Elf on the Shelf

December 18, 2007

Oh my goodness! Look at the fun package we received. It’s called
Elf on the Shelf. It’s meant to be a new Christmas tradition for your family. We’ve been participating for 3 or 4 days now and we’re hooked.

Here’s how it works. Mr. Elf comes to visit your home during the holidays. He watches over the home and reports back good deeds to Santa each night. The next morning he comes back and sits in a new location. Your kids get to search him out each day. On Christmas Eve he returns to the North Pole and stays their until next year.

Here’s how it goes down at our house. Each morning the kids say, “Our elf is still in the same spot.” Then I think “Oh shoot!” And when they’re not looking, I move Mr. Elf and they notice he’s moved later in the day. But they love it anyway.

The package includes the darling elf (very retro charming) and a beautiful story book that explains how the tradtion works. There’s a space in the book to name your elf. We named ours Humboldt.

Side note: this package was a really wonderful thank you gesture from my lovely friend Melissa for a tiny favor I did for her earlier this year. Do I now send a thank you for the thank you? I’ve never been clear on how that works. . . In case you’re reading, Melissa. Thank you! We love Humboldt.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leslie December 18, 2007 at 4:03 pm

we have the elf that my husband’s mom use to put around their house. it’s sitting on my kids’ curtain rod. guess who forgot to move it last night. dang!

i’m glad i’m not the only one. :)


2 michelle December 18, 2007 at 5:03 pm



3 Blue House Mom December 18, 2007 at 5:51 pm

I discovered this last week and I love it. I think I’ll get one for next Christmas. Thanks for the reminder.


4 Stevens girl December 18, 2007 at 5:52 pm

Yeah, we have one of these too. I’ve forgotten to move it a time or two. Thank goodness that we can magically move it during the day. My husband broke one of our Christmas decorations trying to throw it up in a window we have way up high. It never made it up there. It’s a good thing, he’d have had to get our tallest ladder to get it down.


5 mk December 18, 2007 at 5:56 pm

I have one of these same elf dolls from when I was a child. It doesn’t look quite as new anymore but still has a lot of good use left in him. I don’t have the book but am thinking of adapting the concept for my kiddos when they are old enough to understand. Thanks for sharing this with us!!


6 BeachysCapeCodCupboard December 18, 2007 at 6:23 pm

I LOVE this idea! (I still have my original/now-retro pixie elf which was given to me for my first Christmas!)


7 My vindicator is El December 18, 2007 at 9:25 pm

I am going to sue. This tradition comes from my grandmother (at least that far back in my family) and the proper title for the semi-divine watcher is The Imp. My wife and I made our own Imp out of pipe cleaners and scrap cloth last week; this is the first year we’ve done this (my kids are 4 and 1). We handle Santa Claus in a very tongue-in-cheek way, so it didn’t bother me to “demythologize” the Imp when my son was freaked out at the idea.


8 lynne December 19, 2007 at 12:38 am

We have an elf too, who the kids have named Jerry. When we introduced him my 4 year old daughter told us that we should send him back to the North Pole. She didn’t want one of Santa’s helpers watching her so closely! :)


9 emily December 19, 2007 at 1:27 am

i love it!! i definitely am going to have to do this next year!! i wish i would have known about this sooner . . . my girls would love it!


10 Carrie Sue December 19, 2007 at 7:56 am

Oh how funny, I just saw Elf on the Shelf for the first time in the Sky Mall Catalog on my flight to Lexington, KY. Small World!


11 Janet December 19, 2007 at 9:14 am

I have 3 of these elves that were my MOTHER’S when she was little, but I never knew about the tradition. I’ll have to get them out next year – Mary Margaret is probably old enough this year, but the boxes are back in the attic until Epiphany.


12 pillingfamily December 19, 2007 at 9:28 am

we do the same thing with our kids. our elf is named mr. peeps, and i forget to move him about half the time but it’s always because “mr. peeps stayed up to late and was too tired to move.”


13 Sawyer's Mommy December 19, 2007 at 10:40 am

I want one of these to start this tradition with my little boy. Where can I get one?


14 wesley's mom December 19, 2007 at 12:55 pm

This is cute. I wish someone in my house still believed in Santa so we could get one.


15 lainakay December 19, 2007 at 1:00 pm

Sweet! My mom had one of these little elves on our tree growing up. We never knew the tradition though. She must have forgotten. I’ll have to tell her!


16 Tanna Clark December 19, 2007 at 3:43 pm

How cute, I love this! I wish I knew about it sooner. Maybe next year.


17 JRose December 19, 2007 at 5:52 pm

Best Christmas tradition we started this year! Works like a charm!


18 Kimberly December 20, 2007 at 1:46 pm

I’m quite certain my mother had one of these…I don’t remember it being moved around the house for the purpose of keeping an eye on us kids, but perhaps that’s because I was so naughty. I can’t believe they are still in production!


19 betty wilson November 27, 2008 at 8:21 am

there is a cool website too. But we are having with it, it keeps freezing up. Anybody else been there, or had that trouble?


20 Anonymous November 28, 2008 at 12:15 am

I teach first grade and have peers that swear by this elf! They claim that it totally controlled that crazy, off the wall behavior that occurs before Christmas vacation. After all, the elf was there all day and watching, reporting back to Santa each night.You can bet I will have one by Monday, when we return to school. Hopefully it will help me have a calm three weeks! I saw them at Barnes and Noble a couple of weeks ago. Sure hope they haven’t sold out!


21 Anonymous November 28, 2008 at 12:03 pm

We were introduced to the idea last year and it was GREAT, lots of fun. Our elves, Star and Jenga, actually do things around the house at night too – like raid the pantry, play board games. The kids love to look for them and to see what all they did at night while they were sleeping.


22 Nikki December 2, 2008 at 11:15 am

Just met our Elf last night and named him Houston. My kids (7 & 4) are smitten!

As far as the thank you for the thank you gift of your elf. I don't think you need to send another note – but be sure to make a special point of telling her how much fun your kids are having with the elf. Just knowing that the gift was well-received is enough thanks.


23 Anonymous December 7, 2008 at 11:19 am

My mom just baught us an Elf on the Shelf; his name is Henry. My daughter (4yrs) has informed her brother (11mos) and our family pets that Henry is watching every one.
I remember my Grandmother having Elfves in her house. She had five that helped her decorate her house and every day they where in a different part of her house putting up decorations. I do not remember the story of them reporting to Santa, if she had such a story.

BTW if you havee a bad kid “snow man poo” is a good idea for Christmas (mini marshmellows) or Raindear droppings (prunes)

Merry Christmas y’all


24 makena December 14, 2008 at 6:01 pm

how do you get an elf


25 Anonymous December 23, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Every year when I see the book in stores it breaks my heart because my mother was the one who wrote this original story. We lived two houses down from Carol Abersold. My mother gave the Aebersold twins their first elf when they were less than a year old.When our family saw the story on the internet three years ago we were all furious to think that someone we thought was a friend would do this to a tradition that we hold so dear.My mother read this story to literally hundreds of people over the years and even gave the elf to parents to continue the tradition.This has caused such heartace in our family and has really made our mother ill. I can’t imagine how Carol can continue to claim this story as hers How does she feel each year knowing what she has done to her “friends”. I know many people have followed similar traditions over the years, however Carol knows my mother wrote this story for our oldest sister when she was only three years old in the sixties.How ironic that my sister would baby sit for the twins.My mother and dad still have the original elf at their house. I loved him so when I was growing up now when I visit my parents and see”Jolly the original elf” it makes me so sad.


26 Anonymous February 28, 2009 at 12:09 pm

this is so cool. i did it with my kids and they love it. i had one when i was a child. it brought me so much joy. i will fell so terrible when i tell them santa is not real when they get older!


27 Granny November 7, 2009 at 5:03 am

Oh My, Santa is REAL, he is the spirit all over the world of love and caring, especially for little children. He just lived a long time ago and now others have to continue his loving and caring of children. Please, don't end the spirit for your children…


28 miley December 15, 2010 at 2:49 pm

You guys are all liars! The elf moves itself around the house none of you do nothing. you do squat so dont say you do do something!!!!!!!!!


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