The Elf Certified Workshop Christmas Elf Code
I Elves put love into everything they make
II Elves make work fun and love to work
III Elves always look for ways to help and give to others
IV Elves are curious and are always learning
Living by the code
I Elves put love into everything they make. We believe at the workshop that when something is made by hand it has a special kind magic. That magic comes from the love that is put into by the maker. So elves are conscious of this and make sure to put a little extra love into everything they make. There are many things made in the world by people who work under very hard conditions, long hours, unsafe equipment, and below poverty pay. It is hard to put love into something when you are sad and discouraged. Elf Apprentices can help create a more loving economy by buying more products that are lovingly made by hand or by making things themselves. Unless you already live like this, changing is not easy! Trust me, we struggle to break the box store habit and just buy from local or cottage based businesses. All we can do is start small. Make one present and buy one local this year to start. Think of it this way, “Elves put love into everything they make” so be an elf or buy from one.
II Elves make work fun and love to work. I’ve never met an elf that didn’t love to work, but that I believe that's because they make working so much fun! Now, I’ve only worked with the few elves that came to our workshop to train us, but they informed me that all elves love to work as much as they do. The love of work is a wonderful virtue and unfortunately the work ethic in America is falling. Now, I hate to say that because it makes me feel like one of those old men who yells at kids to get off his lawn, but it's true and I think I would include my generation X as the start of this downward trend. We need to teach our elf apprentices how much fun and rewarding work can be by following the example of Santa's elves. First they always work together to get a job done. Elves remind me of the Amish, in that when Amish get together to get a big job done they call it a work frolic. The elves do nearly the same thing, but they call it a work party. The party is the second thing they do, because work is always meant to be enjoyed. So have fun and work like an elf!
III Elves always look for ways to help and give to others. Helping and giving to others is said to start at home and I believe this to be completely true. When we look for little ways to help each other we create a habit of helping and an attitude of kind charity. When we plant that seed of helping and giving in our children at home it will grow and blossom outside the home also. Santa and his elves have been setting a wonderful example of selfless giving that as elf apprentices we can follow and hopefully plant enough Christmas magic seeds to change the world.
IV Elves are curious and are always learning. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it is also how we harnessed electricity, invented antibiotics, and walked on the moon. Developing curiosity might be the best way to encourage lifelong learning in our children. Challenging our elf apprentices and exposing them to as many new things as possible will help a lot in this endeavor. Elves are so curious because they still have a childlike wonder . I hope we never do anything to damper that in our children and restore it in our life if we have lost it.
The code comes out of our mission from Santa to recruit and train elf apprentices to spread Christmas magic to the world. We believe when your mission is to change the world, you can't help but change yourself. The code challenges me as a person, a parent, and an elf. Hopefully something in these words will challenge you also.
*Shawn Head Elf
A couple of days ago I read an article called “Bring Back the Lean Green Father Christmas” by Permaculture Magazine. They want to bring back the Father Christmas that came from the deep Germanic woods and was dressed in all green. It seems the main reason they want to do this is because the evil soft drink corporations turned Father Christmas/Santa red and made him fat. Okay, the premise of a leaner greener Santa is a good one in general, but just like all the historical errors I couldn’t help but point out to them, I guess I still feel the need to pick this article apart even more. I support a greener Christmas, not because I’m all worried about the polar ice cap melting and leaving Santa homeless; He has contingency plans for that ;) My reasons are because I really want to see Christmas become more meaningful and less materialistic. I also support Santa becoming leaner. Santa being immortal doesn’t have to really worry about his waistline. However, he is concerned about being a good role model and has been working hard on being more fit and trim.
These things being said, though Christmas seems like it last for about a month, it is really only one day a year and it is truthfully the other 364 days that are more of the problem. In the famous 1823 poem Twas The Night Before Christmas “the Children were nestled all snug in their bed, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads” and I think this is an awesome. I love the thought of my kids going to bed and having dreams of dancing sugar plums, but I am pretty sure our kids are not having dreams about getting to eat sugar; if anything it would be nightmares about ever having to go a day without it! Because of our hyper consumption lifestyles it seems like Christmas has had to become bigger and bigger to compete with everyday life. If you remember in the poem Santa only filled the stockings not the entire room with presents. I just think if we could create a simpler less materialistic everyday lifestyle for our family then Christmas would become even more special.
So even though I agree with Permaculture Magazines lean and green premise, I think buying green presents or green energy investments, so we can feel all warm and fuzzy green inside at Christmas is kind of lame. Buy green energy investments to celebrate tax season or something, not Christmas! I read Permaculture Magazine because I want to create a more sustainable lifestyle for my family and they have some great articles to help in that endeavor. However this article just didn’t resonate with me and by reading the comment section I wasn’t the only one. What color we dress Santa or Father Christmas seems like a personal preference and more about our rich cultural traditions than our ideological leaning. My Santa wears red, but he doesn't work for any corporation and he himself is fighting to restore the magic of a less materialistic Christmas! So dress Santa in green if you desire to, but I will work on doing a better job of dressing the other 364 days in the year in a simpler greener lifestyle. Then hopefully my cookie eatting Santa dressed in red will inspire sugar plums to dance through my childrens head every Christmas eve.
Shawn, Head Elf
Elf Certified Workshop
Here is the link to the article.http://www.permaculture.co.uk/news/0312134041/bring-back-lean-and-green-father-christmas
They told me the fixed the mistakes, but they didn’t, they just added to them lol.
Do You Believe?
We are asked this question throughout our lives; do you believe? This question is usually asked about things we cannot see or easily prove. Such as do you believe in God, Santa, flying reindeer, or maybe even global warming? However, the question I’m asking is about something you can see and prove exists. Do you believe in YOU? It seems like it would be easy to believe in something that is staring back at us in the mirror every day, but many of us have a hard time believing in ourselves. Maybe it’s because of past failures and mistakes. Maybe it’s because we don’t feel smart enough or talented enough. Maybe we don’t believe we have enough time or money. Maybe it’s because we feel sure that if we can’t even keep our house clean or make sure our kids have matching shoes on before they go to school how could we ever achieve our life goals! Whatever it is, nearly all of us struggle with doubt in ourselves and our ability to make all our dreams come true. I know I struggle with self-doubt and even unworthiness to achieve my goals. I’m sure I could fill this page with good arguments why too.
However even though I struggle at times I’ll let you in on a little secret; I do believe! I not only believe that we can reach our goals here at Candleberry Cottage, but even more crazy I believe that we can be a part of making the world a better place. How can I believe in such a grandiose dream? Well you see there is more to me than who is staring back at me in the mirror. There is something inside me that I can’t see and it is inside of you too. Working with Santa and his elves over the last year has shown me anew that inside each and every one of us there is a very special magic. This magic has the ability to help us overcome our past and our perceived limitation to achieve dreams much more wonderful than we even imagine! I have also learned two little, but important secrets about this magic. Number one is that the magic only works when doing for others comes first in our lives. Second, there is something we must do in order to activate this magic inside of us…BELIEVE!
Our goal here at the Elf Certified Workshop is to encourage our Elf Apprentices to use this magic inside of them to help spread the magic of Christmas, love and giving to our families, communities, and the world. We are truly convinced that if each of us would whole heartily believe in the magic that we all have inside, we could join together and make the world a better place. So the question still remains; Do You Believe?
Shawn, Head Elf
Candleberry Cottage's Elf Certified Workshop
Welcome to the Workshop
Hi, I’m Shawn the Head Elf here at Candleberry Cottage’s Elf Certified Workshop. Shortly after Christmas last year Santa came and swept us into an enchanted adventure of elves, flying reindeer, Holiday Barometers, Snow fairies, and Magical Dust. On this adventure we’ve learned magical secrets and stories. We’ve learned about making toys and baking cookies like elves do. We’ve learn how reindeer fly and how people in Japan celebrate Christmas. We also learned from the elves that work is supposed to be fun and happy. Most importantly however we’ve learned that Santa’s real mission behind bringing toys to boys and girls has always been to teach us about the power of giving. Santa says, he took his instruction from higher authority and has always tried to be a living example of selfless giving for all to follow. At the workshop here we hope to follow Santa’s example of giving and love in everything we do. While never forget our lesson from the elves about fun! So join us in our adventure and help this little elf workshop grow in joyful giving and fun.
Shawn, Head Elf
Candleberry Cottage's Elf Certified Workshop
Head Elf Shawn
*Head Elf of the Elf Certified Workshop* Recipient of Santa's Golden Hammer Award*Elf Apprentice Trainer*Founding Member of 'FREE TOYLAND'*