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The Christian Alternative to Elf on the Shelf

(Please note, I was given a copy of The Shepherd’s Treasure to review, but the opinions expressed are all my own.)

Christmas is filled with magic and wonder for children.  Before having kids of my own, I dreamed of an elaborate holiday and the memories we would make together.  Fast forward six years and two special needs kids later, and this busy mom longs for a simple Christmas season.

Still, I want my kids to experience the magic and wonder of Christmas, but my focus has shifted to pointing their hearts to Jesus and to spending time together as a family.  My goal is to make the Gospel come alive through memorable, Scripture-filled activities.

In our family, I’ve found that concepts like Elf on the Shelf distract from the true message of the season. Personally, I am not a fan of his mischievous ways and the trouble he gets into each day.  I was thrilled to find a Christian version of this holiday tradition and can’t wait to share it with my kids this year!

The Shepherd's Treasure is a new, faith-filled alternative for the Elf on the Shelf. Lay a spiritual foundation of faith and kindness for your kids with this new family tradition!

The Shepherd’s Treasure… A Christian Alternative to Elf on the Shelf

Imagine my delight when I stumbled on a new Christian family tradition; A Shepherd’s Treasure! This Christ-centered activity comes with a bendable, plush Shepherd, the book, Advent cards and a plush baby Jesus in a manger.  Then, throughout the season of Advent, the Shepherd encourages the children with Scripture reading, Christ-like character and random acts of kindness.  This is exactly the focus that I want for my family’s holiday!

Daily Activities

Each day you will move your Shepherd into a “fun” situation as suggested by the Activity Guide.  You will place your shepherd, the daily Advent card and other props around him into creative situations.  Likewise, the kids will be delighted by the daily activities and parents will appreciate the encouragement to grow in Christ-like character and biblical knowledge.

As a busy mom, I was concerned that I wouldn’t have time to plan the Shepherd’s activity each day or gather props.  I love that the Activity Guide shows me a picture of each day’s activity or I can be creative and plan my own.  Plus, there are more activities and a detailed shopping list found on their website.

Wholesome family fun & character building

Each day, the kids will love to hunt for their shepherd and listen to the Good News he brings.  His message, printed on the Advent Card, will have the Scripture of the day on one side. It flows perfectly into our daily Advent reading in The Jesus Storybook Bible.

The other side of the Advent card has a practical application of the verse of the day.  The practical application encourages children to do a random act of kindness or share their faith with others. Plus, the values of serving others and applying God’s word is exactly what I pray my kids learn this season.

For example, Day 10 suggests the shepherd should be found making a Christmas card.  Then, the children are to make Christmas cards sharing the Good News of Jesus and give them to others.

The kids will love finding their Shepherd writing a Christmas card and will be thrilled to make a card of their own for someone they know!


Day 22 teaches kids to embrace an attitude of gratitude by creating a chain of thanks.  Children should write or draw pictures of what they are thankful for, staple them in a chain and add it to the tree.  We plan on keeping our chains for years to come to reflect on the blessings of the past year!

Children will love finding their Shepherd making a chain of thanks!


Thanks to The Shepherds Treasure, my children will experience a fun and character building Christmas season! Adding this system to our holiday will help guide them to a closer relationship with the Lord and teach them about giving back to others.  That’s a win in my book!

Learn more about The Shepherd’s Treasure by visiting their website and through this video. May this Christ-centered activity lay a firm foundation of fun and faith for your holiday season!

What activities do you have that point your children to Jesus during this special season?

How do you keep the Christ in Christmas in your family?


  1. This is so cute, Sarah! This is my first time hearing about this little Shepherd and I am impressed! One day we will have to add him to our Christmas traditions. Eleanor is probably too little right now but I’m saving this idea!

  2. I would love to win this! A friend of mine bought one and I thought it was a great idea!

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      Oh wonderful! I’d love to hear how she enjoys hers!

  3. I absolutely love this idea and message behind it!! I am so going to do this when we have kids!!

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      Wonderful! It’s such a great idea!

  4. So cute! I was looking for an alternative to Elf on the Shelf. I’m super excited about Christmas, it’s a time for us to celebrate Jesus and God’s love.

  5. I love this idea for Advent! I never got into the Elf or his antics either, but I love the idea of leading my kids to Jesus for Christmas! The activities sound fun too 🙂

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      I agree! The activities sound fun and I love that they are based on Scripture!

  6. I’ve been trying to figure out how we could do this on our own. It would be so great to win it!

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      I’m sure you could think of something! Thank you so much for entering!

  7. Sarah Kay says:

    I am so thrilled to see this! I am a mom of two and I teach at a Christian School! It his makes my heart sing!!!

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      Wonderful! It truly is special!

  8. This is beautiful!! We love Christmas because as a family we get to celebrate Jesus and give thanks for his presence in our lives.

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      Yes! Christmas worship is even more special, in my opinion!

  9. Laressa Nordgren says:

    This looks so fun! I love that he will help my kids want to do more good this Christmas season

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      Me too! We are embracing an attitude of giving in our family for sure!

  10. Thank you for the giveaway! This is a great idea!

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      Thanks so much, Carly!

  11. Sarai Jones says:

    So cute! Christmas is special to me and I’ve never been fond of the elf. This is a good way to share the true meaning of Christmas and still make it fun for young ones!

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      Yes! I just love that it’s a fun and exciting alternative.

  12. Candi Foster says:

    I love how this is an alternative to Elf on the Shelf, that it’s faith based, and that it positively reinforces and supports my Christian faith!

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      Me, too! What a great message to send the kids!

  13. I have been really slacking on advent excitement the last two years. Very excited with my kids and the littlest being 18 months to celebrate Christmas. Love this Idea of finding Jesus we have done the Traveling wise man in the past.

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      Christmas is even more special with kids! Embrace it and enjoy!

  14. Love this concept. Not a fan of the troublesome elf that is supposed to watch kids behave yet creates messes and mischief. Doesn’t quite make sense to me :). Naturally, I don’t want to teach my kids that they behave “for” something…I want them to choose to behave because it’s the right thing to do.

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      I couldn’t agree more! I love this option instead!

  15. Tamboliya says:

    What a great idea to have a Christian alternative to Elf on the Shelf. 🙂

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      I love it too! How fun!

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