The magic of Christmas time is in full swing at my house. My family and I have put up our Christmas tree with the twinkling garland, lights, and ornaments. We also put up the lights on the outside of the house and our wonderful nativity scene of Mary, Joseph, the three kings, and the empty manager for our Savior.
The kids even wrote their letters to Santa which were swiftly stamped and sent out to the North Pole. Our elf “Eli” also arrived to keep an eye on the kids.
Many Christians are concerned about the magical elements that Santa and the elves bring around the holidays, but in our house we like to blend the magic of Christmas while keeping Jesus at the center of it all. This is why we like to do a Christian elf on the shelf Jesus style.
What Is Elf on the Shelf?
Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas tradition for kids where a special elf is sent to your home from the North Pole to encourage kids to mind their behavior and ensure they remain on Santa’s “Nice List”. The idea is that Santa’s little helper watches the children by day, and each night, he or she returns to the North Pole to report on whether they were naughty or nice.
There are two rules for the elf when he comes to visit:
- Do not touch the elf.
- The elf can not move or speak while your kids are awake.
This can be a fun experience every morning during the holiday season when the kids wake up and have to find where the elf is now sitting.
Santa, the Elf on the Shelf and Jesus
Being a Christian I want my kids to learn about Jesus’s birth as well as the magic of the holiday season. This is important for any household that has Christian beliefs.
However, traditional Christmas places value on good behavior by receiving gifts from Santa and nothing if you are caught being naughty. This leads to a dilemma for Christians and especially confusing for young kids as they mistakenly believe that there is no reason to be good if they do not receive a reward for it. It also takes away the focus from Jesus as the most important reason why we celebrate Christmas as Christians; the birth of Christ.
If you have had the Elf on the Shelf before and your children are older, you can put a spin on the old traditional Elf on the Shelf this year by incorporating some of the Elf on the Shelf Jesus style ideas that I have listed below.
Naming Your Elf on the Shelf
All elves need a name when they arrive at your house. A Christian alternative that is both fun and educational is to name the elf a biblical name. I have included a few biblical names for both boys and girls to get you started:
Biblical girl elf on the shelf names
- Abigail – Abigail was the third wife of King David
- Mary – Mary was the mother of Jesus
- Eve – Eve was the first woman in the Bible ever created
- Hannah – Hannah was the wife of Elkanah who eventually bore Samuel after a blessing from Eli
- Deborah – The first female prophetess in the Old Testament
Biblical Boy Elf On The Shelf Names
- Jacob – Jacob was the son of Isaac and Rebecca and the husband to Rachel and Leah.
- Ethan – Ethan authored Psalm 89
- Noah – Noah faithfully built the ark and survived the great flood
- Matthew – Matthew was one of the first 12 disciples
- Daniel – Daniel was a faithful prophet who survived the lion’s den.
Christian Elf on the Shelf Welcome Letter
When your elf arrives at the house you can have it arrive with a Christian welcome letter. This special letter can explain the story of the elf as well as sharing God’s word with some important verses from the Bible.
It is also important to add the rules about the elf not being touched and that the elf will leave every night to report to Santa and return to a different place every morning. Your elf’s return to the house can be the best opportunity to teach your children about God’s love with some Christian based elf on the shelf ideas.
For busy moms, I wanted to provide ideas to help you to make your elf on the shelf Jesus-style easier. Here are 10 Christian-based shelf alternatives that you can use in your house to share the magic of Christ this Christmas.
10 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas (Jesus Style)
1. Reading the bible
One morning it would be great to place your elf in front of the Bible open to a verse that speaks about the birth of Jesus. This verse can then be read by your children which can elicit some discussion around it’s meaning.
It is a great idea to place your elf in a kneeling position to depict it praying. If you have a special place where your family prays it is the perfect place to place your elf. Other places are at the end of a bed or at the dinner table.
3. Sharing bible verses
Your elf can be a great example of spreading God’s word by writing a daily bible verse as a part of your family Bible study. Better yet, your elf can be coloring a page from our Christmas Bible Verse Coloring Book! This is a great way to learn the Christmas scriptures and also have a fun interactive activity.
4. Worshiping baby Jesus at the nativity scene
If you don’t already own a nativity set, buy one of these Nativity Sets For Kids and wrap it as an early gift from Santa. If you already have a kid-friendly nativity set, have your Elf on The Shelf worship baby Jesus.
5. Snow Angel
A cute (and silly) elf idea that incorporates both Christ and Christmas is to have your elf make a snow angel. Powdered sugar can be messy, but salt and sugar work just as well.
6. Biblical message spelled out with Candy
Spell out a Biblical message with candy, marshmallows or cheerios. Here are some message ideas:
- Jesus is King
- Wise Men Still Follow Jesus
- Jesus is Love
- Grace Wins
7. Birthday cake for Jesus
Your elf can also be caught in the act of creating a thoughtful birthday cake in preparation for Jesus’s birthday.
8. Supplies to make a Christ-centered craft
You can have your elf leave a gift for your kids containing the supplies and directions for creating a Christ-centered craft. Have them craft a beautiful angel, a cross, or even baby Jesus himself!
9. Listening to Christ-centered christmas music
Want to impress your kids? Have them wake up to their elf listening to Christmas music. It can make for a fun breakfast by listening to your favorite Christian-based Christmas tunes. Be sure to select your favorites and add them to a YouTube channel to play throughout the holiday season.
10. Christ-centered coloring Page
Another idea to spark creativity in your kids is to have your elf give your kids a Christian coloring page for them to complete. Your elf can even provide the crayons. Just sit your elf on top of the box with a coloring page for each child below it. You can snag our Christmas Bible Verse Coloring Book here.
Christian Elf on the Shelf Return Letter
After Christmas, your elf will have to return to the North Pole until next year. This is a great time to provide a Christian elf on the shelf return letter.
This letter can summarize the experience of Christmas and how the greatest gift they received was the birth of Jesus Christ. If you are a busy mom who is unable to craft this special farewell letter you can download your own Christian-inspired farewell letter from Mended By Mercy.
It can be fun to use the elf on the shelf to help educate your children on the importance of both Santa and the birth of our Savior. Do you have any Christian Elf on the Shelf Ideas that I haven’t listed? Please comment below.