i Friends,

Once upon a time, I thought a home had to be a house, with a chimney – for obvious reasons. I could not imagine how Big Red would get into a home if it did not have a chimney.

Many homes, though, don’t have chimneys for Santa or stables for reindeer. At least that’s what I’ve heard about homes down South. Some are tipis, other trailers. Some of you live way up in apartments and others in Quonset huts.

Elves also live in a variety of different homes, and that’s another way we are alike. But from what I can tell, we do live a little differently in Northpole and I thought you would like to know about our homes.

I live in a home that’s the deer’s ears. It’s filled with bells and laughter and sprinkles. Someone is always telling a story, and it’s never mean. My relatives are constantly coming in and out and everyone is always happy to see everyone else – even if they just saw them at one of the guilds.

Santa and Mrs. Claus live a short reindeer ride away. They live at the tippy top of Northpole, on Magic Point. If you want to write to them, address your letter to: Nicholas and Jessica Claus, 1 Northern Lights Way, Northpole.

Where the rest of us live are a mix of modern and old-fashioned houses.

How many of you thought we lived in igloos?

Elves are quite eclectic (another vocabulary word from school). We have the Old Towne that you probably recognize from cards and movies. It is the quaint section of Northpole. And we have downtown that is as sleek as any modern city. We also have plenty of neighborhoods.

Row homes are not just for down South. No water or oars are required for our row homes. They’re just houses built close together. The best part is you get to live really close to your relatives. Sometimes that can be a pain because I have so many people telling me what to do, but mostly it is pretty fun.

Evergreen, my mother’s cousin, lives in a row home nearby and loves visiting. Evergreen makes the best sprinkle cupcakes, and sprinkle cupcakes definitely add to any hearthold.

Houses become homes for elves when there is plenty of magic snow piled outside the door and even more sprinkles inside.

Until you’ve kicked off your cues and let your toes warm by a fire while drinking Sno*Coa, you haven’t truly experienced elf life.

Granted, you have plenty of love and warm homes down South, but our Northpole homes make me tingle from tips to toes.

Santa, we know, goes to all houses whether they have chimneys or not. He always manages to find a way.

After explaining our homes, it makes me wish I could visit more of yours. I would love to ride my reindeer around a ranch, or sleep in a grass hut, or maybe in a teeny apartment.

Rest assured that I would love to visit you down South. And you are always welcome in my home. Please know this is official.

Engraved invitations are rare among elves, so this is as close as I can come to one, but it is a genuine one from my hearth and home to yours.

Big hugs with sprinkles!