The Christmas Angel, an Elf-on-the-Shelf Alternative


This is Tinker – he was our Elf-on-the-Shelf for probably 5 years or more. I heard about this elf from another blogger and at the time Gabriel was probably 4 or 5 and just really starting to ask about Santa etc. I will admit I initially liked the idea of this “magical elf” that watched for good behavior.  The first year we had Tinker, if Gabriel was being naughty, we would just say “Tinker’s watching” and immediately he would apologize and correct his behavior.

It seemed like a genius idea.

In the past 2 years I have been trying harder to keep Christmas about Christ. Teaching our kids about the true meaning and why we celebrate. Trying to take the focus off of Santa a little.  Our kids do still get Santa presents, but we don’t make it this huge deal.

But the kids LOVED Tinker. They always remembered that he showed back up after Thanksgiving and couldn’t wait to see where he would hide.  I talked last year about getting rid of him but wasn’t sure how….

Then this year a friend on FB had a picture of this Christmas Angel.

   Angel 4

I asked her about it and she shared the link with me.  Story Lines Inc is the company that made the doll. The angel comes on December 1st and delivers a message about the real reason for Christmas each day until Christmas Day.

I thought this might be the perfect alternative to our elf. Admittedly, I enjoy the magic the kids feel about Christmas. Their innocence and how they believe…so we decided to come up with a “plan” to have Tinker leave our family.

He showed up like he always had and for a few days he “hid” in a new spot.  But on November 30th Tinker had a special letter for the kids….


Basically it said that Tinker had been called on a special assignment and that Santa wanted our kids to understand the real meaning of Christmas. That a Christmas Angel would be coming to share a special message each morning about why God loves us so much and why we celebrate Christmas.

Don’t judge please….I know it seems silly – but this is the way we felt we could best transition the angel into our family.

Angel 3

Our Christmas Angel has a similar “do not touch” rule.  But she isn’t leaving the family each night to “report back to Santa”…rather spreading her wings and rest on a new spot with a new message each morning.

Angel 5

She has found several spots to “hide” so far and the kids have all loved hearing what her card reads.

Angel 2

Each card is short and sweet – but I love the messages they bring.

Angel 1

Overall we have loved the addition of the Christmas Angel to our mornings.  The kids still talk about Tinker from time to time and I know they miss him…but they also have enjoyed hearing what the Angel has to say for them each day so I am glad we made the switch!!

How about you? Do you do the Elf-on-the-Shelf?? What do you think of the Christmas Angel?? What other traditions do you have in your family to keep the focus on the real meaning of Christmas??

**Update as of Nov 2014…I heard from a reader that the site link to the angel I purchased doesn’t work anymore. I am not sure if the company is producing the angel this year, if I hear more I will update this post as it has been a very popular one this year!**

0 thoughts on “The Christmas Angel, an Elf-on-the-Shelf Alternative

  1. Julie P. Dodson

    I love this! I am not a fan of the elf, but I don’t have young children at home anymore. The Angel is a lovely idea. My someday grandchildren will love it. Merry Christmas, thanks for sharing.

  2. Heather

    I really love this!!! We got the elf on the shelf from grandma last year and I really struggled doing it… I also do not not get into the santa gig. With our elf he just moves around but they don think he’s going to see santa or watching for behaviors. I really love that angel I’m going to have to get one!! One thing we do as a Christmas tradition is a countdown to Christmas with homemade cards each one had a bible verse on the inside with a story of Christmas the other side is 1 of 3 things (a fun date or activity) . A compliment or a service I can do for them) 🙂

  3. alecia

    How I love this idea! I was just having a convo with my MIL over thanksgiving about the whole Elf on the Shelf thing. I was telling her how I was glad my kids were too old for the Elf when it came out a few years ago, bc I felt like it just added to the idea of Santa and moved even further away from the real meaning of Christmas. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, and it’s something fun to do with the kids, it’s just one more thing. But this Angel idea is wonderful! I could even do it with my older kids 🙂 yay!!

  4. Mel

    So the elf is something I missed out on because we were overseas…and then I came back, saw it on a friend’s shelf, and asked about it. I have to admit I almost bought one this year, but never got around to it…I like this idea better. A lot better. Thanks for sharing, friend! 🙂

  5. Vicki

    Would love to read all the cards or be able to potentially get one of these angels. I’m sure I could use my own time and brain to find messages and Bible verses, but it’s so much easier sometimes to use other people’s back work. However, the link for Story Lines Inc did not work for me. Perhaps they do not still make this item. ???

    1. Kristin Post author

      Vicki – I honestly don’t know if they are still available this year (2014)…I have a message out to the friend who I initially saw the idea from…hoping to find out more soon because the site link doesn’t work anymore for me either! 🙁

  6. Stephanie J.

    I love how you made the transition from the elf to the angel! I actually got the angel for a gift last year and it broke, but I’d love to buy a new one because it’s such a neat way to incorporate Christ into the daily Christmas fun activities in December. Do you know where I can go to buy one? Thanks so much for sharing your story!
    -Stephanie J.

  7. Pingback: Clothespin Christmas Angel (an elf alternative) ⋆ Betsy's Photography

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