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Elf-ed neighbourhood pays it forward

Anonymous giving sweeps through St. Albert area

By: Viola Pruss

  |  Posted: Saturday, Dec 14, 2013 06:00 am

ELF NOTE – St. Albert resident Lucas Murphy holds up the note his family recently received along with a mysterious bag of gifts. A wave of anonymous gift giving swept through The Brickyard neighbourhood this past week.
ELF NOTE – St. Albert resident Lucas Murphy holds up the note his family recently received along with a mysterious bag of gifts. A wave of anonymous gift giving swept through The Brickyard neighbourhood this past week.
KEVIN MA/St. Albert Gazette

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Amanda Murphy received her presents early this year.

The resident of The Brickyard, a small, 32-house neighbourhood in Erin Ridge, opened her door one morning and found a gift bag of goodies on her front step with a note saying she’d been “elf-ed.”

“In my bag there was a bottle of Baileys, a nice box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates and a tin of Belgian chocolate wafers,” she says. “And I am searching around looking for a card and then I find a piece of paper.”

The paper turned out to be a poem, explaining that anyone who’s been elf-ed has to prepare two more gift baskets and secretly leave them with family, friends or neighbours.

Murphy also had to pin the note to her door, to let other elves know not to leave any more gifts for her. The gift swap is completely anonymous, she says, so she doesn’t know who started it.

“Our neighbourhood, all 32 houses in our neighbourhood have been elf-ed so I assume it’s been going on for probably at least a week,” she says.

Based on Organized Christmas, the website noted on each paper delivered in the gift baskets, the “You’ve been Elf-ed!” game always starts with one neighbour delivering gifts, an elf poem and an elf sign to hang on their door.

Elves are instructed to avoid being seen when leaving gifts by ringing the doorbell and running away.

In Nicole Burden’s case, her doorbell rang several times in quick succession when she was elf-ed with a gift basket from Starbucks and chocolates.

She has her suspicions about the identity of her elf but says everyone living in The Brickyard is keeping quiet and having fun with the game. In the meantime, she also found an easy way to hand out her presents.

“I found someone to elf and then I had my kids run out and do it,” she says.

Murphy says she’s delivered one of her baskets. Since most of the people in The Brickyard have received gifts already she decided to deliver hers to other neighbourhoods in St. Albert.

“And some of my friends have a copy of the letter and they will elf their neighbourhood just to pay it forward for Christmas.”


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