My sister has had an 'Elf on the Shelf' for my neice for a couple years now.
Claire is a huge fan of Red (thats the name she gave him) and after hearing about him all the time, and hearing from my sister about how much fun she had each morning trying to find him, I caved and as of last year, we got our own Elf.
We read the book on the last day of November and as promised, he magically appeared the very next morning, hanging out on one of our paintings.
My son named him Stanley, and he came back to our house every morning, popping up in a new and unexpected place for the kids to find.
He headed back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve when Santa came to deliver the presents, with promises to return next year.
It was sometime around the middle of summer when my son asked if we could take out the book and see if Stanley would come back. I humored him, and we did.
When Stanley didn't return the next day, we explained to him that he is probably very busy making toys and helping Santa. Timmy was sad, but seemed to take that as truth.
He has been asking again if we can read Stanleys book, so we did again on this past Sunday night.
Monday morning came and went and he seemed to forget that he was waiting for Stanley to arrive as he made no mention of him.
But I didn't forget.
At first I thought that Stanley would show up with a letter from Santa, explaining that Stanley wanted to come and say Hello, but that he had to go back to the workshop until the end of the month to help out.
Then I decided that I didn't want to get his hopes up by finding Stanley, just to have him "go back" that night. So I thought that Tim would just receive a letter from Santa himself in the mail.
I saw this Pin on Pinterest for Free Christmas Fonts that same night, and knew that writing a letter would be a sinch.
Well....Monday afternoon I had to run to the store (I was out of packing tape. That's all I went for, honestly). As I was wandering through the store to find the tape...I saw these cute boxes, and bells, and ornaments, and I had an "A-HA!" moment.
Why should he just get a letter? Why not a box with something special inside too??
So he did, with one for Tim, and one for Ben :)
I wrote the letter and postmarked it from Santa.
I boxed up the ornaments (he claims the ornaments are from Stanley) and the bells, and tucked them all into the mailbox.
I stuck a fun bow to the mailbox so that there would be a reason for him to go check out the mailbox (since there was no regular mail Monday for Veterans day).
I then headed out to pick up the kids.
As we pulled up to our house I pretended like I had no idea what had happeend, of course, and said "Wait...what is THAT on the mailbox??" as we pulled into the driveway, then suggested Tim go investigate...
He is in 1st grade this year, and has become a great reader, so he was overjoyed when he read it was from the "North Pole" as you can see in the second picture there :)
He couldn't WAIT to open both the letter and the box to see what was inside.
Both the boys were very happy with what they found inside (even though Ben doesn't "get it" yet, he still likes to ring his little bell from Rudolphs harness.)
Happy, happy boys :)
It was great to see such big smiles and excitement from both the boys.
I couldn't help but think "What parent WOULDN'T want to see that?? So, I decided not only to share it here, but I actually listed a letter/gift from Santa set in my shop too:
I wanted to make it easy for all of YOU to share the same joy with your kids :)