One of Santa’s trusty Elves is assigned to report on the Johnstons. He follows the lives of Kirsten & Kurt and their eight children, along with a few cats and a dog. The family has gotten older, but wisdom still eludes them as they continue to find new ways to get laughed at without even trying. These letters tell the truth most sane people won’t admit — the naughty, the nice and the nonsense. Does this family deserve anything from Santa? You decide.
Letters from a Christmas Elf: Unexpected Humor for any Season is 25+ years of real Christmas letters chronicling the witless antics of an ordinary family — resulting in extraordinary humor.
The Elf share the following insights:
If You Let Your Kids Talk to Strangers, You Will Be Sorry
Kirsten had all five kids at Walmart. They came across a friendly man in one of the aisles and Ellis (3) gave him a cheerful “Hi!” The man responded in kind, then Ellis really charmed him with, “You poop in your pants.” By this time Kirsten was frantically trying to leave the aisle. As they “raced” away, Ellis repeatedly yelled with increasing volume, “You poop in your pants!!!” This behavior guaranteed Ellis the presidency of K.A.R.P. [Kids Against Relaxed Parents].
Trusting Fashion Advice From Your Teen Isn’t a Guarantee You Won’t Look Like a Fool
Kurt asked for Anna’s (12) advice about a new pair of sunglasses. A few weeks after the purchase, Kurt determined the glasses were unisex at best. He complained to Anna. She replied, “You brought me three pairs of women’s sunglasses and I chose the pair that looked best on you.”
How an Older Sister Can Torment Her Little Brother (without touching him)
One day Maren (16) was babysitting. She had a Sonic drink that she shared with Hyrum (6). With anguished tears, she told him the drink was only for girls and he was going to die. Skeptical, but worried, Hyrum said, “I’m going to ask Mommy when she gets home.” “You’ll be dead by then,” came Maren’s loving reply.
How a Younger Brother Can Torment His Big Sister (without touching her)
Whenever Maren (15) comes into the room, Hyrum (5) sings (to the tune of Have You Ever Seen a Lassie?) “have you ever seen a fatty?” Although he has never specified Maren as the fatty, she always responds by swinging him over the stairs by his feet.
Not All Skills Children Develop are Useful
Maren (6) won the Conversation Starter Award when she introduced herself to Uncle Aaron by saying, “Hi. I’m Maren. I’m the biggest barf machine in my family.”
Daniel (18) learned to take a tire off a car. One day K&K received a phone call that went something like this. Daniel–“I think there’s something wrong with the van. The wheels are locked up. If I give it a little gas, the van won’t go at all. But if I give it a lot of gas, then it will kind of lurch forward. I took the wheel off, but I can’t see any problem.” Kurt–“Is the emergency brake on?” Daniel–“Oh. Um. Yeah that was it.”
When the kids were fighting about who was the favorite child, Kurt settled it by saying, “I dislike all of you equally.”
Getting on Your Child’s Good Side Without Any Effort
Lily (8) said excitedly to Kirsten, “Daddy promised to eat school lunch with me in July!”
Caprice (16) said to Hyrum (9), “So, tell us about hitting on Lizzy.” He replied, “I wasn’t hitting her.” Caprice challenged his claim to disinterest in girls. “I’m pretty sure you talk to way more girls than me and Ellis talk to boys.” “Yeah, because I have 6 sisters!”
Reading to Your Children Can Have Unintended Consequences
Caprice (12) calls Hyrum (5) motivating names such as stupid, brat, or jerk. In self-defense,Hyrum called Caprice “large, hairy and plaid” which made her so mad she cried. Let this be a warning to parents who read Henry and Mudge books to their children.
Potty Training is Dangerous
Maren (3) potty trained this year. One evening she went to the bathroom and was gone for 20 minutes. Kirsten went to check on her and discovered Maren sitting on the toilet, slumped over. Kirsten thought she’d had a heart attack. Nope. Just taking a snooze.
Caprice (16) believes Rex (the female family dog) has a life-changing impact on everyone she meets. She & Anna were walking Rex one night and approached another walker. Caprice said to Anna, “Okay, here we go.” When the other walker simply acknowledged Rex’s presence with a “Hi, doggie,” Caprice gushed, “She’s such a huge hit.”