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It’s that time of year again! The 30 some odd days where parents go to sleep only to wake up with a pit in their stomach reminding them they didn’t move The Elf on the Shelf. It always happens right when you hit that comfortable spot too. #parenting

The elves are back! And this year I’m making our elf experience bigger and better than ever. My family has been doing a lot of work focusing on gratitude, growth mindset, and kindness. I’ve interviewed some experts in the field (check out this interview on gratitude with Alexandra from Big Life Journals!) and have been implementing some of their tips into our daily lives.

But…I decided to pull out the big guns this season. Sparkle, the elf. My kids will do ANYTHING because Sparkle tells them too. So I figured, why not get the biggest bang for my parenting buck this year and have Sparkle give them kindness challenges in the morning!

Now…you know me. I’m not looking to do some elaborate thing each day that is going to result in more work for me. Heck, I can’t even go to bed without remembering to move Sparkle, remember?? BUT…the ideas I came up with are SUPER easy and manageable. They are things like “hold the door for a friend” or “high five 5 people today.” Some are a little bigger, like “deliver cookies as a thank you to the fire station” but those are going to be weekend ones when we have a bit more free time.

So let me tell you how I had Sparkle show up this year, and then I’ll tell you a little more about the free Printable Kindness Challenge Cards I created for you!


Welcome Back, Sparkle!

We’re drowning in stuff. It’s getting really bad, you guys. The toys, the clothes, the never ending piles of STUFF. It’s driving me insane and I needed Sparkle’s help!

Donating toys has never really gone that well for us. Evie will magically get super attached to whatever it is we’re talking about donating and refuses to part ways. I’ve also tried purging when they are gone…and somehow they ask for the toy I JUST got rid of. Why does that always happen?! I also don’t like how they don’t participate and have a chance to reflect on why we’re giving our toys away.

This year, I had Sparkle show up the morning after Thanksgiving with special sacks from Santa and a note. They are North Pole toy sacks that I got on Amazon, and was super happy with the quality. We will for sure be able to use these for many years!

The note told Evie and Hudson that Santa was giving them these sacks to fill with toys for other boys and girls. The little miss was not so excited at first, and started to get very possessive, where as the little dude didn’t quite get it so starting throwing in his favorite toys and the remote inside the sack. We weren’t off to the best start, but it got awesome, I promise!

I sat Evie down and explained to her why Santa was asking her to do this. That she had a kind heart and we were doing this so other little kids could have presents for Christmas. We talked about how some families don’t have extra money to spend on presents, because food and a safe place to sleep if the most important. For the first time ever, she started to realize that there was more to the world than just what she knew. It was actually really cool to witness.

After that, there was a major shift. She started to get ruthless and made some really tough decisions on which toys to give away. The house pictured below was one of her all time favorite toys, and this mama’s heart was a little sad to see it go. She outgrew it awhile ago, and it’ll make another little one SO happy, but still a big one to give away! I was SO proud of my sweet girl and the kindness she was showing!

They filled their sacks with toys and books and then we left them on the fireplace for Sparkle to take to the North Pole with them. She was amazed when she came down in the morning and they were gone. It was a really fun way to start the season with Sparkle, and I can’t wait for that to be a new tradition!

Elf on the Shelf: 30 Day Acts of Kindness Challenge

Like I said above, each day Sparkle is going to come with a little card with an act of kindness for the day. It’s a challenge for the whole family to complete and then we can come back to discuss what it was like, what it felt like to be kind, etc. at dinner time!

Our first challenge was “Give 5 people a high five today!” The kids had soccer so I knew this one would set them up for success at the start! She got all 5 of her high fives in, and then even added some extra.

She told me later in the day that she thought Sparkle had a bigger smile on her face than usual because she liked seeing her act kind. I mean…come.on.now! Is that not the best?!

Start Your Own Challenge Today!

I have designed 28 printable Kindness Challenge cards for you to use this year with your elf and littles. I’ve included 4 blank cards for you to fill in with any ideas you have also!

Enter your info down below, and your cards will be delivered right to your inbox in no time! Print them (I did mine on cardstock), cut them, move your elf and stick a card in their arms. Boom. You’ve officially participated in day one of the Elf on the Shelf Kindness Challenge!

What you need:

1. An Elf on the Shelf

2. A special Santa Sack

3. Free Printable Elf on the Shelf Kindness Cards (download below!)

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