It was an ordinary day last year, the first of December, when something strange started happening at Babes HQ.
‘Mum! Jed!’ Ezra yelled, ‘come and read this!’
A brown envelope had been waiting on our doormat when we got home from school, addressed to Ezra and Jed. Ezra had torn open the envelope and we found him staring at its contents, a confused grin on his face.
‘It says it’s from one of Santa’s elves!’
‘Let me see!’ Jed piped in.
‘Don’t snatch, you’ll tear it!’
Quickly retrieving the letter from squabbling boys, I scanned the message signed by ‘Elfie’. It explained that she (or he, as the boys decided Elfie was a boy) was going behind Santa’s back to write to Ezra and Jed about what was happening at the North Pole in the build up to Xmas.
‘Is it a real elf?’ Jed’s eyes were sparkling.
‘Sounds real,’ I said.
‘It’s very mysterious, isn’t it?’ Ezra mused. ‘I wonder if we’ll get another one tomorrow?’
And so the letters kept coming, one day after the next. The boys raced to find them and I’d hear Jed shouting from their bedroom or Ezra whooping because he’d spotted one balanced on a door. Elfie could be quite inventive and finding the envelopes became a daily treasure hunt. Each letter helped build up a more colourful (occasionally fart-ridden) picture of the goings on in Santa’s workshop, with the other elves and reindeer.
The babes were mystified as to why Elfie had chosen them. Ezra had quizzed all his friends at school and nobody else was getting mail stamped ‘International Elf Service’.
‘Maybe you won some kind of Christmas good behaviour lottery!’ I suggested. Ezra nodded wisely. ‘We have been VERY good this year.’
Two weeks before Christmas, we travelled to Nigeria and the boys were certain that would be the last they’d hear from Elfie. Imagine the squeals of excitement when they found an Elfie letter in their suitcase.
Even in their granddad’s village, where we spent Christmas, Elfie’s letters kept popping up. My little niece (the Christmas fairy) got into hunting for them too!
Some days the thrill of cousins, food, sunshine and football in the garden kept the babes too busy to scout for elfin mail. Otherwise, our letters from a Christmas elf were a constant source of fun and wonder, and — at a time when the Babe Papa couldn’t be with us — a small reminder of home in England.
It was a bittersweet moment on Christmas eve when they discovered a letter in our Christmas tree and we guessed it was the final one. We still have the first letter we got from Elfie pinned to the fridge.
‘Will she write to us again this year?’ Ezra wonders.
I hope so, as Elfie’s letters were way more exciting (and better for their teeth) than a chocolate advent calendar. Less than one month to go until we find out!
Have your kids been getting letters from Elfie? They can take a @SelfiewithElfie on Instagram too!