Saturday, December 5, 2009

Truly MAGIC Beans for Santa

So just how exactly DOES Santa keep track of how good or bad your kids have been?

I stumbled on a “little known fact about Santa” a few years ago that has given my kids a tangible measure of their behavior during the holiday season – one that serves as a fantastic discipline tool and a way to make the countdown to Christmas a bit more bearable!

I heard through the grapevine that Santa collects dry beans on Christmas Eve to bring back to Mrs. Claus to make soup for all the elves Christmas morning…and in exchange for these beans left out for him, he will swap them out for jelly beans! But what makes these dry beans so special is that each bean left for Santa Claus represents one good deed done by a child that holiday season!

Unwrapping a book a night may be my children’s favorite holiday tradition; this one is mine. The first week of December, I buy a few bags of dried pinto or lima beans, then set them in a shallow bowl next to a glass canister within arms reach of my children (you’ll be surprised how pretty this looks, too). Every time anyone says or does something nice, a bean is dropped in the jar. Yes, I also take one out when they misbehave.

Over the weeks, the beans add up, as does the Christmas spirit and the good habit of doing nice things for one another. Sure, the kids are ridiculously obvious and manipulative at times about it: “Here, Sis, let me help you walk down the hall to the bathroom…Mom, is that a bean?” but I couldn’t care less. For around $5 I get improved behavior, a reason for the kids to want Christmas morning to wait a few more days, and another gift for the kids to be excited about Christmas morning.

I heard the Easter Bunny does this too, by the way….

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