Have you seen these Christmas elves? I think the Magic Elf craze originated in the Southeast several years ago, but has grown in popularity and geography since. They’re sort of rag-doll like elves that visit each year during the holiday season and play pranks each night until Christmas Eve, when they return to the North Pole with Santa.
My son’s elf is named Cameron. A friend of his got an elf named Mansfield. My nieces’ elves are Colette and Megan. Some kids from our church have an elf that arrived with the unfortunate name of Enus. Each elf has his or her own personality, and the kids’ bound out of bed each morning to see what those nutty elves have been up to while the rest of the house was asleep.
That’s all very magical for the kids, but for the parents, it’s hard work. Night after night, you have to come up with trick after trick after trick. Often, I find myself heading upstairs for bed when I suddenly remember I haven’t done the elf. My sister has been known to pitch hers out the back door when she’s particularly tired, and then tell the girls the next morning that the elves must have wanted to play in the backyard. Wouldn’t it make things easier if parents had a whole bunch of tricks all figured out ahead of time?
Today we launched an e-book called “50 Elf Tricks: The Busy Parent’s Shortcut to Christmas Elf Magic.” Actually, Tribe is not really in the business of creating content for kids; Most of our clients are more the Fortune 500-type. But we have a policy of looking for where we can help, and this seemed, in its own small way, like something we could do to help.
Each of the 50 tricks includes a rhyming note for the elf to sign, explaining his or her tricks that range from leaving a trail of baby carrots to lure reindeer inside to a special shaving cream message written in shaving cream on the bathroom mirror. There are quick and easy tricks for nights when parents are particularly exhausted and more meaningful tricks that encourage the spirit of giving — or even good habits, like teeth brushing.
The e-book is $9.95 at the site we created for it (www.elfideas.com) and 50% goes to Santa. We’ll be able to donate half of each purchase price to the Emmaus House Christmas program, where Santa Claus will hand out gifts to over 700 kids who otherwise might not have much magic in their holiday.
This is one of the things I love most about owning a small company. You can think something up and make it happen. I had the idea driving home last Tuesday and a week later, the e-book is written and art directed and for sale on the worldwide web. So fast, it can be almost like having elves at work during the night.