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What is Elf On The Shelf & How Does it Work?

What is Elf On The Shelf & How Does it Work?
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What is Elf On The Shelf & How Does it Work?

What is Elf On The Shelf & How Does it Work?

Are you searching for some magical ideas for Elf On The Shelf to spark up some festive fun? Or, simply looking to understand where this mischievous elf came from? Well, you’re in the right place! As Christmas quickly approaches, so does Santa’s favourite festive spy: Elf On The Shelf. Dressed all in red, Santa’s top elf has been climbing the seasonal trend ladder faster than he can move around your home. It’s the latest craze that’s got kids on their best behaviour and adults hooked on the fun.

If you’re new to The Elf On The Shelf, or are curious about the new tradition’s origins, here’s what you need to know.

What is Elf On The Shelf?

What is Elf On The Shelf you may ask? Well, this mischievous elf has quickly become a much-loved festive tradition for families around the world. This Christmas elf serves as Santa’s eyes and ears, reporting back on who’s been naughty and nice. These playful elves hide in homes, engaging in a fun-filled game of hide and seek. Every morning, children wake up to the excitement of discovering their elf in a new and often hilarious hiding spot around the home. Some elves simply relocate, while others create mischief overnight! Keep reading to find quick Elf On The Shelf ideas!

The latest trend originates from a children’s book: The Elf On The Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, which tells a charming story of how Santa’s helper elves visit homes to monitor children’s behaviour before returning to the North Pole each night to report their findings. This whimsical tradition not only sparks joy and anticipation amongst kids, but also encourages good behaviour, as they know their elf is always watching! But it’s not just for kids, adults also get their festive kicks from this cheeky challenge throughout December too - making the countdown to Christmas more exciting than ever!

When Does Elf On The Shelf Usually Start?

Typically, the Elf On the Shelf makes its grand entrance to your home as soon as the calendar flips to December, ready to kickstart the countdown to Christmas. We can see from Google Trends that most people searched for “Elf On The Shelf” between Nov 27th and Dec 3rd last year, indicating a significant spike of interest for fun Elf On The Shelf ideas ready for the beginning of the festive period. Whether you’re a planner who has the elf’s itinerary mapped out, or you concoct a last-minute plan day-by-day, these elves are all about flexibility and festive cheer. There’s no right or wrong time for your elf to make their first appearance of the year.

Why is Elf On The Shelf Naughty?

Elf On the Shelf has become a Christmas craze, captivating kids with its mischievous antics during the festive period. But why is Elf On The Shelf so naughty? This playful tradition showcases how Santa’s little helper, the elf, comes to your home to be Santa’s eyes and ears. Each night, the elf returns to the North Pole to report on whether the kids have been naughty or nice that day. But here’s the fun part: when the elf returns from its journey, it finds a new spot to hide in around your home - often getting up to all sorts of naughty elfish shenanigans. From toilet papering the Christmas tree to drawing moustaches on family photos, this cheeky elf’s naughty behaviours are just a whimsical way to bring fun and excitement in the lead up to Christmas.

However, like everything else we do, Elf On The Shelf should be about what works for your family. If what works for your family is having a “naughty” or “destructive” elf getting up to no good, then by all means that’s what you should do. But there are no set rules on how your elf should behave. Perhaps you could take a kindness approach, with the elf bringing small gifts from the North Pole to reward your children’s good behaviour? You don’t have to be influenced by social media; this is a great time to be creative and indulge in some family festive bonding.

How to Introduce Elf On The Shelf to Your Home

Introduce Elf On The Shelf with a twist this year! Imagine your little one’s delight when they discover a Santa-gifted hamper under the Christmas tree, brimming with Jelly Bean Candy Canes, an Elf On The Shelf Search & Find Book, and their very own cheery faced Elf On The Shelf nestled amongst other festive goodies. Why not kick off the fun by unwrapping the home-made hamper together and letting the kids find the elf amidst an array of Christmas treats. But don’t forget, the elf comes with a backstory, so gather around for story time to introduce the elf and magical stories of North Pole escapades and Santa’s secret helper missions.

What Age Should My Kids Be When We Start Elf On The Shelf?

Starting the Elf on the Shelf tradition is a magical experience that many families look forward to each Christmas. But when is the right time to introduce your kids to this whimsical Christmas tradition? The ideal age for Elf on the Shelf is typically between 2 and 3 years old, when your little ones are just starting to grasp the festive concept and can truly enjoy the daily excitement of finding their elf in new and creative scenarios. It's the perfect opportunity to ignite their imagination and instil a sense of Christmas wonder and new family tradition. However, it's never too late to start! Even older kids can get a kick out of the elf's mischievous antics, making it a delightful family activity that adds to the festive cheer.

When Does The Elf On The Shelf Leave?

Typically, these playful elves make their grand exit on Christmas Eve, just in time to hitch a ride back to the North Pole with Santa. But the magic of Christmas means every family’s elf might have its own special departure date. Perhaps you could consider placing your elf next to Santa’s mince pies ready to wave goodbye to the kids the night before Christmas? Or maybe your elf wants to hang around for a sneak peek at all your presents on Christmas morning before heading home to the North Pole? However you decide to say farewell, all that matters is the excitement they brought to your home during the festive season!

What Are The Rules For Elf On The Shelf?

Typically, these playful elves make their grand exit on Christmas Eve, just in time to hitch a ride back to the North Pole with Santa. But the magic of Christmas means every family’s elf might have its own special departure date. Perhaps you could consider placing your elf next to Santa’s mince pies ready to wave goodbye to the kids the night before Christmas? Or maybe your elf wants to hang around for a sneak peek at all your presents on Christmas morning before heading home to the North Pole? However you decide to say farewell, all that matters is the excitement they brought to your home during the festive season!

Our Favourite Ideas for Elf On The Shelf?

Are you ready to ramp up the holiday fun with some seriously creative Elf On the Shelf antics? Or are you looking for lazy Elf On The Shelf ideas? Well look no further, because we've compiled a list of our all-time favourite, easy Elf On the Shelf ideas that are sure to spark excitement and giggles around your home!

·      A cheeky elf snowball fight using our delicious vanilla Elf On The Shelf Marshmallows.

·      Your elf is tired from all their recent shenanigans, so has decided to take a nap using our elf Sleeping Bag.

·      Perhaps your kids haven’t been on their best behaviour recently, so elf has decided to write a report using our Elf Report Cards.

·      Your elf was feeling creative, so used our Elf Stickers to decorate a corner of your home.


Get ready to create some unforgettable memories with these top-notch Elf On the Shelf scenarios that'll keep the little ones on their toes, eagerly anticipating each morning's new hiding spot!

The Elf On The Shelf Phenomenon

We hope you've been inspired to bring the Elf On The Shelf tradition to life in your home this Christmas. But remember, the joy is in the creativity and the smile on your kids' faces when they discover their elves new hiding spot each morning. Keep the spirit of Christmas alive with imaginative and heart-warming Elf On the Shelf adventures inspired by our full range of Elf On The Shelf accessories.

You can also find even more affordable festive fun with our full Christmas collection.

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