This was the first year that Dilly really understood what was going on when it came to Christmas. She was super excited about Santa coming to our house and made a very specific list that included movies, a car she could drive, and an African American baby doll with lots of hair. Since she now understood the concept of Santa Claus bringing toys IF she was a good girl I thought it would be the perfect time to introduce her to Christopher Pop-In-Kins: Santa’s very first Children’s Elf.
The History of Christopher Pop-In-Kins:
Flora Johnson of Atwater, Ohio loved Christmas traditions. In the early 1960’s, she created a little elf who visited her children during the holiday season. Year after year, the elf returned. Then, in November 1983, Flora received a call from her very excited grandson: the elf had just “popped in” to his home! At that moment, Flora knew she had to share her own elf tradition with the rest of the world. In 1984, Flora Johnson, 59, began writing a story about a little elf who dreams of visiting children during the holidays.
With “Book One: Christopher Pop-In-Kins Pops In” almost complete, Flora made her first Christopher Pop-In-Kins doll by hand which consisted of seventeen pieces including pipe cleaners, yarn, felt, ribbon, cotton, and pompoms. (So the handmade elf would last for years, Flora added Santa’s “do not touch” guideline to Christopher’s story.) Over the next fifteen years, Flora made over 10,000 Christopher Pop-In-Kins elves at her kitchen table. “Book One: Christopher Pop-In-Kins Pops In” was hand-published by Flora’s husband Al and included with every doll.
In 2000, Rick Johnson joined his mother and father in the manufacturing and marketing of Christopher Pop-In-Kins. “Book Two: Christopher Pop-In-Kins Goes Home”, “Book Three: The Christmas Surprise”, and a sing-along CD, were soon available online. Sadly in 2005 Rick Johnson lost both his parents, but he inherited the Pop-In-Kins business and continued to grow the company. In 2008, a newly designed Christopher Pop-In-Kins and a re-illustrated version of “Book One: Christopher Pop-In-Kins Pops In” were introduced. Christopher’s story, written over twenty years earlier by Flora Johnson, remained unchanged.
To mark Christopher Pop-In-Kins’ 25th year, Pop-In-Kins Ltd. introduced a new elf, a new story, and a new family tradition. Christina Marie Pop-In-Kins, Christopher’s little sister, made her debut in November 2010. (I would love to add Christina to the magic in our house next year!)
Christopher arrived at our home in a sturdy storage case which included the hardcover book “Christopher Pop-In-Kins Pops In” and of course Christopher with fully posable arms and legs. That evening once the girls went to bed I placed Christopher in his first hiding spot and anxiously awaited the girls waking up to find him in the morning. Dilly almost immediately spotted him and I told her that he also left a book for us to read. And so we cuddled on the couch together and read the story that Flora wrote over twenty-five years ago. Dilly listened intently as I told her about Christopher talking to Santa and wanting to “pop in” to the children’s homes all around the world and how Santa had granted him this wish, BUT it was very important that we never touch him because then he would have to go back to the North Pole so that Santa could give him more magic. Each night Christopher magically popped somewhere else in the house and the girls had a blast finding him the next morning. And I’ll be honest when they were being naughty I might have mentioned that Christopher was watching them and he would be reporting back to Santa soon. Hey, I had to use it to my advantage too, hehe.
Here are just a few places Christopher appeared throughout December in our home…
On Christmas Eve Christopher wrote a final good bye on the chalkboard in our kitchen letting the girls know he was headed back to the North Pole to give Santa good report and that he would see them next year. I must admit, I was even sad to see him go as I packed him back up. I got so much enjoyment out of hiding him in a new spot each evening and watching the girls faces light up when they would find him in the mornings. Heck, he even popped all the way over to their Nana & Pap’s house and decorated their play house outside! This is truly a tradition that the whole family enjoyed and that I know will continue in our home for many years to come.
If you would like to purchase your very own Christopher Pop-In-Kins for $29.99 simply visit their website where you can either order online or find store locations that he is available. Be sure to check out the fun coloring pages available and the Pop-In-Kins Fun Club as well. Oh and guess what? One lucky reader will win their very own Christopher Pop-In-Kins to start this awesome tradition in their home next year! Simply enter using the super simple Rafflecopter entry form below.