We are Lisa and Chris Gibson – a husband and wife team, and we have been running our company Wickedly Innocent Ltd for over 14 years! Initially we designed and printed wedding stationery but throughout the years (and as our family expanded), we added baby cards and prints and then our kids behaviour cards. Due to the massive demand and success of our Christmas Packs, we now dedicate 100% of our time and energy to them. We begin designing in January each year, so it’s Christmas 12 months of the year for us!
How it all began
As with many kids products, the idea for our packs was inspired by our own children. Way back in 2011, when our eldest child Josh was only 3, we bought him a toy elf when we were on holiday in Boston, USA. We thought it was a great idea to add excitement to the build up to Christmas and with the added benefit of promoting good behaviour. However, Josh got bored of the elf very quickly, so we decided to make it a little bit more interactive for him, and designed little cards based on the traffic light system which he already used in nursery. The elf would leave him a green, yellow or red card everyday based on how well he had behaved, leave yummy chocolate coins in his advent stocking as rewards and even write little notes for him to find. He looked forward to seeing what the elf had left everyday, and it certainly increased the fun and excitement for him.
The idea was a huge success. Not only did we have lots of fun and excitement on the run up to Christmas, but Josh just loved all the praise and encouragement he was receiving. We definitely had a calmer and less manic start to the festive period.
Deciding to make packs available to other parents …
Having seen how well the cards worked for us that Christmas, friends and family members asked if we could make packs for their kids. We had been running our own stationery company for years, so decided to take the plunge and put together a complete starter kit to make available to other mums and dads. We worked hard getting new illustrations of the elves and their famous ICE Machine designed. We thought it would be a great idea to add a Wish List for the kids to complete, added ‘reminder’ cards, and a Nice List Certificate for Christmas Eve.
The demand and response to our packs has been absolutely amazing. We have been able to share the story with thousands of children over the past few years. We get so many lovely emails and messages from parents telling us how much their kids loved getting their cards each day and how much it improved their behaviour. We really are so very proud of our packs and feel very privileged that so many families share a little bit of the magic with us.
Each Christmas, Josh waits to see if he has been chosen again (which he is of course, the elves have so much fun helping him!), and he can now share the excitement with his little sister Gracie.
Improvements and sharing ideas …
Each year, we have used feedback from customers to improve designs, add new features and share new ideas with other parents. Some customers use the packs in conjunction with toy elves or elf doors, and some choose to have the cards arrive by magic on their own without the need for any additional toys or accessories (sometimes I think the more you leave to the imagination, the more believable and exciting it is!).
The packs are so versatile and you can add in your own ideas to make it unique to your family. For example, last year we decided to add a little elf reward sack under our Christmas tree. We wrapped up small surprises (for example a kinder egg) and placed them in it. Whenever the kids earned 3 green cards in a row, they were allowed to choose a reward from the sack. I think we had as much fun with it as the kids.
This year we also decided to tweak the story a little in order to be more inclusive of those that didn’t want to put the focus on behaviour. The idea of the ‘Christmas Magic Mission’ in which the elves need help to create enough magic to fuel Santa (or Father Christmas!) and the reindeer’s journey around the world is so very versatile – the elves challenge can be to spread Christmas cheer, show kindness everyday, encourage good behaviour or maybe all of these! Most importantly, it’s about having fun!
I hope you have enjoyed reading about how our Christmas packs came to be …
an idea born out of necessity, but one that has brought so much magic and positivity to our family and thousands more.