the good elves

Anticipation is high, waiting for the arrival of Christmas. You can feel it in our house, it is tangible and somewhat overwhelming.

My daughters are so excited for Santa, it is all they talk about. Ava works hard at being good every day. I can really see her efforts. Mia struggles to stay on the nice list. She is impatient by nature, so seeing wrapped gifts under the tree is driving her crazy. She wants to open JUST ONE.

A new focus was needed. So today, my daughters learned lessons in social responsibility.

It was time to be a good elf and help someone in the community.

Mia piped up immediately, “Firefighters at Engine 12!!” She loves the firefighters at station 12. A few months back, she befriended Captain Steve from Station 12 when he and his team visited her preschool. Soon after, we ran into him at the coffee shop and again at a local restaurant. He and his fellow firefighters spent time with Mia and her sister, each and every time. In October, we ran into them again at our local carnival. Mia admires her local fire station. She likes Captain Steve.

Mia’s good elf idea? She decided to make cookies, create a card, and deliver it to Station 12.


Brownies layered with peppermint icing were stacked neatly into a red tin adorned with green ribbon and a gold bow. For her card, she illustrated an interesting Christmas scene including a fireman, herself, tree, sun, and a red ghost. Not quite sure what a red ghost has to do with Christmas, but she was proud of it. She carefully scrawled out Merry Christmas and the word love.

Mia, the good elf, proudly walked up the sidewalk to Station 12. The girls knocked on the door and were welcomed in. Mia proudly handed over her tin of cookies and thanked them for “saving people.” They gave the girls a tour which included sitting in the fire engine (this activity never gets old). Ava asked about the piles of toys in the fire house, they told her about their toy drive to help kids. In the end, they warmly thanked the girls for the cookies and wished them Merry Christmas.

The girls were excited about their first experience as “the good elves.”

Ava wanted to help the Nine Lives Foundation, the shelter where we adopted our kittens. Nine Lives is truly a no-kill shelter for cats and kittens. Cats and kittens, even those deemed as un-adoptable by other shelters, find forever homes because of the team at Nine Lives.

They have an ongoing wish list on Amazon (if you want to help too), so we went shopping. Four 24-packs of Fancy Feast and two new stone bowls later, we were on our way. The girls were also excited for the opportunity to lavish some love and attention on the cats currently living at the shelter.

Ava designed a card and attached a photo of our two adopted kittens, Holly and Scarlett.

She wrote, “Dear Nine Lives. Thank you for our kittens. I just want you to know that Holly (and Scarlet) is doing very well in our home. Love Ava.”

When we arrived, my elves were greeted by one of the friendly volunteers who happily accepted our donation.

We then spent the next hour petting the cats and kittens waiting for adoption.

By the time we left, one of the volunteers had already posted Ava’s card on the wall.

A message of thankfulness that resonated deeply with my daughters.

Teaching kindness through action. Create excitement about volunteerism by selecting organizations that mean something to my children. I hope today’s activities inspired my girls to be good elves year round!

Now, what can you do this season to be good elf?


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