With so much focus being given to Santa Clause and gift getting this time of year, don’t you wish you could find an activity that could help keep both your attention and your kid’s attention where it belongs during such a blessed holiday season? You know, focus on the things that really matter? I’ve got three kiddos who are very much in the “I want” phase of childhood. My goal for this holiday season is to help them understand that the best Christmas gift they could ever receive has already been given to them. We’re going to bring that truth to life for them with Shepherd on the Search.
Shepherd On The Search: A Christian Alternative to Elf On The Shelf
Why Not Elf On The Shelf?
There are a few reasons I don’t care much for Elf on the Shelf.
1. It teaches kids that they only need to behave as long as someone is watching.
The whole concept of Elf on the Shelf rests on the idea that Santa has eyes and ears everywhere. It tells the story of an elf who delivers reports about the behavior of children to Santa Claus each year. So kids had better watch out because if they don’t get a good report their name might not make it to the “nice list.”
2. It cheapens the story of the Gospel.
In my opinion (and I’ll admit, this may not be the intent) Elf of the Shelf cheapens the story of the gospel. Y’all Jesus came to Earth for the messy, imperfect, broken, stumbling in the dark, least of us. Adults and kids alike. I know we all want our kids to have great behavior, and a naughty and nice list might seem like great “motivation…” but nothing about that concept aligns with the truth of why we celebrate Christmas. Jesus being born into this world was the beginning of freedom, redemption, healing, deliverance, and LIFE for all us imperfect people. But instead of sharing that with our kids, and teaching them to appreciate and live under that covering, we pull out a mythical elf and a naughty or nice list and hang it over their heads to get good behavior out of them for a few days? No, thank you.
3. Elf On the Shelf Makes Christmas About “What I Can Get” Instead of What God Has Given.
The single most important truth is that it’s not about us. It’s not about presents or the material things that we have made it represent; what we can get or what we can earn. Christmas is about what God freely gave. The blessing we didn’t by any means deserve but were given anyway. It’s about the grace that covers your children even if they do land themselves on the naughty list. That God-given, undeniable, unrefutable, love-laced grace.
Elf on the Shelf pays no mind to those things though. Which is why we prefer Shepherd on the Search Instead.
What is Shepherd On The Search
Shepherd on the Search is a way to engage your children in the story of Christ’s birth. Through this sweet story and the accompanying activities, you and your children will embark on a family journey and find Christ in Christmas!
How It Works:
When the Advent season begins you and your kiddos will begin reading the story of a shepherd boy’s journey to find baby Jesus after hearing that He has been born. This timeless journey is beautifully illustrated through this interactive children’s book.
The Shepherd’s journey starts fresh every Christmas season and ends on Christmas Day when the shepherd finds his way to Baby Jesus in the manager.
Every day of Advent you are making new memories as you hide the shepherd and your children find him in new places as he searches for baby Jesus.
This is one of those family activities that could very well become a tradition in your house. Hold onto this shepherd year after year to help you retell the story of Jesus birth and keep your families hearts and minds focused on the true meaning of Christmas. Activities like these are what gets kids excited about the gospel. And that excitement spills over into their conversations and before you know it, your kiddo is sharing Jesus with his or her friends on the playground. What a gift to give!
Shepherd On The Search Advent Calendar
I love that Shepherd on The Search provides family-friendly activities that help adults and kids keep our focus where it belongs. I love that everything about it points back to Jesus. And I love how approachable and enjoyable that truth becomes through the Shepherd boy’s journey to find Jesus.