Last year, my family missed out on the Elf on the Shelf, a super cute Christmas tradition. I thought it was a brilliant idea but I didn’t get around to it until it was too late. And I certainly don’t want that to happen to my Smarty friends. So let me tell you a little bit about this fun tradition.
Elf on the Shelf is the brain child of a mother/daughter team who had this tradition in their homes for generations. It stemmed from the idea that children are baffled as to how Santa really knows who’s naughty and nice. Their answer came in the form of a small pixie-elf.
The elf usually arrives in the home around Thanksgiving time and his sole responsibility is to observe children’s behavior and report it back to Santa EVERY night (see, I told you this was brilliant!). The next morning, after the children wake up, they will find the elf back from the North Pole (with the help of mom & dad:-) and he will be resting in a different spot. You can get creative with his locations – in the pantry, in the bathroom, wherever. It will become a contest of who can spy the elf in his new spot. Rules come with this elf (love rules that don’t come from me!) and the children can talk to him, but cannot touch him. The elf is under strict orders not to talk to the children, but he is under no such orders when it comes to conversing with adults. Basically, this product of creative marketing will give you an extra behavioral tool in your household that will be way better than the ‘ole coal in your stockings empty threats! I have a funny “coal in your stocking” story from my Christmas – last year, my hubby forgot to put a stocking stuffer in my stocking. Actually, he forgot to wrap even a single gift for me from Santa. There was one from him, but not Santa. My 7-year-old is still talking about my bad behavior in ’07 and wondering if it has improved this year!
I cannot wait to bring this elf tradition into my home. If your children are not in elementary school, you can probably come up with your own elf and do something just like this for a little less $ (they are usually around $28-ish and come with a cool box and hard-cover book). But my kids heard all about this little elf last year so they will be anxiously awaiting his arrival. But not more so than this Smarty mom who can always use a little help with the discipline in her household. I should have busted the little elf out in July!
You can find Elf on the Shelf in lots of locations all around Charlotte. I have seen them in Alphabet Soup Gifts in Sharon Corners, Milky Way on East Boulevard, Tennille & Co on Selwyn, Poppies in Birkdale – basically all specialty gift shops and book stores too. So have fun with this and share some of your funny elf stories!
Our Elf just arrived the night before Thanksgiving and the kids are very excited!! They named him Buddy and love finding him each morning. It's so cute, my twins now tattle to Buddy on what my older two are doing rather than telling me!!However, My 9 year nephew spent the night after Thanksgiving and he almost ruined it all, he doesn't think Buddy can fly and that I just move him around!! So I had to keep changing the subject around him, he said he thought the Elf did not look like he was breathing- but my kids did not think much about it and are still very excited to see the Elf each morning!!JenniferMommy to Alexis, AJ, Carson & Dylan
Our elf, Giggle, appeared two days ago, and my kids have LOVED finding him in the mornings! It is such a fun way to start the celebration of Christmas!
“Grammy” just found out about this through our blog today so she’s off to snatch up an Elf on the Shelf so we can incorporate this next year into our Christmas traditions (twins too young this year). Author Squad in Huntersville also carries this for those LKN moms!
Just ran out and bought this. I am so excited to start this new tradition in our family. Birds of a Feather in Fort Mill, SC carries this and some of the books are autographed by the author. Their phone number is 803-802-3777.
My almost 3-year-old LOVES her little elf (Barney)! The hardest part is remembering to move the elf every night before she gets up! We were almost busted this morning!
So funny you posted this today, because we just received our elf in the mail today as a gift. We’ve been using Baby Shrek as an elf – and it’s been working great – but it’s so nice now to have the real thing!Katie M
Got ours today, just finished reading the book, our 6 year old is not too sure of the whole thing, wanted to touch him, put up a real fuss that he was just a doll, I told him that the box arrived on our door step this afternoon when I came home so I assumed it was from Santa and put him up on a high shelf like it told us to. Told him that if he did not want to believe it was real then I could pass him on to another family but then not to be surprised if Santa did not make it since the elf could not tell him if he had been good or not, he decided to keep the elf. The 3 year old bought the whole concept and did not question things at all. This might be best to start at a very young age before they are questioning if things are real or not. And then how do people do it when you pack him up each year, does he go into hiding before the rest of the decorations get taken down??
we did this last year. definately pack it up Christmas night if your 6 yr old is questioning it. that’s what we did last year when we put presents under the tree. streched the whole story about going home to north pole and needing a rest etc. We stashed it in the attic before everything else went up. We also had a neighbor put the whole box in our house at the front stairs over Thanksgiving weekend so when we came home we all “found” it together and our older one bought the whole story! Have fun and now if we could get one to last the rest of the year that would be great!!!
We started this last night. I put the book only outside on our front porch and had a neighbor come over and ring our doorbell and diappear before the door was opened. When we opened the door the book was there. Our 9 year old is convinced that Santa brought it because “the door bell rang 2 times and there are 2 kids in this house”. The elf did not make his appearance until this morning. I did not want to risk the 9 year old touching it and starting to ask about it being a doll. She came downstairs this morning and spotted that little guy, hopped up on the ottoman and talked to him for about 5 minutes. She either really buys into the whole thing or is putting on a phenomenal show for the benefit of her 4 year old brother. Either way it is very very sweet. Thanks so much for posting the information about this.
Another idea to make it more about “Christmas” is to have a manger and place yarn (as the hay) in it every time they do something good. I’ve found that my children want baby Jesus to have a comfortable place to sleep! 🙂 Works like a charm!
My parents did this for us 25 years ago. My mom bought us the Elf on the Shelf “kit” last year so we could do this for our daughter (2 1/2 and first grandchild). My mom can’t believe what an incredible marketing idea she missed out on 25 years ago. We’re actaully using a cute elf that she bought us when Hannah was an infant. My daughter doesn’t completely “get it” yet but she’s enjoying the story and will probably understand by Christmas. As a child that grew up with an elf (I’m the oldest) it was also fun to move the elf when my brother and sister weren’t around, once I no longer believed. Of course, the elf was usually then in a location to keep a better eye on my brother. Another fun thing my parents did was go through the neighborhood with sleighbells and leave candy on the doorsteps of all of our friends. My dad only almost got caught once. My parents were big kids themselves. We were also the family that left cookies and beer for Santa–probably not a good idea anymore with drinking and driving though.
We got this last year. My 6 year old does not like the elf. She is worried he might tell Santa how naughty she has been. She hide him under the bathroom sink. I keep taking him out and putting him in different locations. It totally freaks her out. It is so funny. My 3 year old twins think it is great and their little elf “popcorn”.Really cute idea!
They are 1/2 price at Studio Flowers store closing sale. The shop is located at The Fountains on Ardrey Kell Road.
I received my Elf as a 40th birthday present this year and my children really love it! My son is almost 4 and my daughter is 2 and they are so excited each day to run through the house to search for where the elf has landed. We named ours “Dimples” and are having a great time with him. It is alot of fun! I recommend the Elf on A Shelf 🙂
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