WATERVILLE, N.S. – Haley and Kayla Pinch run to their mailbox from their school bus stop each day in December to see if their Christmas elf has left them a present.
The routine is part of the family’s magical Christmas tradition involving an elf who visits from Dec. 1 to 21 and leaves letters and small gifts that showcase what Christmas is truly about.
And what it’s about, according to the girls’ mother Linda Pinch –the only one able to see the elf – is love.
“Our elf’s name is Bernard, and each year he leaves the kids small presents – anything from a poem to a deck of cards – to remind them Christmas is not about huge presents, but about loving each other and spending time together,” she said.
The elf, who once said in a note he was 3,000 years old, has received help from a sidekick named Blue this year. He’s an elf who is aptly named, according to Linda Pinch, who has so far left blue objects or others wrapped in blue-coloured paper around the house.
Read more Christmas content here:
- 2018 Christmas Lights map
- Gift of time needed to make Kentville Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign a success
- Kentville Kinettes hold Christmas Miracle benefit for Kings County children in need
- Last minute, thoughtful gift ideas for Christmas
As their school bus pulled up near their Waterville home Dec. 13, Haley and Kayla ran straight from the bus to their mailbox and squealed when they found small gifts Blue had left them – each wrapped with blue paper – and said their daily check is “really exciting” for them each December.
“We check it every day, because our elf always brings us stuff, but we never know what day it’ll be,” said Kayla.
Over the past decade, the gifts and notes left by Bernard have been quite different, but have all had one thing in common, according to Linda Pinch. They all encourage her kids to move away from electronics and towards spending time together.
Some of the best gifts over the years have been an Alvin and the Chipmunks CD – “they played that until it was broken,” said Pinch – and paint sets they use to paint scenes together.
“So much nowadays is about the internet. Bernard always seems to want the kids to get together and enjoy Christmas as a family. It’s not about the gifts or bows. It’s about making them happy to be together,” said Linda Pinch, adding her six children – Arionna, four, Kayla, six, Haley, eight, Courtney, 11, Aubrey, 13 and Tamara, 14 – now count down the days until Bernard and Blue arrive each year.
“Christmas is a magical time at our house.”