Why Santa and his Elves don’t do Black Friday

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Black Friday is one aspect of the human world that Elves really don’t get!

For a start, the word black – what is black about an Elves word or Christmas? Nothing!! Believe me the only black you find at the North Pole is the sky and this is full of twinkling stars!

The second thing that doesn’t sit well with Elves is the emphasis on consumption, greed and materialism. Santa’s Elves are obviously into, no not just into; PASSIONATE; about making toys and giving gifts. But not because they are the latest gadget or for the sake of having. And it’s certainly not about quantity; it’s about quality!  The ethos of Santa and his Elves is to give thoughtful gifts that mean a lot to children and make them feel loved and special. Often this can be one, carefully chosen toy that is perfect for that child and what pushes their excited buttons!  It’s parents that often think they have to pile the gifts up and achieve quantity over quality! The spirit of Christmas is all about thinking about others, being kind, helpful and loving. So linking Black Friday with Christmas is not something that true Elves are keen to do!

The third aspect is to do with the world around us. Santa and his Elves live in a secret, magical, unspoilt part of the earth, which luckily humans cannot get to. But the Elves still want to encourage humans to look after the human inhabited part of the world. And encouraging over consumption of ‘stuff’ doesn’t do that!

And lastly, Christmas is mostly about magical memories. The letters that Santa receives (like this one)…that ask for non-material things are his favourite. Ok, he sadly cannot always deliver on the request but he does his best and where he cannot he will try to help with a gift instead.

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Time with the family is something that a lot of children write to Santa about and it’s not just kids who want time with parents; adults want time with kids. And spending time with kids over the Christmas period has such a magical impact on grown up’s and allows them to release their inner child and celebrate the magic and joy that is Christmas.

So we Elves would much prefer that instead of accepting all the Black Friday marketing blurb, instead come up with some plans for your time in December where you can spend time together as a family and feel the true spirit of Christmas together.

 

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To book on the Elf Adventure Challenge and come on a fun filled, festive family adventure INFORMATION AND BOOK HERE 

Why we start the Christmas magic in November….

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If you start to blast out Christmas songs in November, invariably you get someone within minutes telling you ‘it’s too early’ and ‘you shouldn’t even be thinking about Christmas until December” and other varying phrases at different levels on the grumpy “don’t say the ‘C’ word yet!

But for us, as soon as the last sparkler goes out on Bonfire night, then it’s time for Mulled Wine, mince pies, Christmas music and movies!! And why not? Especially if you have kids.

I worked out that for each child, if you assume they are into the full on Christmas magic for 10 years (which obviously might be more or less depending on the child). And discounting the first year as they obviously would rather rip up a cardboard box and likely cling to you and howl if you try and get them to meet the Big Man; that means you have on average 9 Christmas’s to really feel the magic with your child. To put it bluntly. If you don’t start getting excited with your nippers until December, then you only have a total of 27 weeks of singing Christmas songs, or put another way; just 189 days of festive magic with your under 10!!!

Of course my wish if for my kids to continue to watch Nativity, Elf and listen to Slade with me until we can then do the same with their children!! But being realistic about it, once they turn into teenagers, you can’t always do exactly the same magical stuff you can do when they are little.

Of course if you have more than one child and depending on how spread out they are, you may have many more days than this. I am lucky to have 9 years between my eldest and youngest and so I double the numbers here in terms of magical Christmas days!

But that’s why I want to double them again!! Ultimately what’s the harm in the excitement starting in November? I don’t put our tree up until Dec 1st, mainly because it would be thread bear and looking very sorry for itself by Dec 25th! But there is nothing wrong with a good Christmas movie, sing song or Christmas story in November.

And to those Scrooges who mutter about commercialism and companies being greedy and all that jazz; they clearly fail to see the benefits to the economy that a bit of Christmas excitement brings to the country. If a company is doing well selling products or magical Christmas experiences, food or drink, then they in turn plough that back into the economy, which provides jobs and income, resulting in money being spent all year round and ultimately families therefore being able to have a happier Christmas!

So, for me; Christmas has many far reaching benefits; doing magical experiences together with our family has far reaching benefits for the community and ultimately and fundamentally magical time with our kids has far reaching benefits for our family. So we want to make the most of that!!

So come on get the Christmas songs on the speaker, make some mince pies and enjoy some quality time together. Life is short and childhood is ever more fleeting so let’s relish in the magic while we can. Let’s also reclaim some of the magic of our past and see how good it is for our soul! I know singing loudly to ‘Feed the World’ reminds me of what is important and nourishes my soul!!

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Here are 5 great Christmas activities to do with the kids in November:

1/Make mince meat. Unless you are one of those super organised types who does it in January (do they exist?!) chances are you won’t have done this. And if you have never made your own mince pies before preferring to fall back on shop bought ones; but believe me they are so much nicer. And making mince-meat is so easy and non-accurate that it’s a brilliant cooking activity that the kids can get really involved in – and who doesn’t love a good old mix?!!

2/ Plan the Christmas dinner together– still on food (let’s face it, it’s one of the best things about Christmas!) getting the kids involved in planning the Christmas feast is something that they love and also is a lot of fun, plus it actually is helpful to get ahead! As we all know once December starts its such mayhem, time for planning is few and far between. So actually some time leafing through glossy Christmas magazines and recipes and getting the kids to cut out and make a montage of their favourite pictures and tastiest ideas if a great way to get them on board with food education and appreciation too!

3/ Santa letters! Everyone knows that Santa appreciates being given some time! After all he can’t make everyone’s toys in one month! So the earlier the kids do their letters the easier it makes it for the Big Man!

4/ Christmas movies!! You can’t beat an Autumn Sunday afternoon snuggled on the sofa with a movie and hot chocolate. And if you leave it until December, chances are all your weekends will be jammed packed and you’ll realise you haven’t watched any of the Christmas movies that you wanted to. So why not start now! Let’s be honest you can’t beat a good Christmas movie so make the most of them from now! Our favourites for watching in November are Nativity (and any of the sequels!), Home Alone and Elf!

5/ Christmas stories!! There are so many great Christmas books and stories if you wait until December to start reading them all you don’t get enough time to read them all! So start reading the Christmas stories with the kids in November and they will love it (as will you!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To organise an amazing family festive activity with Elves from the North Pole find out about The Elf Adventure Challenge 

Elves best pick toys for Christmas 2018

It’s October; its blustery; the leaves are leaving the trees and Autumn is definitely here. Time to be starting to bring our thoughts to Christmas…

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Pumpaa, Sprout and their Elves are always thinking Christmas of course and finaly it’s the time of year when they like to share with you their roundup of their favourite toys for 2018…. So if you are looking for some inspiration here are their top picks for toys for Christmas 2018 ……

  1. Fingerlings Untamed Dinos, £16.99

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WowWee Toys’ have been producing the popular Fingerlings in all kinds of animals and are all about dinosaurs (or unicorns, if you fancy something a little less roar-y). The Raptors have 4 to choose from and our Elf ears have been whispered to that there may be a T-Rex that will be roaring into the shops before Christmas too! So watch this space….as we Elves love Dinosaurs we are sure to tell you when we get our first batch of them!!!

The dinos are slightly bigger than their monkey predecessors, and interact, wrap around your finger, learn to talk and roar and respond to motion and sound just like other Fingerlings. Expect lots of cute growls and roars!!

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There is also a Fingerlings Dino cage, which will cost £39.99 and Argos have predicted this will be one of their top toys for the year, so you can keep your Dino Fingerlings at your fingertips!

2. Ricky the Trick-Lovin Pet, £134.99

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From Dinosaurs to more furry, less roar-y pets – the cute Furreal Friends pup Ricky has more than 100 sound and motion combinations – from balancing a biscuit on his nose to giving you a paw-shake! He’s cuddly, soft and will no doubt soon become your child’s new best friend!

If you are being badgered into getting a real pet but you’re not quite sure yet then Ricky is purrrrfect!!!

3. Chow Crown Game, £17.99

We Elves love a game (as does Santa, but shhh don’t tell anyone!!) and this is a crazy fun one for the whole family! The hat plays music, and while the beats are going, the crown spins round and the wearer has to eat as many of the attached food items as possible.

Of course – you can choose whatever snacks you fancy, from marshmallows to strawberries to crisps or anything else you have around.

Perfect to involve granny in just after she’s had her post-Christmas dinner sherry!!!

4. LOL Surprise Under Wraps, £14.99

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The LOL surprise toys have been a remarkable toy sensation and the latest for this year is the Surprise Under Wraps which is almost like a cylinder, and has a total of 15 layers to unwrap.

‘Under Wraps’ is notably more expensive than a LOL Surprise Ball but WAY less expensive than the LOL Surprise Big Surprise that dominated Christmas wish lists in 2017.

 

5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Hand Puppet and Finger Puppets set, £26.99

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We love a puppet set – you can’t beat the magic of playing creatively and low tech with the kids (see our blog here on Imaginative play ideas with your children) and especially when you combine play with timeless stories you have a winner in Elf terms! These puppets are themed around Roald Dahl’s chocolatey-adventure book classic. You get one Willy Wonka hand puppet and then finger puppets of the 5 golden-ticket winners Charlie Bucket, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, Augustus Gloop, and Mike Teavee.

They are well made and a joy to play with for both kids and adults!!

 

 

  1. LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train, £99.99

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No Christmas toys round up would be complete without something from Lego on it (and we have 2 on here of course!)

This lovely play set has all your child needs for some super-fun train action. It includes a harbour, boat, café, loading station, 2 cranes, 3 DUPLO figures plus an animal figure and lots of cool track pieces included in this set.

 

  1. VTech Fantasy Unicorn, £49.99

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Unicorns are this year’s rage! And the Fantasy Unicorn from Vtech is great and bit a different from a lot of the other unicorns you see in the shops; it has an animatronic wand, which lets your little one alter the toy’s colours. The wand also lets little ones digitally apply make-up.

If your child likes playing with dolls heads or pretend make up they will love this…

 

 

8. Pie Face Cannon

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We posted in previous years about Pie Face – one of the Elves favourite games! Last year they came back with Pie Face sky high, the free standing ‘fairground’ style version of the popular game.  And now for 2018 those clever Elves have created Pie Face Cannon. The cannon fires a pie EVERY time and it’s up to the target to make sure they use the red hand in time to stop themselves from getting truly, madly pied!! Oh the Elves loved testing this one!!

9. LEGO Creator Winter Holiday Train, £74.99

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Lego item number two, we had to include as it is the winter train – and you know us Elves love a train around the Christmas tree!!

This is a gorgeous Christmas-themed Lego set, which is not just a cool Lego kit but is also a working train set, with 16 curved pieces of track. There’s a brilliant steam engine and 5 mini-figures plus a rotating Christmas tree and gifts. Would be great to go under your Christmas tree, if you child lets you get your hands on it….

10. Little Tikes Princess Horse & Carriage Cozy Coupe, £109.99

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This magical toddler ride-on comes complete with clip-clop sounds and blue-maned horse. You can take the reins and pull the carriage along or let your child hold the reins, while you push it along using the handle on the roof.

You can also remove the carriage floor if your toddler fancies pushing the carriage along by themselves. A glamorous alternative to the popular Little Tikes cars!

 

11. Nickelodeon Experimake Sludge ‘n’ Slime, £20

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Who doesn’t love slime (check out our great homemade slime how to video by the amazing daisy’s Days here)

This kit provide a one stop, messy but planned-out fun box! Comes with protective googles and gloves, plus the tools, ingredients and step-by-step instructions to make an invisible monster, slimy snakes, sludgy goo, slime balls and, of course, slimy bogies. Science at its most gooey!!

12. Toilet Trouble, £17.99

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What child (and adult?!) doesn’t love some toilet humour?! Who’s going to get gushed by the flush? A fun – and funny – family suspense game where you take turns to spin the loo roll to see how many times you have to flush the temperamental (water-filled) toy toilet that may – or may not – spray you with (just a little) water. For 2 players or more; needs 2 AA batteries (included).

13. i-Top £14.99

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This electronic spinner counts the number of rotations and allows kids to compete against their friends for the highest number. A good competitive one for siblings on Christmas day!

  1. Treasure X3 Pack Chest £29.99

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If you love a treasure hunt, then this toy is for you!  Set to be a leader in the collectible craze, this toy will keep your kids entertained for hours. You have to open a map which tells you what you’re going to discover and then you chip away at the block to get components to build a figure. 1 in every 50 has a piece of real gold or a real diamond hidden inside…

So there you have it. Our pick of the best toys for Christmas 2018! Please post and tell us what you are excited about and any others you recommend!! Us Elves always love toy testing – life is about fun, fun, fun!!!

Snow Fun….

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You won’t be surprised to learn that Elves LOVE snow! It’s their usual environment in the North Pole so when they are able to have snow fun on there travels around their world they are super happy!

Check out their snow fun from the various venues with snow from this weekend!

But as much as real Elves love snow they understand that us Honorary Elves do get a bit cold! So when you visit the Elf Adventure Challenge you can learn your Elf skills and complete your games and challenges in the warm and dry!

We have some limited time-slots available still so if you and your family want to train to be honorary Elves check out availability and BOOK NOW HERE 

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There’s an Elf inside us all …

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We have a saying us Elves “when a child smiles, the whole world smiles with them” and Christmas is the perfect time for lots of smiles, fun and games!

Santa often sends me off into the world to meet with his official helpers and do ‘Elf Duty’ and I recently overheard some humans asking each other whether they watch their children playing in the park or whether they sometimes play with them? Now as an Elf, if there is an opportunity to play we don’t pass it up! And I wondered why humans don’t play more too.

We Elves think Christmas is the ideal opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family and play, play. play, regardless of how old you are! And if you come on the Elf Adventure Challenge you will do just that! Children and adults join in the fun and play together. Myself and my fellow Elves will be encouraging parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents to let their playful Elf inside them be part of the action and have a magical time with their children.

Come on, let your little Elf inside out, get them alive and kicking, let your hair down and embrace the fun with your children; they will love it and you will love it and you will create lasting memories. Because as much as Elves make magical toys we believe making magical memories is far more important!

We hope to see you at our Elf Adventure Challenge experience and see your inner Elf escape!

Book your tickets today…

 

Meet Pümpaå Elf

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Hi, I’m Pümpaå Elf, I am 550 years old and have been one one of Santa’s chief Elves for the last 50 years! But what I really love is having fun and playing games. I invent games for the Elves to play and this year I am so excited because Santa has asked me if I can take some of my games into the world to play with children. You see Santa has a bit of a worry. He worries that with the modern world changing so much, he thinks the spirit of Christmas is sometimes being forgotten. And he wants to remind people what Christmas is about; family, friends, fun and gratitude! So he has created a special Elf taskforce to go out into the world and train some children in the secrets of being an Elf and instilling in them the magic and spirit of Christmas so that they can share this with their family and friends. So over the next few months I am going to share some of our Elf secrets, give an insight into our jolly lives and hopefully we might get to meet some of you at The Elf Adventure Challenge where you can become honoury Elves and get certification meaning you might even get called up by Santa himself!