How to use your Elf on the Shelf to spread the Christmas spirit (and still have fun)

Elf on the Shelf Letter

Elf-vis’s arrival letter

Checkout the updated letter and mission on the new Life as a Field Trip website: http://lifeasafieldtrip.com/how-to-use-your-elf-on-the-shelf-to-spread-the-christmas-spirit-and-still-have-fun/

This year is the first year we’ve had an elf come to our home. While I love, love, love the idea of Elf on the Shelf, I don’t really like the “Santa’s watching you so you’d better behave” part. We don’t do threats…well, we don’t do threats that involve imaginary characters anyway. I like the silliness, the creativity, and watching his eyes light up when he discovers the crazy things his elf has been up to. But I wanted to do something more positive, still silly, but with a purpose (and we all know every activity needs to be educational in our house). So his elf arrived with a letter stating he and Paolo will be taking part in “Operation Cheer”.

Each day his elf, Elf-vis, will give him a Christmas Cheer Mission in order to spread the Christmas spirit. His first mission was to make handmade Christmas cards for someone he thinks might not get one. He thought of three people right away who might really appreciate a handmade card. My heart melted.

Operations Cheer Missions 1-4

Operations Cheer
Missions 1-4

To adapt it for your family, hand write or adapt my arrival letter. (Feel free to send me a message for the pdf files). Make up and print out your OPERATION CHEER missions. Possible missions might include calling someone and wishing them a Merry Christmas, making homemade ornaments to give away, helping someone with chores to make their day, stopping by to surprise Grandma and sing Christmas carols, baking something with mom to give to the neighbors, doing something to make his mom’s day easier, do something to make his dad smile, something for his overworked and underpaid teacher.

I’m working on more ideas, but the main thing I want Paolo to understand is Christmas is about thinking of other people, not Santa and his list.

Checkout the updated letter and mission on the new Life as a Field Trip website: http://lifeasafieldtrip.com/how-to-use-your-elf-on-the-shelf-to-spread-the-christmas-spirit-and-still-have-fun/

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Categories: Activities, Family, Holiday, Kids | Tags: , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “How to use your Elf on the Shelf to spread the Christmas spirit (and still have fun)

  1. Jen Holtebeck

    What an awesome idea! I really struggle with the “Santa is watching” part of Christmas, and we’ve really tried not to go there. At our house, we have a small box in which we have put the Baby Jesus from our manger scene. Every time we do something kind during Advent, we write it on a small rectangular piece of brown paper that becomes a piece of hay in the manger. But I like your idea of giving the kids something specific to do!

    • The hay idea is genius, too! Because Paolo is a little older now I think he’ll do great with this twist on the traditional Elf on the Shelf, but I wish I’d had the hay idea when he was younger.

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  5. Megan

    Can you ease send me the PDF files? I love this idea!!!

  6. Jenny

    I would love the pdf files that you have made!

  7. Anne

    I know this is an old post, but love your operation cheer idea! If you are able to send the pdf of the other cheer missions I’d love ideas!

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