Growing up my family had a lot of cherished Family Christmas Traditions.
One of my favorite traditions was the Christmas Service Elves. Each year come December we would have a lesson about how Christmas is when we celebrate the gift of the Christ Child. My mother would remind us that we needed to prepare a place for him.
At the end of the lesson my mother would pull out a little wooden manger, a wrapped baby Jesus, a pile of hay (cut lengths of raffia)and a stack of service elf printables.
The baby she placed on the far side of the mantle among the many Christmas nativities my mother had collected over the years. The Manger, the pile of hay, and a stack of service elf printables were placed front and center in our (long since enclosed) fireplace.
Then we would each write our name on a separate piece of paper and put them in a hat. We each drew a name that we would secretly serve all week long. Each time we served the family member whose name we had drawn we would leave behind a little service elf printable. When the service and printable was found the person who was served would return the printable to a pile next the manger and then take one piece of hay and place it in the manger.
The goal was to serve each other so much that by the time Christmas day came around there would be enough hay in the manger to make a comfortable bed for the baby Jesus.
I have tried to find the Christmas service elf printable on-line, but despite my best efforts have been unable to. So, I had my mom find our old stack of printables (buried in her boxes of Christmas decorations) and have now made up my own printables to share with you. I have gone one step further and created service angel printables as well for thosewho would prefer to keep this activity completely Christ Centered.
To download your own Service Elf Printables Click Here.
To Download you own Service Angel Printables Click Here.
I can’t wait to introduce this old family tradition to my children. Knowing them I am sure this will be a favorite family tradition for years to come (just as it was for me growing up.) Now I just need to make a small wooden manger, make a wooden swaddled baby Jesus, and a bag of raffia to cut up)
For those who need to make their own wood manger Wood You Like to Craft has this easy tutorial. ^^
What is your favorite Christ Centered Christmas Tradition?
*For more ideas on how to keep your Christmas Christ Centered this year (and for ideas for how to serve with your family) I highly recommend checking out the #LightTheWorld Christmas initiative starting December 1st. Click here to learn more!