It’s the second week of December, and you’re already tired from thinking about all the things you need to get done before Christmas. I’m sure you’re thinking, “How will I fit it all in AND help the kids with their schoolwork, keep up the laundry and regular cooking?”
STOP! Put the laundry basket away, and put your Elves to work. You know them…the Elves in your home. They’re already getting antsy and excited for Christmas, so why not use that energy to have some productive fun?
Stick with me, and I’ll tell you all about a very special week that I used to observe with my children every Christmas when they were young–Elf Week.
Elf Week is a wonderful time full of Christmas fun and accomplishment. Elf Week is a much needed break from your homeschool routine, and there’s plenty of opportunity for kids to learn. My adult children still remember Elf Week!
Each day this week, I’ll give you a suggested Elf Week activity for the day and evening.
Let’s get started with Day One: Writing the family letter, preparing your Christmas cards, and addressing the envelopes for mailing. Hang onto your Elf hat, because here we go!
Gather your letterhead, envelopes, Christmas cards (if you have one already), return address labels, and stamps. Here are the tasks that need to be done to get those cards in the mail:
- address the envelopes
- attach return address labels
- affix postage stamps
- seal the envelopes
- sign the Christmas cards (a self-inking stamp is good for this)
- compose the family newsletter
- fold the newsletter to fit inside the card
- stuff the envelopes
- seal the envelopes
- (optional) sort the envelopes and pray for the recipients
Depending on the number and ages of your children, divide up the tasks so you can get this task done in a day. Here’s the key: Don’t worry about perfection. Embrace and enjoy the help you’re getting from your Elves. Avoid discouraging the Elves by re-doing work, or losing your patience. Take a very deep breath and realize that you are making memories with your children. What kind of memories do you want to make?
Ask each Elf to write their paragraph to contribute to the family newsletter. Non-writers can dictate to you, or an older sibling, the happenings they want to share. Let an older child format the newsletter on the computer. If you don’t have an Elf who can do this, then you can do it. If you have many small Elves in your workshop, please consider skipping the family newsletter this year, or delegating the task to your spouse.
Next, get some of your helpers busy addressing the envelopes, and putting the return address labels on them. Addressing envelopes is great life skill training. Most postage stamps are self-adhesive, so get those, and teach your Elves exactly where to place them on the envelopes.
*Hint: unfold all envelope flaps before starting the addressing and stamping so that Elves can easily see which end is up. Also, avoid affixing postage until the addresses are written on the envelopes, and you’ve had a chance to look them over.
After all the separate tasks have been accomplished, seal up the envelopes. You can lick them, use a sticker seal, or use a sponge to wet the adhesive. If you and your Elves still have some energy left, ask them to sort the envelopes by state and country. Elves can find all the different states and countries on a map. If you are a faith family, pray for each family, each state, and each country. Set the prepared envelopes aside. You will be going to do some shopping on Day Two, and you will mail the Christmas cards on the way.
This evening, why not grab some hot chocolate or cider in thermal travel mugs, and head out to look at neighborhood Christmas lights?
Good job on Day One. You and your Elves accomplished a big task! See you tomorrow for Day Two of Elf Week.
See the complete schedule on one page:Elf Week: Five Days to Christmas Peace and Joy in Your Home