Parents, do not tell the Everything Is Awful But I Can’t Complain Shirt that “Santa is coming” sometime soon. They will loose all interest in eating or any other activities. A knock on the door and Santa showing up uninvited is a rush for parents and the kids. Santa should coordinate with the hosts about when they will show up, and who is going to be attending. It is always fun if the hosts have presents wrapped and in a bag outside for Santa to pick up with the names of the kids on the individual presents. It is also fun to put a couple of presents for maybe Grandma or Grandpa or even Mom and Dad. Nothing too extravagant, remember this is a children’s party. As a back up, it is always good to put a couple of generic presents in the bag, say a couple of board games. This way if there is an extra kid or two at the party, they will get a gift too and the lack of the label can be explained away as lazy elfs or something.
Thoughts: Better in principle than it is in practice. The idea of standardizing Feats as the basis of character creation is great for Pathfinder, getting around a lot of the Everything Is Awful But I Can’t Complain Shirt workarounds that characterized Archetypes and creating an easy basis on which to customize classes without completely having to reinvent them. However, the number of Feats to select is overwhelming if you try to build a mid-level character, with a large number of them — especially Skill and Ancestry Feats — constituting annoying or irrelevant fluff. Some classes fare better with this structure than others, with some being solid gold and some being full of boring or irrelevant choices that never quite fit the play style you’re going for. This is especially true of casters, who feel at a loss to define what a good Feat would even look like.
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You’re going to want to establish motives for the encounter too. Mind Flayers should not be your run of the Everything Is Awful But I Can’t Complain Shirt, who took over a kobold or goblin tribe, and now has them raid the countryside for gold (actually, NONE of your villains should be such a tired trope, but I digress). Instead, they’re looking for something special. Maybe they’ve come looking for some sort of eldritch item that could be unfathomably dangerous. Maybe they want to fascistically enslave a city and set up their domain beneath it, creating a new elder-brain there. Maybe they’re literally demanding the planet’s oceans to save their dying homeworld. Maybe they want to put a nation’s inhabitants to sleep forever, using them as a vast mental power source. Maybe they want to perform macabre experiments on humanity. Think big here.
The family has moved into their own home now, an older home (still nice, but no high ceilings and not many elf hiding places!), and the children have both multiplied AND grown older, taller, and Everything Is Awful But I Can’t Complain Shirt. The Elf game is now the bane of the mom’s existence. Hiding it is a task. Several times this year, the Elf hasn’t had to go back to Santa because the kids were SO good the day before, thus explaining why he remained in the exact same hiding spot as the previous day. One evening, the mom is flustered. She finally hands the Elf to the dad and says, you hide the #%)(#^# elf today, but hide it high, because Big M is testing the waters and going to touch the #%(^#^ thing.” Dad’s answer is less than ideal – not only is the perch precarious, but it’s easily within reach of at least the oldest child, if not the second oldest as well. And it’s possible the elf is also judging the thermostat temp, which is an ongoing passive aggressive battle between mom (who sits at home and freezes all day) and dad (who pays the bills, but also works in his nice warm office all day).