Sunday, December 9, 2012

To Elf or not to Elf

If you know me you know I have not, historically, been a fan of Elf on the Shelf. While we celebrate Christmas with Santa, We keep Advent, not Santa day. We celebrate the season of celebration that reminds us that Jesus came as an infant to enter into humanity as the ultimate act of grace. He left Heaven, and holiness, to wallow in our crappiness so that we might be saved. Oh Christmas. This beautiful season of celebration, and creativity. I hate the part of Santa that says he only brings gifts to the kids on the nice list. What about the kids on the naughty list? Are kids who get less gifts less nice? Is the kid who got the furby AND the WiiU somehow a better child because Santa brings them more? I refuse to tell my children that Santa comes to those who earned it. We give gifts to celebrate the amazing, unmatchable free gift we have in Jesus. Last year, and every year before I would have happily told you the Elf was NOT for us... but enter Balin... my hilarious and constantly surprising middle child. He shocks me every day with ability to manipulate language and create humor. He came home one day last week and started talking... and never stopped. He mentioned some other kids in his class, and with the biggest grin on his face he started BEGGING that he too would have an elf come live at his house and "throw wrapping paper all over the place," "eat ALL the candy canes" and "make big messes and flush the toilet." The first request I ignored. The second I could not help but giggle along with him. And start thinking.... what IF I could come up with a way to use the Elf to teach grace and not a police/ reward for good acts? What IF we redeemed the silly for the sacred? What if he could participate like his classmates, but still learn the essential truths I seek to teach him? Could it be possible? After approaching my husband with the idea, we remembered that we had a coin jar waiting to be turned in. Turns out we had 43$ worth of quarters and pennies and dimes and nickels collected from this years worth of pockets and car cup holders. Plenty to bring home an Elf. The boys chose a girl (more fun for me!) and Balin named her Ezrietta. He INSISTED. Would not budge. That IS her name. Or officially Ezrietta Isabella. Ayden contributed the middle name. We are late into the "Elf season" but the kickoff this morning was a hoot. She "made" donuts for us and herself and set the table. This is the note Ezrietta left my boys:
 {forgive the awful rhymes! I did this in one pass with a metallic sharpie... no rewrites ;-) )
Dear Children,
You have named me Ezrietta and you will be glad to know, that I love my new name- this my smile should show!
You may think that Santa has sent me to tell him as I  spy  the good and the bad things that you sweet ones try. But let me tell you a secret that not even parents know, Santa cares not for which list you should go. Really! His joy on this fun holiday is to bless as many children as he can on this coming Christmas day. But WHY? My young friends, this is where you come in. See~ I'm new and I don't understand why Santa would have free gifts to give on hand. Why is he so joyful? What is the big deal? Will you help me to learn the real meaning here? I'll ask you a each day a question or two~ will you answer my questions until they are through? Enjoy this sweet breakfast I have made for you, we will have so much fun while I am here, and that, sweet ones, is TRUE.
                                                                         ~Ezrietta the Elf

They boys were excited this morning, but so far I think the fun was fun and not the focus of our celebration. Later during advent Balin said "Jesus just makes sense."  yup buddy. He does. So here's to creativity... with a purpose...

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