Monday, January 9, 2017

Elf Letters 2016: Christmas Eve



For the last several years, Elves - with very interesting names - from the North Pole have come to visit our home beginning at midnight on the first day of December. They leave little trinkets for each of our daughters, but more importantly they leave a letter for them to read each morning. The great thing about the letters, that I've come to realize and appreciate, is that they each serve a purpose. They are not just quickly written notes on Post-its, but instead are filled with the importance of family, the real meaning of Christmas and a reminder of how special and beautiful (and fortunate) they each are. I look forward to their visits as much as the girls do.

Christmas Eve 2016!

Can you believe it?! Have you ever been this excited?! I can hardly sit still. In fact, I haven’t stopped moving around all day. I jumped, walked, ran, leaped, twisted, jogged, paraded, danced and twirled. Thankfully I had my Fitbit on so I got over 40,000 steps in all that moving around.

Those steps, although filled with a lot of nervous energy, were good and healthy. There are people that go 40,000 steps either in the wrong direction or take those steps and without the right luggage. What luggage do you think I mean? What is the one thing that we need to make sure we take with us every step of every way that we go? Whether it’s 40,000 or just 40, if we don’t have Christ leading the way, none of it matters. Of course, He is always with us, but we need to make sure we acknowledge his presence in all that we do.

So, big plans today? I know your church does an outstanding Christmas Eve service so I bet – and I hope – you’re looking forward to that special time with your church family.
Things are spectacular up at the Pole. Everyone is healthy, the reindeer are energized and feeling strong and of course, Mrs. Claus baked a mountain of cookies. And I mean literally a mountain of cookies! I don’t ever remember having a belly ache feeling this good! Don’t get any ideas though.

Here’s an idea, why don’t we continue the ABCs?

T             For the angel or star on the TREETOP
                For the TRAVELING and the safe arrival in the arms of family

U            For families UNITED around the tree

V            For the VICTORY already won

W          For the WISE MEN as well as for our WISDOM while letting God lead

X            For the Excitement of children and parents too while wrapped up together
                In the Christmas spirit

Y            for the YOUNG, the very young like Oliver celebrating his first Christmas

Z            for the ZOO that life sometimes seems to be, but we’re all in good hands

Merry Christmas! This is our last letter for this year. Can you believe it?! Santa will               write you a letter tomorrow. Enjoy the presents, enjoy each other, enjoy giving your               hearts to the Lord on this glorious day.

We love you!

Your Elves,
Cookie (Back again!), Yummy and Toad

P.S. So sorry that we didn’t bring you an invisible light pen, Sophie. We will keep it in mind of another time.  We ran out of the special parts needed to make those pens so cool. I’m sure you will enjoy all of your other toys tomorrow morning!

P.S. (Again)

Mrs. Claus wanted to send you a little note:

Beautiful Graybill Girls,

My, my, you are the sweetest girls around! We all just adore you and continue to be amazed by you. I made something very special for the each of you. I knitted these stockings myself. I don’t always do that, but I felt all of you deserved something extra special. I took some yarn from some of Santa’s old suits, scarves the reindeer used to wear and even some from blankets that have been keeping us warm up here in the North Pole for a very long time. So each one has a lot of history and memories sewn into them. I hope you like them because I really enjoyed making them for you.

Merry Christmas,
Mrs. Claus

Friday, December 23, 2016

Elf Letters 2016: Night Twenty-Three


For the last several years, Elves - with very interesting names - from the North Pole have come to visit our home beginning at midnight on the first day of December. They leave little trinkets for each of our daughters, but more importantly they leave a letter for them to read each morning. The great thing about the letters, that I've come to realize and appreciate, is that they each serve a purpose. They are not just quickly written notes on Post-its, but instead are filled with the importance of family, the real meaning of Christmas and a reminder of how special and beautiful (and fortunate) they each are. I look forward to their visits as much as the girls do.

December 23rd 2016

Wow! If this were basketball, it would as if the ball is just inches away from swooshing through the basket for the WINNING point. If this were BASEBALL, it would be as if a base runner is just two strides away from touching HOME plate for the victory. If this were football, it WOULD be as if the running back has broken AWAY from all defensive barriers and is now in a full SPRINT and just yards away from the end zone. Yes, girls, we are THAT CLOSE!

What a beautiful day in Virginia yesterday! Kind of crazy to think that you were not only OUTSIDE without coats, sweaters or even jackets, but to actually be able to go the playground on the first full day of WINTER. What a SPECIAL time to have with each other. And then it sounds like you made COOKIES with your mommy and played P-I-G with your daddy downstairs. These are things that you’ll always REMEMBER.

Keep creating those memories! I know your daddy and his brothers love talking ABOUT things they used to do when growing up. It’s just one of the things that makes THEIR brotherhood so strong.

Before we go, let’s continue with the ABCs…

O           For the OH, holy night that was and is OUR savior’s birth
                For the OMNIPRESENSE of OUR creator

P             For POPCORN snacked on while watching movies or strung across
                                The branches of the Christmas tree
                For the PARTIES, celebrations and gathering of friends and family
                For the PROMISES of love, grace and mercy He has made

Q           For the QUIET and still of the night
                For the prayers spoken under a grandmother’s QUILT
                For the QUICK, mad rushes to buy that perfect gift
                For Christ’s QUINTENSSENTIAL example of what we should hold most dear

R            For the RUNNING around and scurrying about, but also for the
                hope that is RESTORED when we finally RELAX

S             For the SAVIOR’S birth of course, but also for SIMPLE SURROUNDINGS
                                of His that birth that would lead to our SINS being washed out

We’ll have to get the rest tomorrow. Until then, enjoy every moment with each other. Show people the LIGHT that LIVES within you.

Merry Christmas, Graybill GIRLS!

We Love You!

Your Elves,

Cookie (3 nights in a row!), Bed-Head and Bed Bug

Elf Letters 2016: Night Twenty-Two

For the last several years, Elves - with very interesting names - from the North Pole have come to visit our home beginning at midnight on the first day of December. They leave little trinkets for each of our daughters, but more importantly they leave a letter for them to read each morning. The great thing about the letters, that I've come to realize and appreciate, is that they each serve a purpose. They are not just quickly written notes on Post-its, but instead are filled with the importance of family, the real meaning of Christmas and a reminder of how special and beautiful (and fortunate) they each are. I look forward to their visits as much as the girls do.

December 22nd 2016
Three. More. Days.

It’s FINALLY here! Christmas vacation! And what a WAY to celebrate by going to see The BIG guys himself! I always loved watching kids sit on Santa’s lap. Their giant SMILES and how  some of them dress up in the nicest CLOTHES, – not that you have to do that – but my FAVORITE thing about the whole going-to-see-Santa thing is when KIDS ask for something for somebody else AND not themselves.

Isn’t great to KNOW that we can do that ANY time that we want to by going to the LORD in prayer and asking HIM to protect people or heal someone from an illness? Just like your Christmas list, you don’t always get what YOU ask for, but as you GROW stronger in your faith, it becomes EASIER to give everything up to Him and realize He’s in control.

We’re so proud of you girls for WAITING so patiently while waiting to see SANTA. We know you were HUNGRY and tired from all your celebrations at school, but you made us PROUD.

We’re going to leave with the some MORE ABCs of Christmas. I think we pick up with the letter…

L             For the joyous, deep-in-the-heart LAUGHTER          
                For candles in the window casting Christmas LIGHT
                For the LIGHT of the world that came this very night

M           For MAW-MAW and mothers that watch from afar
                For the MILLIONS that have “nothing” but still worship and give praise
                For the MULTITUDES of grace-givers because we are the grace-receivers
                For the MOMENTS that make us stronger even when we don’t realize it
                                And for the MOMENTS that are cherished and remembered

N            For the NEGATIVE attitudes from the people we are called to love
                For the NATIVITY and the angels above it
                For the first Christmas, for the first NOEL
                For NIGHTS when we lie our heads down, NESTLED in deep

We’re running out of time, but we’ll be sure to finish in these next couple of NIGHTS. Enjoy your first full day of VACATION tomorrow. Show love and kindness and…save some COOKIES for us J because word in the pole says some BEAUTIFUL girls in Woodbridge are making some DELICIOUS treats!

Merry Christmas, Girls! We love you and think you are special, important and powerful…because you have the strength to be LIGHTS of the world!

We love you!

Your Elves,
Cookie (Yep, back again!!), Crumbs and Kwala-Lala-Whoopy-Doo-Dee-DahDah

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Elf Letters 2016: Night Twenty-One


For the last several years, Elves - with very interesting names - from the North Pole have come to visit our home beginning at midnight on the first day of December. They leave little trinkets for each of our daughters, but more importantly they leave a letter for them to read each morning. The great thing about the letters, that I've come to realize and appreciate, is that they each serve a purpose. They are not just quickly written notes on Post-its, but instead are filled with the importance of family, the real meaning of Christmas and a reminder of how special and beautiful (and fortunate) they each are. I look forward to their visits as much as the girls do.

December 21st 2016

GOOD morning, Girls and a Howdy Ho, Ho, Ho!

One more day of school and your Christmas VACATION begins! Movies, games, popcorn, hot chocolate, walks in the brisk winter air…oh, and course PRESENTS!  Andy Williams was right. It really IS the most WONDERFUL time of year!

We have some good things already PACKAGED for you that we KNOW you’ll love!

The FIRST day of practice went off without a HITCH…until Blizten’s hitch snapped and SENT him sailing off into the neighboring forest. Here’s something you need to know about REINDEER. They can fly by themselves for a little BIT, but it’s the strength of the team that makes them fly so LONG and so FAR. Blizten wasn’t ready for such an event otherwise he would’ve been able to fly back to the group and TRY again.

We had to stop everything to go look for him. Thankfully it didn’t take TOO long and he wasn’t hurt. WE actually were able to LAUGH about it. Other than that though, there were no problems…except on about the third or fourth practice launch there was a huge gust of wind. It blew dirt into all of the reindeer’s eyes. It would’ve been okay if they hadn’t left the ground, but it happened mid-FLIGHT. Blinded by the dust, they had no IDEA where they were going and ended up crashing into the ROOF of the barn. Let me tell you something, NINE reindeer crashing into a roof can cause a LOT of damage. But other than that, everything else was peachy. Until we realized something.

On one of the other launches, I think it was the eighty-fifth attempt, a package fell off the sleigh due the amount of THRUST  during takeoff. No big deal, right? Normally, no. But the package tore open. No BIG deal, right? Normally, no. But we discovered that what was in the package – a FIREY FLURRY Snowball Launcher 2000 – was not properly assembled. No big deal, right? Well, it happened to be a HUGE deal. We realized that all 17,854 Firey Flurry Snowball Launcher 2000s were NOT assembled properly. It took us  - all 4,985 elves – twenty-one hours to find all of the launchers and it will take ALL day today to fix them.

Never a dull moment up here.

We better skedaddle and booty scoot on out of here so we can get back up there and help out. Everybody has to do their part. That’s what teams do. That’s what FAMILIES do.
It was so good to be BACK in your home! I love it here. I was so excited when Santa called me into his office to let me know I’d be coming back. And that’s not IT! I get to come back at least ONE more time!

It sounds like you have your parties tomorrow. What fun! Don’t eat too much. We don’t want the Graybill girls having belly aches. We need you girls to be full of joy and HAPPINESS.

Have  a wonderful day and be sure to show grace, love and KINDNESS.

Merry Christmas!
We LOVE you!

Your Elves,

Cookie, Butter Nut and Honeycomb

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Elf Letters 2016: Night Twenty

For the last several years, Elves - with very interesting names - from the North Pole have come to visit our home beginning at midnight on the first day of December. They leave little trinkets for each of our daughters, but more importantly they leave a letter for them to read each morning. The great thing about the letters, that I've come to realize and appreciate, is that they each serve a purpose. They are not just quickly written notes on Post-its, but instead are filled with the importance of family, the real meaning of Christmas and a reminder of how special and beautiful (and fortunate) they each are. I look forward to their visits as much as the girls do.

The 20th day of December 2016

Two more days of school before break! Four more days UNTIL you go to CHRISTMAS Eve service at your church AND Five more days until Christmas Day!  Think it will be cold?! THINK it will be SNOWY! Looking at your forecast, I don’t think any of that IS going to happen. But what a special day it will be! You may be able to go on a Christmas walk together.

We all took a walk yesterday. Everybody. Santa wanted us to do it before we got started ON our rehearsals for the big NIGHT. We walked for a long time. We walked until we got tired and then Santa encouraged us to walk some MORE.  When we finally stopped, Santa turned and looked out upon all of us. He seemed like he was going to say something grand, but stood their silently INSTEAD. Minutes went by and just SECONDS before the sun rose above the horizon, he said, “The sun is a SYMBOL of hope. A sign of a NEW day. A day in WHICH His promises are as firm and solid as all the days before it. We must give HOPE to the hopeless, but more importantly, WE must INSPIRE others to give HOPE to those they know and to those they MEET for the first time. We must pass the LIGHT, His light, to one another. Think about this as we prepare for our BIG night. It’s not about the TOYS. It’s not about the COOKIES. It’s about showing love and evoking hope so more JOY and happiness exist in this broken world.

After everyone left, I stayed for a bit and watched as the sun rose higher and I listened to LIFE around me AWAKEN. In those gentle moments of the MORNING I was still and I was QUIET. With a wave of peace washing OVER me, I stood and I gave THANKS for every person in my life, for every child just like the three of you and even for the STORMS I had to go through to get to right here RIGHT now. In those moments, I felt God touch my shoulder and say, “Good job!”

He says that to you all the time. He tells us He loves us so much, but how often do we listen? If you ever have a CHANCE to watch His LIGHT come up over the HORIZON, take it. It will fill you with HOPE and inspire you to take that HOPE and spread it around through kind words and good deeds.

I’m so excited about this time of year. I’m excited for Santa’s launch and for the excitement on Christmas morning, but also excited to feel God’s presence in ALL that WE do as one BIG family. Life is a team SPORT. Let’s work together on bringing HOPE to the world.

WE love you, girls! WE are very proud of you. Keep lifting EACH other up. Remember, the spread of joy, hope and love can BEGIN with you!

Merry CHRISTMAS!

Your Elves,
Phantom, Bethlehem and Sunflower

Monday, December 19, 2016


For the last several years, Elves - with very interesting names - from the North Pole have come to visit our home beginning at midnight on the first day of December. They leave little trinkets for each of our daughters, but more importantly they leave a letter for them to read each morning. The great thing about the letters, that I've come to realize and appreciate, is that they each serve a purpose. They are not just quickly written notes on Post-its, but instead are filled with the importance of family, the real meaning of Christmas and a reminder of how special and beautiful (and fortunate) they each are. I look forward to their visits as much as the girls do.

December 19th 2016

SIX. MORE. DAYS!!

You GIRLS did such a wonderful job singing for the FOLKS at the nursing home. I imagine a lot of them don’t get MANY visitors and sadly, some may not get any at all. You were DIFFERENCE makers today and you shone your light upon PART of the world. For that, you should feel proud.

Yesterday, we didn’t make a single TOY. Can you believe that? This close to the BIG day and we didn’t make TOYS or even practice for Santa’s  BIG launch. Today was a day of worship and we took it seriously. It’s important for everyone, even us elves, to stop and REFLECT and REMEMBER the REASON for the season. Everything here at the Pole was still and quiet…and just filled with the peace of that only Christ can give.

We actually caught a live stream of Pastor John’s sermon. Wow! It was incredible! We all loved hearing the story behind the SONG, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem. I like how he mentioned that Bethlehem was so small, BARELY a dot on the map and yet it was PROPHISIZED that ruler of Israel would come from THERE. I just love that God doesn’t care WHERE we come from, doesn’t care HOW much money we have or how many THINGS we can call our own. What matters is our PERSONAL relationship with Him and how we LIVE our LIVES as close to Christ-like as we possibly can. No matter where we are at any given POINT in our lives, we can become and do GREAT things.

The MOST powerful part of the message today, however, was during BAPTISM when Pastor John said that God Loves Us even before We can Love Him. Kind of like how even before we’re EVEN a dot on the MAP, we are loved to an unfathomable degree. It’s something nice to keep TUCKED away in the pockets of our HEART.

Today is a BIG day! We start practicing for the BIG NIGHT! Mrs. Claus will start us off right with a PILE of cookie pancakes smothered in cookie-flavored syrup. Breakfast of champions for sure!

Lot of love and kindness this week okay, girls? Work hard in school like you always do and enjoy every moment of Christmas.

We love you! Merry Christmas!

Your Elves,

Giggle, Gaggle and Google

Friday, December 16, 2016

Elf Letters 2016: Night Sixteen

For the last several years, Elves - with very interesting names - from the North Pole have come to visit our home beginning at midnight on the first day of December. They leave little trinkets for each of our daughters, but more importantly they leave a letter for them to read each morning. The great thing about the letters, that I've come to realize and appreciate, is that they each serve a purpose. They are not just quickly written notes on Post-its, but instead are filled with the importance of family, the real meaning of Christmas and a reminder of how special and beautiful (and fortunate) they each are. I look forward to their visits as much as the girls do.

The 16th day of Christmas!

You are not going to believe this, but the moment we land our traveling vessel, what we affectionately call, The Elfasaurus-inator, we got a call from E.L.F. headquarters. Not just any call…and beeping red call. That means it’s serious business. We kinda saw it coming because it has been just one of those days, but we REALLY wanted to come visit. This is our first time VISITING and we are super stoked. All the other elves, especially Kit AND Kaboodle (not to be confused with Kit-N-Kaboodle), have been just raving about how beautiful your home is.

BOY, were they RIGHT! We love it here already and we’ve only been here for twenty-seven sniffer-liffers. That’s roughly five minutes to you. Anyway, the call means we gotta SPLIT pronto. Apparently a quaggle in the MAIN engine that runs the conveyor belt in sector Z24 has malfunctioned. Do you realized how important a quaggle is?! Well, without a quaggle, the zuhniffels (all four them) start to grind against the mudhoody and if the mudhoody BREAKS or even slows down…well, Santa’s sleigh won’t fly.

I know, it doesn’t sound plausible and you’re probably wondering why a faulty quaggle has anything to do with whether or not Santa’s sleigh will fly or not. The simple answer is this: Toys aren’t the only THINGS that ride down the conveyor belt that is run by the quaggles, zuhniffels and the mudhoody…AND the Ploppyplops. Did I mention the Ploppypops? I didn’t? Oh, well the Plopplyplops hold Ploopypops together while the Plippydips aid in the rotation of the zizzers…or is it the zazzers? I don’t know sometimes. It’s complicated stuff up here. All I know is, we have to get moving along.

How about one more letter first?

K            for KIDS on bikes and KIDS with KITES
                For the KINDNESS that spreads across and through the cracks
                                Of those that may have given up on hope
                For KRIS KRINGLE and the gifts he brings
                For the Almighty KING who put gifts in us
                For  this crazy time of year and the hopes that we find rest

Merry Christmas, Madison, Bailey and Sophie! You are loved. You are important. You are sparks of grace.

We love you!

Your Elves,
Bippity, Boppity and Boop

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Elf Letters 2016: Night Fifteen


For the last several years, Elves - with very interesting names - from the North Pole have come to visit our home beginning at midnight on the first day of December. They leave little trinkets for each of our daughters, but more importantly they leave a letter for them to read each morning. The great thing about the letters, that I've come to realize and appreciate, is that they each serve a purpose. They are not just quickly written notes on Post-its, but instead are filled with the importance of family, the real meaning of Christmas and a reminder of how special and beautiful (and fortunate) they each are. I look forward to their visits as much as the girls do.

The 15th day of Christmas 2016!

Good morning, beautiful angels! We’re going to start off with a quote:

“All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but (falling down) may be the best thing in the world for you.”

Do you know who said that? He was one of the biggest dreamers to ever live. HIS name was WALT DISNEY. And believe or not, he was once told he was not creative enough. The MAN that went on to create some of the most loveable CHARACTERS of all time was told he wasn’t good enough.

The point is that when he was TOLD that, he faced an obstacle. When he was told that, he was left with two choices: stay down and feel bad or pick himself up and keep moving FORWARD. Thank goodness he decided not to QUIT.

Believe in your dreams, girls! But, also know the importance of troubled times. God GIVES us those to help us become STRONGER. We may not understand, but HE is in CONTROL.

Remember too, that when you’re having a struggle of some sort, we NEED to rely on GOD. That’s what HE wants and that’s what HE’s there for. But don’t ignore him WHEN things are going wonderfully either. No matter what, we need to PRAISE and thank HIM for everything. The good and the bad.

The THREE of you are very special and you may already have DREAMS and those dreams may change over time, but always move forward and always look UP. Trust in HIM.

Continue to be a light to everyone around you. Always move forward. Always pick each other up. Your sisterhood is ONE of the most important things in your LIFE. Thank the Lord for it. Every night.

Time to head North!

Merry Christmas!

Your Elves!


Homerun, Touchdown and Squiggles

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Elf Letters 2016: Night Fourteen


For the last several years, Elves - with very interesting names - from the North Pole have come to visit our home beginning at midnight on the first day of December. They leave little trinkets for each of our daughters, but more importantly they leave a letter for them to read each morning. The great thing about the letters, that I've come to realize and appreciate, is that they each serve a purpose. They are not just quickly written notes on Post-its, but instead are filled with the importance of family, the real meaning of Christmas and a reminder of how special and beautiful (and fortunate) they each are. I look forward to their visits as much as the girls do.

The 14th Day of Christmas!

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Very soon one of those TICKS and one of those tocks will be at the stroke of midnight Christmas Eve. And of course…you know what that means! HOOVES on the rooftop, Santa finding a MAGICAL way into your home…you know, he doesn’t even tell us how he gets into homes without a chimney. I’m telling you, the man is as MYSTERIOUS as a Hardy Boys adventure.

I must say girls that I really ADMIRE how passionate you are about the THINGS you’re interested in. Not only that, but they’re important things like getting better at SPORTS or WRITING journal entries and STORIES. I think that’s JUST amazing. I mean sure, you love playing on devices, but WHEN it comes down to it, you’re more passionate about the things that are probably SHAPING you to become the magnificent women God designed you to BE. The three of you are really starting to shine your light. There’s SOMETHING amazing inside each one of you.

I see you watched RUDOPLH. What a great story about how a deer that was made fun of for being different was STILL able to do something awesome and special. It reminds me of King David. David wasn’t necessarily different, but he made mistakes, but GOD still chose him to do great things. It’s important to think about how God still LOVED David and the plans He had for him because there will BE a lot of people in your life that have glaring imperfections. We need to remember that God is in control and God loves them and has plans for them AND that God commanded us to love them no matter what. Everybody has a light within them. Sometimes they need LOVE and kindness to shove that darkness out of the way.

There’s a band that we elves listen to ALL the time up here. Ever hear of U2? Oh, right! Your daddy loves THEM. One of the lines in their songs says, “Shout into the darkness (and) squeeze out sparks of LIGHT.” There’s darkness out there and the world NEEDS girls like you to SQUEEZE out the sparks of LIGHT in people so they can realize how important they are.

Shine your LIGHT girls! Be difference MAKERS!

Merry Christmas!
We Love you!

Your Elves,

Jazz MuhTazz, Spiffy Longstocking and Jumpy Gumpy


P.S. We also left a light for your mommy and daddy J

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Elf Letters 2016: Night Thirteen


For the last several years, Elves - with very interesting names - from the North Pole have come to visit our home beginning at midnight on the first day of December. They leave little trinkets for each of our daughters, but more importantly they leave a letter for them to read each morning. The great thing about the letters, that I've come to realize and appreciate, is that they each serve a purpose. They are not just quickly written notes on Post-its, but instead are filled with the importance of family, the real meaning of Christmas and a reminder of how special and beautiful (and fortunate) they each are. I look forward to their visits as much as the girls do.

The 13th Day of CHRISTMAS (Only 12 MORE to Go!)

Welcome to ANOTHER Day, Graybill Girls! It’s going to be a GREAT day!


We can’t stay long. Only long enough to remind you how proud we are of you the three of you. It sounds like you are learning a lot at school and church and doing well on tests.  And we even noticed someone leaving her homework to make sure her little sister was okay. THAT makes us SMILE! 

We also have been noticing HOW someone always likes to say the prayer before dinner…and someone else was a big help to HER daddy by helping to redecorate the Christmas TREE. All of those things MAKE us happy, but more importantly, THEY show how sweet and wonderful the THREE of you are.

We always celebrate Christ, but this time of year, there is EXTRA focus on Him as a baby.  But think about how important it is that our SAVIOR was born surrounded by smelly animals and SOON to be surrounded by smelly shepherds. Shepherds were the outcast of society. That means nobody cared too much about them, but yet, God sent angels to tell THEM about the birth of the KING. Think about how amazing this is. Jesus could have been born in a grand palace where only the richest people surrounded Him. But He wasn’t. He was BORN in filth only to rescue us from our sins when he DIED on the cross.  God doesn’t CARE about money or how successful we are. He LOVES us enough no matter who we are. He loves every single person…EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON…the same.

But He DOES crave one thing. A close, personal relationship with us.  When we glorify (praise, worship and acknowledge) Him, we are becoming closer to Him. We’re so glad you girls take time to pray. What a great way to acknowledge our Lord!

All the ELVES are hustling and bustling up at the POLE. The REINDEER have even upped their exercise regimen SO they’ll be READY to go when Santa calls for them. It’s super busy and super hectic, but we’re a FAMILY and I can’t think of a more SPECIAL thing than that.

Okay, one more letter before we blast off on out of here.

J             For children JUMPING for JOY at the thought of gifts wrapped JUST for them
                For JOYOUS singing out on the streets despite the lack of heat
                For the little trinkets that JOG our memory and remind us of those not with us
                For the JING JING JINGLE bells within our hearts

Merry Christmas, Girls!
We Love You!

Your Elves,

Woppy Doppy, Ziggy Zaggy and Sha Muh Lama Ding Dong

Elf Letters 2016: Night Twelve

For the last several years, Elves - with very interesting names - from the North Pole have come to visit our home beginning at midnight on the first day of December. They leave little trinkets for each of our daughters, but more importantly they leave a letter for them to read each morning. The great thing about the letters, that I've come to realize and appreciate, is that they each serve a purpose. They are not just quickly written notes on Post-its, but instead are filled with the importance of family, the real meaning of Christmas and a reminder of how special and beautiful (and fortunate) they each are. I look forward to their visits as much as the girls do.

December 12th 2016


What in the name of Christmas STOCKINGS is going on here! Can you believe that in THIRTEEN more days it will be Christmas morning!

You know what that means don’t you? No, not toys and fun stuff for you. No, not giving of gifts to bring people joy….well, of course all of that, but do you know what else that means?

It means SANTA is bringing the hammer down. Literally! I mean you still have lots to do so he’s LITERALLY helping us make the TOYS. So he doesn’t go anywhere without his hammer. Let me tell you something, girls. Santa is old. I mean really old. But that dude in the white beard and jelly-like belly can still make toys like a champ. He is amazing! Still LIKE a big kid after all these years.

But, he’s ALSO bringing the hammer down  figuratively. He’s making our time here in your home shorter and shorter BECAUSE we have to keep the toy train moving. Not literally the toy train, I mean we literally HAVE a toy train, but I didn’t mean literally KEEP it moving, I meant…okay, never mind. This is confusing.

The bottom line is that we gotta booty scoot on out of here tonight. But, not before taking a moment to just sit and look at your trees.  I was particularly looking at the birds that your great-grandfather gave you a couple years ago. He loved BIRDS, didn’t he? What a VERY nice gift. I noticed how one is broken. I think that may be my favorite one.  Broken, but beautiful. Do you know who that describes? Every single person. It describes ALL of us!

We aren’t perfect. We are broken. So it is IMPORTANT to know what I’m about to tell you. YOU ARE LOVED NO MATTER WHAT! You heard that before didn’t you? Well, guess what? It’s WORTH repeating. Because of His GRACE, we are loved, forgiven and never, never…FORGOTTEN.

I’m proud of you girls for HUGGING it out sometimes. That’s a sign of FORGIVNESS because Jesus has us wrapped in His arms all the time. When we’re broken AND when we’re put back together. 

Girls, I hope you are getting something out of these letters and that the little trinkets aren’t what is most important to you. We’re happy to give them to you because GIVING is an act of love and kindness in which Christ taught us to do, but I want you to also REALIZE how lucky you are to have these letters, these life lessons if you will.

You ARE also very lucky to have a MOM and DAD that love you to the moon and back.
We love you too, Madison, Bailey and Sophie. You are wonderful, amazing kids!

Merry Christmas!

Your Elves,

Joy, Midnight and Sledder