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I know you’re so familiar with Elf on a Shelf. The little (often devious) elf that pops up around the transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas and gets in to all precarious situations. Our elf, Happy, joined us last year. He rang our doorbell and showed up one day. He’d pop in from time to time, and then leave for extended periods of time (ya know, when Happy just couldn’t think of any new places to show up). The kids loved him and we did our best to balance the whole Christmas Santa Jesus Presents situation. It worked out well.
Then, Aubrey turned 5. And something about turning 5 made her into a different little human being and was all sorts of demanding about gifts. Then Lukey picked up on it and within one day, Jon and I were officially over Happy.
So, Happy packed his bags that night and left our home. In his place he left a note for Aubrey and Luke. (and, technically Ryan but he doesn’t talk so didn’t participate in the reason Happy departed).
The letter on the left was Aubrey having me write back to him. Then we stopped and then she and Luke took turns finishing the letter. But it’s been on our table ever since.
Jon and I were really concerned. Yes, I know Santa comes and brings presents. But that’s not what we really want them to focus on. We didn’t really emphasize why Happy was here but I know she knows a lot from friends around her. So for a few days, the kids kept asking where Happy went, and we just kept saying he must have been sad that all they cared about where the presents Santa was supposed to bring.
Jon and I needed to figure out some sort of game plan cuz it really was kind of sad – every morning they’d wake up and search for him.
At Sam’s club about a week later, I was looking for some kid books and came across two that I thought would help a lot to put the focus back where it should be. So, that night, Happy came back to visit – and he was bearing gifts.
I found these VeggieTales – Every Day with God devotionals for boys and girls. I checked and they’re not 100% identical (I’m sure that the overall devotionals are duplicated – but they’re not the exact same starting on day one). The kids already know how I start my day with my morning bible time and so now we start them off that way too. The books keep it simple – just like how they do in their video series. It starts with 1 verse, an explanation, Thought of the Day, and then a Prayer. I read everything to them, but they repeat the prayer with me.
I was worried that the kids would be too preoccupied watching tv or playing with toys to stop and join me. But yesterday I only had to ask Luke to join me once, and he came right over. It really warms my heart to see how much they do want to learn about the Lord.
Aubrey is working on reading so I know that as time passes, she can help me read the words. Having the daily kids devotional written so simply is really important. And, because nothing beats a good art project, both kids made bookmarks for their devotional books.
I noticed how similar Luke’s was to Aubrey’s. He really does look up to his big sister.
If you’re looking for something to help your child start reading the bible more – and going through the steps of kid daily devotions, I really recommend checking out the VeggieTales version. We got hardcovers but Amazon has the paperback versions for less than $10. (And with Prime – the amazing free shipping!!! – Don’t have prime? Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial