How Our Elf on the Shelf is Helping Our Kids Do Service for Others

Uncategorized / Monday, December 11th, 2017


This is Alfie. Like most Elf on the Shelf Scout Elves, he is kind of a pain. The kids love him, but he causes more work for me. I am typically the first one ready to send him back with Santa to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. This year, however, I am teaming up with Mr. Alfie to get our family involved in service to others. If he’s going to be hanging around our house all month, he might as well earn his keep, right? 😉

Each night, Alfie returns to the North Pole to report back to Santa on the kids’ behavior for the day. He returns sometime throughout the night and finds a new spot to watch everyone for the next day. Sometimes he brings small little “treats” or leaves the kids a note. This season, he is working with me on getting the kids in the “giving” spirit! He will leave a note with a “challenge” for the following few days.

One challenge Alfie will be leaving for my kids is to do something nice or find a way to help someone less fortunate. I will obviously be the one helping the kids with this, but I am going to lead them into making their own choice on how/who we help. This could be donating old toys to a shelter in the area, sponsoring a child for Christmas, donating to the food pantry, etc. I am excited to hear what ideas they come up with on their own!

Once the first challenge is complete, the next challenge will be to do a good deed to someone who serves US. This means our public service workers, teachers, military, etc. I am interested to see who the kids choose to do service for, and what they decide to do for them! I am going to try to encourage actual DEEDS vs. just purchasing items for these people, but I’m sure we will find a way to work in a little of both!

The final challenge will be one near and dear to my heart. They will be “challenged” to do a good deed for the elderly, specifically someone who might not have a lot of family to visit them. Over the years I have had a few of my favorite people in the world in and out of nursing homes, but most specifically I remember going to visit my great grandmother with my grandma frequently when I was little. Every time I would go in there, the halls would be lined with various people in their wheelchairs, hanging out, some asleep, some talking to themselves and as soon as they saw me walk in, they would all flock to me. A lot of them didn’t get many visitors, and especially not children! The nurses would tell us each time that my visit was all they could talk about for the rest of the week!  I was in Girl Scouts at the time, and our troop leaders were looking for a service project for the holidays. My mom told them about my great grandma’s nursing home, and how the residents loved when I came in there. All 10 of us ended up going to this nursing home and singing Christmas Carols and the pure joy on the residents’ faces was something like I had never seen. Now, visiting these places can be a little overwhelming, and my kids are a little more shy than I was when I was younger, so I am going to let them take charge in this one and do what they feel comfortable with. I’m sure they will come up with something AWESOME.

We encourage doing service for others year round, but it is easy to get wrapped up in the “getting” this time of year, especially for kids. This is a great way to help us appreciate what we have, and also making it fun as well! I am excited to see what ideas the kids come up with, and even more excited to get out and do service for others as a family!