The Kindness Calendar


At the risk of sounding unkind, let me say one thing about Elf on the Shelf…”NO.” I don’t like the guy. I don’t like what he does, I don’t like what he stands for. Hear me out…



He “watches you” all the
time. That’s just creepy.


He’s for sale at the store
How is this “magical”? By the
way, isn’t Christmas already
magical enough? Who decided
we needed more magic?


The holidays are so much
about “getting” already. Do
we really need another gimmick
for our kids to want more?


Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas: the twinkling lights, the wonder, the carols, the gifts, and yes…I even like the elves! That’s when I started thinking “couldn’t the elves teach us about gratitude, love and goodwill?” From that came my idea for the “Kindness Calendar” and I asked the elves for their help. ;)

We use the advent calendar shown in the picture above, with 25 wooden boxes. Beginning December 1st, first thing every morning we open one box to find a tiny note with a random act of kindness written by our tiny friends at the North Pole. The goal is to complete all the acts, in our own ways, for no other reason than it feels great to be kind. Each night we discuss as a family which of the acts we’ve accomplished. Listening to the kids talk about doing for others and seeing how it empowers them is really special. Plus, they’re not stressed out about a naughty elf ratting on them to Santa.

Here are a couple of lovely advent calendars online that are great for this. I think this first one here is darling … and the second one is perfect for you crafty folks!


One last thing… I’m in no way picking on parents who choose Elf. One of the great benefits of being an older mom is that I got to watch a whole lot of great parenting from the sidelines for so many years. I saw what didn’t work for me and cherry-picked all the stuff I liked. I can absolutely see a time when I would’ve gone whole-hog with Elf and all his glory. So if Elf works for you, then YOU DO YOU!

I imagine there are MANY opinions about this topic and I’m so curious to hear yours. Love him? Hate him? Regret him but you’re committed now? Comment below.