When I picked Big Sister up from school yesterday, she was confused and concerned about why a classmate's elf had already arrived (it is December after all), but our elves were still absent. So, after finishing homework, Big Sister went to work. In a flurry of activity, she colored, cut, collected, assembled, and arranged. Next thing I knew, the kids' little family room chairs were each filled with notes, pictures, and trinkets addressed to their elves. I had to photograph selectively, to avoid the names, but here's a sample from Big Sister's chair.
See that "I love yuo" note? Sweetest thing ever.
This morning, Big Sister ran to the family room to check the chairs. To great excitement, she found that her love notes had worked. Sparkle and Nicky, our Christmas Elves, have returned!
And they brought friends! The note from Santa says that because he understands how hard it can be to refrain from touching the shy and delicate elves, he made each child a toy elf to play with and sleep with. Big Sister couldn't wait to take her toy elf to school for show-and-tell.
As in past years, our elves can report back to Santa on the kids' behavior. Although they sleep during the day in their little bed, they are active at night, making mischief, decorating, getting themselves into funny places, and finding treats for the kids. I listed some of our elf-on-the-shelf antics last year, and I've been collecting other good ideas on my Pinterest elves-on-shelves board. I hope to share some pictures this year.
But this year, according to Santa's letter, something different is happening. Inspired, I'm sure, by The Christmas Angel and it's free 25 days of messages, the elves will also be giving the kids some little assignments to spread kindness and Christmas cheer and, hopefully, keep us focused on the true meaning of Christmas.
For anyone interested, I've saved the letter from Santa as a Google document.