How to Elf Your Neighbor
Have you been Elf-ed? Sometimes it’s called jingled, but usually, the game is called Elf-ed. Spreading Christmas cheer just as the Elf’s do, you too can start a holiday tradition right in your own neighborhood this year! This is a fun game we all enjoy in our neighborhood, and each of us tries to be the first little Elf of the year! Are you wondering how to elf your neighbor? Here’s how it works!
What is being Elf-ed?
Elfing is a fun game that has been spread throughout the years. It is a traditional game that is played not just with friends and family, but with neighbors in your neighborhood to create holiday cheer, help your children understand the fun in giving, and to bless your neighbors with an unexpected surprise. Trust me, when you elf a neighbor there are big smiles, posts on social media about the excitement and thus the circle of giving continues on. What I find the most fun is that you never know who elf-ed YOU! Elfing is anonymous!
How does It Work?
During the weeks before Christmas, someone rings your doorbell and leave a basket of treats (cookies, fudge, a small gift, a child’s book – anything that spreads the cheer of the holiday season), with a poem and a sign that says “You have been Elf-ed!” Once you have received your holiday goodie basket it is your turn to now, so pass it forward to someone else in the neighborhood within 24 hours. Some people just leave the basket/box or can on your door step knowing what time you’ll be leaving for work, others ring the doorbell and run – it’s really fun and exciting, trust me!
Here’s what you do:
- Bake something or make something special for one of your neighbors and their family to enjoy. (if you’re really busy you can just stop at the store on your way home and pick up some fun things like microwave popcorn, a movie, a family book or pre-packaged treats it’s up to YOU!)
- Print off the printable poem with directions so your neighbors know they have been Elf-ed and understand how to play (some are new to this)
- Drop off your treats at the door in a basket/box/ or can, ring the doorbell, and…… RUN! You don’t want to get caught being a Christmas Elf, remember it’s anonymous!
Why You Should Play
Playing the Elfing game isn’t just a fun game, it is a way to spread Christmas cheer and teach others the true spirit of Christmas. In playing this game, our family has learned a lot about the Christmas Spirit. My kids have learned the joy and feeling of giving rather than receiving. We have learned the joy it feels to see our neighbors throughout the weeks open their doors in surprise and pass on their joy. It’s such a small token that add joy to day of a family right in your neighborhood! Elfing has taught my kids the true spirit of Christmas; helping others, giving, and gratitude. Now, my kids seek out neighbors and figure out their needs to best Elf them in the coming year. This game isn’t just a family game of fun, but a game of learning the love of giving and spreading joy wherever you go! Pass on the Christmas cheer this year and start an Elfing game in your neighborhood!
You can get as creative as you like – that’s part of what makes it so fun! So, my daughter and I are going to take you on a little journey to elf your neighbor starting with our shopping trip at our local Safeway store all the way down to the cookies and fun things we picked out for “elfing.” Just remember – there’s no stress in this game and what you pick is up to you, your resources, time and family. We started at Safeway because we can find everything from inexpensive baking products to already made pre-packaged goodies to books. If you’re concerned about allergies with your recipe feel free to leave a sticky note with the recipe ingredients……And if you have a neighbor with a pet, it’s perfectly fine for the elves to leave a little something for the pooch! Safeway has that too!
We started with a popcorn tin. We are in an area where some families have chickens and dogs outside so we figured leaving an open basket might not be the best so we decided a popcorn tin would hold in everything and protect in from critters as well as the rain or snow. Plus…. we’re planning to EAT the popcorn (lol) and now a days they make really fun and festive popcorn tins!
Next, my daughter and I decided that we would go with a 2 different kinds of cookies 1) chocolate chip 2) sugar cookie, We decided that most people like these 2 kinds and they’re relatively easy to make with kids (my daughter is always in the kitchen with me), and the recipe is readily available all over the internet. Simple, right? We also decided it would be fun to pick up a book (yes, Safeway has those too). It is important to me that she has a part in this fun game of spreading good cheer.Plus, we decided to throw in some fun and festive tissue paper. As we were out shopping at our local Safeway it was on sale and I couldn’t pass up the price!
Lastly, we picked up Safeway Select baggies and disposable containers for our cookie treasures. I went with Safeway Select brand as much as possible to save money. The quality is fabulous and the savings add up!
Time to start our baking! This is where the fun begins!! My daughter loves to be in the kitchen baking and having fun. It’s part of our Christmas spirit and this year is no different.
Lastly it’s time to pack our popcorn tin full of the goodies to “elf” the neighbors and begin spreading holiday cheer! Don’t forget to add your printable game directions here and your printable “I’ve been Elfed” sign to place in your window (It lets others know not to “elf” you again that you’ve already been elfed.
And the most fun part of all….. You need to surprise your neighbor with their package, knock on the door and RUN! My daughter thinks this is so much fun! Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you!
If you’re super busy this holiday season, and baking homemade cookies just isn’t in your budget or schedule, Safeway has some fabulous options for you! We picked up a few items while shopping so we could show a mini “elfed” package that is super quick with the Safeway Select cookie dough roll (bake and go) and some pre-packages cookies as well. Whatever you do have fun – there’s no pressure and no set budget!
A big thanks to Safeway for supplying the ingredients for our elf package to spread holiday cheer!