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Apryl Duncan

The Elf on the Shelf - Cute or Creepy?

By December 14, 2011

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Last year, my mother-in-law decided we needed to get on board with The Elf on the Shelf craze (compare prices). Our blue-eyed elf showed up on our doorstep within days to become a new holiday tradition for our two boys, ages 4 and one month at the time.

A picture of an elf on the shelf
Some can't wait for their elf's antics. Others find the concept creepy.
Photo Courtesy PriceGrabber

If you're unfamiliar with the concept, The Elf on the Shelf review tells you everything you need to know so you can decide if this family tradition is right for you. Basically, the book that comes with your elf explains it all. You read the book to your kids and officially name your elf.

The elf's mission is to watch your kids from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. Every night the elf flies to the North Pole to report to Santa Claus about your child's behavior that day. The elf then flies back to your house every night and perches himself in a new location.

For parents, this means you get creative with where you're going to put the elf every night. Google "Elf on the shelf ideas" for some great inspiration on where to place your elf.

When your children wake up, they begin their search for the elf. They can talk to the elf daily but they can never touch him or her.

Now, a lot of people find the idea of a plastic elf spying on your kids ridiculous and even scary for a young child. Other families look forward to the day when their elf mysteriously shows up again each year.

In our house, we bend The Elf on the Shelf rules a bit. Instead of our elf Clancy being a spy for Santa, he is just a little friend who shows up for some holiday fun.

Every morning, he's in a new location just like the book says to do. But our elf is a master at mischief. He's hidden my son's shoes in the fridge. He likes to doodle on family photos with a dry erase marker. He's even been known to hide in our cabinets and pig out on sweets.

On Christmas Eve, we pack Clancy away after the kids are in bed. The next morning, the elf is nowhere to be found but he leaves a small present of candy canes behind for them before he flies off to the North Pole.

Our elf isn't scary at all. We make it a game, our boys play along and we have a lot of fun with the little guy.

What about in your house? Do you find the concept of The Elf on the Shelf cute or creepy?

November 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm
(1) Susan says:

So when the elf is found in a mischief setting, is mom or
Dad allowed to touch or move him or do you leave him there all day until they go to bed again?

November 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm
(2) stayathomemoms says:

Hi Susan,

You leave the elf in place all day. After the kids go to bed, find the elf a new spot.

The premise is that the elf flies off to the North Pole every night to report to Santa. He lands in a new place overnight before the kids wake up and they have to find him the next day.

But they can’t touch him. That’s a rule that’s laid out in the book as well.

Hope this helps!

Apryl Duncan
Guide to Stay-at-Home Moms
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