We have a few Christmas traditions in our house – festive music while we trim the tree, a family trip to a the singalong at the Liverpool Philharmonic, plenty of sloe gin for me – but this year, we’ll have a new one to follow. It’s an advent calendar with a difference, a box of 24 letters from one of Santa’s elves, just for Sam and Flo.
Now it’s pretty safe to say I’m not really looking forward to the festive season all that much, and knowing that, the lovely lady behind International Elf Service decided to bring a little magic to our house herself.
She kindly contacted me and said she’d like to send me something for the kids to enjoy, the first Christmas without their dad is bound to be strange for everyone, after all. Understatement of the year, right?
Anyway, I was so touched and really excited when the letters were delivered a few weeks ago. They arrived in an inconspicuous-looking box, tied up with red and white stripey string, and inside were the letters along with two bundles of empty envelopes with their names on, for me to put the letters in and hide them in the house on each day in December.
There was also a certificate to say they had been chosen to receive the notes and a map drawn by Elfie, showing his village in the North Pole.
Each letter forms an installment in Elfie’s story about the run-up to Christmas, and I know it will be something we can read together each day and get a little bit more excited every time.
Much as I would like to skip Christmas – well maybe the whole of winter – and go straight to spring, the one thing that will save it for me this year is spending time with the kids and focusing on the happiness and magic they will have over the coming weeks.
I know this little package from Elfie will make that just that little bit easier.
So thanks Emily and International Elf Service, I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!