A New Spin on a Classic Christmas Tradition

Elf on the Shelf

I introduced the Elf on the Shelf to my daughter last year a few days after Thanksgiving. I first heard about the The Elf on the Shelf from my friend who bought it for her three year-old daughter. It wasn’t until she told me that her daughter’s temper tantrums for the holiday season had ceased with this new little guy keeping an eye on her. Say what? I’m in!

Elf on the Shelf Hiding Location

Now, I don’t support bribery to get your child to act “nice.” But parents occasionally fall victim to instant gratification every now and then (I am guilty of it too— even with all of the child development information I have in my arsenal). Needless to say, The Elf on the Shelf provides a little nudge for your child to make better choices during the holiday season.

What I love most about the Elf on the Shelf is that it becomes something your child looks forward to every morning through the holidays. It’s their very own little mascot cheering them on. Your child gets to name and befriend this little guy who hides and reappears in a new place everyday. It’s a Christmas hide-and-seek buddy! On top of that it gets moms’ and dads’ creative juices flowing while you try to look for a new spot to hide the elf every night. I promise this is a delightful family activity and tradition for both parent and child.

How It Works

Read the book to your child.

  • Let your child know that every year Santa sends his elves out to watch who has been naughty or nice during the day (I prefer “watch who is making good or bad choices”).
  • Then every night the elf flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa how your child is doing.
  • And in the morning, the elf reappears in a new location to keep an eye on your child wherever your child may be sleeping for the night (yes, we pack our elf Cherry in a suitcase if we are traveling).

Next, you’ll want to:

1) Introduce the elf to your child

2) Have your child name their new elf (our daughter named hers Cherry)

3) Register your elf with the Elf Adoption Center (how cute is that?!)

Now that your family has their own elf…

Hide the elf after your child goes to bed in a new location (preferably in a spot your child can’t reach).

When your child wakes up they will look for the elf in its new location.

Your child can talk to the elf, but the elf does not talk back (your child may not touch the elf, or it loses it’s Christmas magic)

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition™ is a simple and fun tradition in a box. Each Elf on the Shelf box comes with its very own scout elf (available in both light and dark skin), a hardbound children’s book and a keepsake box for easy storage.

Tip: Have more than one child? Have each child come up with a name, write the name on paper, then draw one name randomly from a bowl. And just to let you know, your child will talk about their elf sporadically throughout the year waiting for their elf to return. I tell my daughter that her elf Cherry will return after Thanksgiving, and she is so excited!

Watch the Video

So if you want a little Christmas magic for the holiday season, click here to purchase The Elf on the Shelf from Barnes and Noble on-line. And if you have the patience to wait, see if you can win your very own Elf on the Shelf during our Giveaway (ends Dec. 9, 2011)!

Speak Your Mind…

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? If you do, come back daily and post where you are hiding your elf each night. Feel free to post your elf’s name and new location below!

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4 Responses to A New Spin on a Classic Christmas Tradition

  1. Autumn Minnix November 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    Adorable idea!! I hope I win this in the giveaway, but if not– I might have to purchase one! 🙂

    • familysponge December 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

      It’s such a fun activity for your child. Right now our elf Cherry is hanging out on a lamp shade. The first thing my daughter says when she wakes up is “Where’s Cherry?” 🙂 – Jadah

  2. Popo Joy November 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    There was a little elf that looked a lot like this one when I was a little girl. Now that I’m 50, this nostalgic little elf is a great retro holiday tradition.

  3. Sandy December 12, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    I didn’t know the story of the Elf before. However, I remember as a child having an elf that looks just like this as part of are Christmas ornaments/decorations. We don’t have our childhood Christmas stuff anymore.
    My toddler’s godmother wants to get him one. After reading and learning about the story of the Elf and your personal tradition with it, I know it would suit him.

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