The Saturday that we arrived home from the Polar Express was December 1st, and the perfect time to introduce the "Christmas Season" to the kids. So that evening, we read The Elf on the Shelf book, explained to the kids that one of Santa's elves was going to come to our house to make certain that they were extra good, and then told them to go find him, because he was hinding somewhere RIGHT THEN! They searched and searched, and Trey finally found him coloring behind a picture in the Living Room. He was so excited!!! That's when we told Trey that not only was this elf going to stay at our house until Christmas, but that he was an extra special elf- just for Trey and Carrington- and Trey could name him anything he wanted. Of course, that was a very big deal, and Trey thought about it for a few moments and then said "ABCD"... ummm... pretty sure that's not a name. So we told Trey to give him a real name, and that this was serious- so this time he got really serious and said, "His name is Jumping Jack!". Doug and I looked at each other and figured, why not? Jumping Jack is a great name! We also explained to Trey and Carrington that they could never ever touch Jumping Jack because if they did, he would lose all of his magic. I wasn't sure how much of this they were actually getting, but apparently more than I gave them credit for! Every morning they would run around looking for him, and they never, not one time, touched him. Jumping Jack didn't really make Trey be a "good boy", but it did make him very, very sad every time he was bad! From that moment on, every time Trey got out of hand, we immediately threatened to "tell Jumping Jack" and that scared the tar out of Trey and Carrington!
We also had the kids open up a Christmas book that evening, wrapped special just for them, and we did this every weekend until Christmas. It was so fun getting to read to them the Christmas stories- we started with "Away in the Manger", and ended with "Jesus's Birthday". Trey has also been learning a lot about Jesus, and he told me one night before bed that he wanted Jesus in his heart, so we prayed together for Jesus to be in his heart, and to help him make good choices and to be a good boy. Trey was very concerned that Carrington and Molly couldn't ask Jesus to be in their hearts, so we prayed for them too. :) About 15 minutes after these prayers, Trey started crying because Jesus had "fallen into his belly because there wasn't enough room in his heart." I'm pretty sure this is a concept we are going to have to re-visit as Trey gets older! :)
That night we also started the advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas Day. Each door had 2 candies behind it- one for Trey and one for Carrington and we got to open one door every day until Santa came and Jesus was born. After all, we are trying to teach two concepts here- Jesus AND Santa! I loved opening up the advent calendar doors when we were kids, and I hope this is something my kids will remember and treasure too.