Each year, my extended and far-flung family organizes the 12 days of Christmas. They always target a family with young kids, and this year the treat is ours. I vividly remember many of the gifts that showed up on our doorstep when I was a child and my own family was showered with long-distance love in this way.
What I didn't remember, though my parents likely do, was how touching it is to be the target of everyone's generosity. Our family is so spread out that frequent gatherings are all but impossible. My own family obligations, with the kids being so young, make joining the one annual event really difficult, at least in the near term.
We are flattered to be the target of this barrage of presents, and more importantly the organization and planning that goes into shopping for such thoughtful gifts, sending them all to one place, and enlisting a kind neighbor to be the Delivery Elf.
As for the Elf, we're trying to pass on at least a bit of the excitement. We've started leaving small tokens of our appreciation for the Elf, offering up a dozen eggs (thanks to the ladies out back), homemade grape jelly, a tin of Christmas cookies, and other goodies to come.
That poor Elf has been waking up pretty early in the morning to get the jump on our early risers. Especially now that the girls are racing into the kitchen to await the surprise. What a wonderful Christmas memory for us all.