happy

Working as Santa’s Elfs

It had been a rough year money wise. Christmas Eve was here and there wasn’t going to be anything under the tree. Luckily the kids were all small and probably wouldn’t even realize that Christmas had come without a visit from Santa.

I decided to at least bake some cookies for the holiday. Mainly to lift my own spirits.

I was just taking out the last pan when my brother-in-law showed up. He helped pack up the 3 children and fresh baked cookies so we could spend the night and Christmas day with the rest of the family.

After getting all the kids asleep for the night, he proceeded to open his closet which was piled to the ceiling with boxes. He started to pull stuff out handing it to us. It was toys! He worked for a donation center. All the toys had been donated but rejected because they weren’t in very good shape.

tools for reconstructions (sewdriver, thread, pliers & glue)Until the wee hours of the morning we fixed and rebuilt cars, dolls, stuffed bears and tricycles.

When we were finished there was more toys than all our kids needed. My husband and his brother loaded the extras in the car and using a list my brother had gotten ahold of, took off and left presents at doors of other struggling families with small children.

The next morning watching the kids tear open the gifts made me happy but the fact of what we had accomplished made me feel the happiest. Really felt like one of Santa’s elfs.

making family happy at Christmas

Most people with a family probably like the idea of doing things together and enjoying the Christmas season as a united celebration. Yet it isn’t always easy to do, especially as kids grow older.

I think a key to making Christmas a family event is to include each person’s values and ideals. That probably means taking the time to discover what each person’s values actually are, of course, and then working together to incorporate those things.

For many Australians, Christmas Day is a whirlwind of opening gifts, visiting people and having huge meals before travelling to the next event. Yet what are the little things that actually matter to you and your family? Maybe it’s the tradition of opening gifts on Mum and Dad’s bed or having fresh fruit for breakfast, perhaps it’s singing carols together or having quiet time between gift-giving and dealing with lots of other people, and so on.

Plan at least one important thing for each person into your Christmas Day FIRST and then fit in other things. This way, everyone feel included and can look forward to part of Christmas Day.

Be willing to discuss new idea, too, and accept that some old traditions may not suit any more (what was cute for  a 2-year-old may be embarrassing or boring for a 14-year-old).

Throw in some extra fun, too, as part of the lead up to Christmas – and maybe in the days afterwards. Make things more relaxed, having everyone at home without guests or the need to dress up, and do family things – play board games, sing karaoke, do a jigsaw, play charades, make paper chains, watch a movie, give each other massages or play ‘truth or dare’.

Building some family Christmas memories will make Christmas fun and probably reduce some of the stress Christmas can cause.

Love Santa letters – constant prices

In the seven years we have been writing letters to help Santa, we haven’t changed the price so our letters are still $10 each (or $9.25 for orders of 3 or more).

Why no increases, even after some rough financial years and two postage increases? Because Love Santa is not about the money, it’s about the love of Christmas, magic and children.

We know others are selling letters for more than us, and not always at Santa’s request, but we’ll stay with covering costs and making people happy.

And of course our letters still contain a number of personalised details, craft and cooking ideas and a small surprise mailed individually to each child.

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