In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”
~ Matthew 2:1-2
There are no elves on my shelves. There are many reasons for that, but mostly it boils down to the fact that good behavior is a year-round endeavor in our house and it feels like adding an elf for a month once a year would complicate that idea. It may seem silly, but I don’t want my children to behave well because “Santa is watching” through the little elves. I am absolutely not passing judgment on anyone who does Elf on the Shelf, it is a very cute and creative idea. My daughter has even asked if we will be getting an elf that moves all around this year. The answer, despite her asking, is still no.
I don’t remember there being an emphasis on Santa “watching us” when I was growing up. We definitely knew Santa was coming, and that if we were rotten little monsters there might not be any presents, but it was more of a peripheral awareness. We sang all the songs about Santa watching, and keeping his list, but the idea of actually being on the naughty list never occurred to me- my daughter is actually afraid of it. I have much clearer memories of designing my Christmas dress with my mother- and that is what I want for my kids. I want them searching for something else at Christmas, which is why three strange little men visit our house in December.
The 3 Wise Men search our house each December for the Baby Jesus, and isn’t that what we all should be doing- searching for Jesus? So the quest in my house is about finding Jesus, where are those silly wise men now, and the naughty list fades into the background. We love watching the Grinch, and decorating Gingerbread cookies, but what I love even more is knowing that the first thing my kids do every morning in December is search for the Wise Men searching for Jesus.