as Advent.
We’ve seen some suggestions online about how to make the “Elf on the Shelf” game more Catholic. For instance, Ellen from Eyes on Heaven suggested replacing the elf with figurines of the Three Wise Men or Mary and Joseph. We thought this was a terrific idea worth sharing!
When your kids find the Wise Men or Mary and Joseph each morning of Advent, you can explain different aspects of their journey and its importance to us as Catholics. Ellen also recommends saying a quick Advent prayer when you find the figurines each day. You can even tell them that the Wise Men are reporting to the Big Guy each night while they sleep. (We don’t mean Santa, by the way!)
That’s just one way you can make a more Catholic version of Elf on the Shelf!