For those interested in the ‘behind the scenes’ of how our unique Christmas Elf Letters from the North Pole are made, and the philosophy behind them …
One of my main aims with my Christmas Advent letters, is to inspire children to read, get them asking questions, and to leave as much up to their imaginations as possible … including what the Elves look like!
Different families do things in different ways, and that’s what’s so wonderful about Christmas and the whole period of Advent. Christmas is a family affair, where children can really feel a strong sense of belonging and magic.
My Christmas Elf letters have been read by children and their families all over the world since 2014! They’re fun, newsy and full of adventure. They don’t focus on behaviour, the children’s life, or what presents the children are going to get … I’ve worked very hard to make them different to conventional Christmas Elf Letters on the market!
Each Christmas Elf Letter Bundle comes with a personalised official Certificate from the Postmaster General! It doesn’t give too much about why children have been selected to receive these special Advent letters, but leaves it up to their imaginations. There’s nothing I would want any child to try to do to ensure they, or their friends are selected. It’s purely a ‘luck’ thing. I also try to make it clear in the last letter that they won’t necessarily be receiving letters next year!
For children who write back to the Elves …
SO many children write back, which I love! Parents can squirrel away all the cards, letters, pictures and pressies the children leave for the Elves, and pop them in a Christmas keepsake box without feeling they have to reply 💫 .
There’s an emergency note from Mother Christmas in each Christmas Letter Bundle, explaining that Elves are under strict instructions not to reply to all the children’s letters, as they love writing back so much they don’t do enough work! Mother Christmas is very keen for children to continue to write and draw pictures for them, as the Elves keep everything they’re sent in a box next to their triple bunk beds in Cranberry Cabin!
Everything we do is to make our Elf letters look more authentic and less mass produced and ‘book like’. I’ve insisted on a certain kind of print finish, or the letters from the busy Elves in the North Pole look very unnatural, and again too professional and ‘book like’ … which we don’t want! So, the illustrations are designed to look endearingly wonky and hand-drawn, before smudges and splodges are added … just as you’d expect from busy Elves!
Your Christmas Elf Letter Personalisation Questions Answered!
Four topics of personalisation of our Christmas Elf Letters have been raised, but I thought it might help to understand how our Advent letters are made before I talk about this, as it’s actually quite complicated! Each letter is made up of 4 layers: I write all the letters, then we format the text to make it look balanced on the page, before setting to work on the Illustrations. Once those two layers have been put together, we add a layer of watercolour detail to each drawing, smudges out areas that overlie the text (to make it readable again), and then finally, all the coloured splodges and smudges are added on top.
1) Can we add our child’s school, best friend’s name, or what they’re getting for Christmas?
We could do this if we had far less story and news on each Elf Letter. Currently every millimetre of space on the page is accounted for! As soon as you start adding words, potentially of varying lengths, all the text on the page moves around, some becoming obscured by the illustrations and splodges … becoming unreadable. The text would also potentially disappear off the bottom of the page! This sort of personalisation would work if we kept the drawings to the borders, and had very little story or news on each page, but this is the generic style we’ve worked very hard to move away from.
2) ‘Can we have Christmas Elf letters signed off from our own Elves?
Many children in schools, families and groups of friends receive our magical Elf letters from the North Pole. If children were to receive the same Advent letter, but from different Elves, it would cause great confusion and blow the whole ‘latest news’ concept. As many families do Elf on the Shelf, lots of families have their letters addressed to their child(ren) and Elf(ves) too! Parents are encouraged to talk about it being a big team of Elves up in the North Pole, where some visit families while others stay behind and write letters, or carry on getting everything ready, cause mischief or make all the uniforms etc
By the way, if you have an Elf (or Elves) that needs a name, have a peek at our Elf Name Generator! You can find a name for your Boy Elf or your Girl Elf (or Elves)! And don’t forget, not all Elves have access to Father Christmas’ computer to write letters!
3) Father Christmas vs Santa Claus
You can choose whether your Christmas Elf letters from the North Pole are from Father Christmas or Santa Claus! For many of our Elf letter bundles, you can also choose to have a USA version too!
International Elf Service™ Envelopes for the North Pole Christmas Letters
You can choose between having personalised envelopes with your Christmas Elf letters, or to have lengths of Candy Cane Twine if you prefer to roll your Advent letters into magical scrolls!
Age Ranges & Content
Every child and family is different, and it’s probably better to judge which bundle is best for you based on on your child’s developmental age and whether they like to sit down and read or listen every day, or whether they’re a ‘pop in, pop out and not concentrate for very long’ type person (like busy-mum me!). The time of day you choose to deliver and read your letters will also have an impact.
Elfie’s Christmas Letters are for 5 – 99 yr olds. This Christmas letter bundle is actually a Christmas book in disguise. Children receive one page a day in the form of a personalised letter they find mysteriously around their home! Perfect for families who enjoy reading or having a bed time story each night. Elfie’s Christmas Letters is the perfect alternative, or accompaniment to Elf on the Shelf Christmas tradition.
Mini 7-Letter Christmas Elf NEWS Bundle is for 5 – 99 yr olds and are newsy snapshots
Mini 7-Letter Christmas Elf ACTIVITY Bundle 3 – 5 yrs (although having said that, our 8 year old was keen to get to them before his brother!). Handcrafted, personalised Christmas Elf Letters sparkling with magic & festive things to do, for children to find mysteriously around their home!
Naughty or Nice List
A few people have mentioned they would like the letters to refer to children’s behaviour, and whether or not they’re on the naughty or nice list. Our Christmas Elf letters are for everyone, as many families don’t have this as part of their Christmas philosophy.
Fairy & Tooth Fairy Letters
Our personalised Fairy Letters& Tooth Fairy Letters are available and have been a huge success. They’re designed specifically to support children’s emotional health & development. Our slightly unconventional fairies weave streetwise advice into each magical Fairy & Tooth Fairy letter, making BIG messages in little letters!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, I hope you’ve found it interesting and please do leave me a comment with any thoughts or suggestions.