Remember my Stewart idea? He was my "Elf on the Shelf" AKA "kids don't want to be creeped out" replacement. In my effort to keep December simple and not frighten the children, I created something that caused me a lot of work and creative thinking. Dang, my kids are smart whipper-snappers! Overall, I really like the idea of Stewart...In a nut shell, Stewart would hide his special box somewhere in the living room/dining room/kitchen for the kids to find in the morning. Inside the box was a scripture verse that they had to look up and read, then they had to write down gift ideas, put them in the box and put the box back where they found it. Easy, right? Hmmmm....sort of. The hiding was the easiest part. Stewart had no tolerance for tomfoolery, so the box was always hidden in plain site. In the morning, Jay and I could hear Joe and Bella looking for the box (Trey was typically knee deep in one of our phones watching YouTube videos and couldn't be bothered). We would hear a triumphant "I found it!!!"
On day 2, our curious and not easily satisfied Bella started asking questions of Stewart. She wanted to know what he looked like, how old he was, were he and Santa close friends. Then wise, old Joe jumped into the fray and wanted to know about all the other elves and why they have pointed ears. Oh! For crying in a bucket! So, I had to have Stewart answer them by including a letter in with the scripture. Then, to divert their need for honesty and straight forward answers, Stewart began asking them questions...What was their favorite Christmas movie, song, joke?
Stewart, however, did not stay all the way up to Christmas. Once we got a solid idea of what the kids wanted and we had the opportunity, we went shopping! We actually finished pretty early for us this year. My fear was that if I let the kids keep writing down ideas after we went shopping, one of them would come up with "the only thing I really, really, really want" and then be disappointed when he/she didn't get it. (How do you shop for your kids and keep it even/fair/responsible should be a whole 'nother post, right?)
I wish that I had researched and printed scripture verses all at once or at least a few at a time. There were a few nights that we were headed up to bed and I'd remember Stewart!! Drats!
But, you guys! My kids read their Bible every day! Bella underlined every verse we read in her new Bible ("to be like Mommy" she said! I swoon!) We talked about what words like integrity and humility mean. They were reminded how much they are loved by God and are covered in grace and mercy...and what that looks like to show that kind of love to other people. How great is that? If they remember any part of something we read, I'll consider the project a success!
The jury is still out on if I'll do it again next year. Maybe I'll come up with something even better! Here's my challenge to you! I'm going to list all the scripture verses we read...why don't you look them up and see what you think?
John 3:16, Philippians 4:4-8, 1 John 4:7-10, Ephesians 2:8-9, Proverbs 17:22, Psalm 139:13-14, 2 Corinthians 8:9, John 15:9-14, Proverbs 10:9, Hebrews 13:16, James 1:19-20, Colossians 3:12-14, Luke 2:8-14, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Isaiah 26:4, Luke 6:37-38, Philippians 4:8-9, Hebrews 12:15, Ephesians 6:1-2, 1John 3:1, John 14:6
Why didn't the skeleton cross the road? He didn't have the guts! (that was Bella's joke for Stewart! I love it!)