Is the Elf on the Shelf at Your House?

Christmas is only a few weeks away. You only have to go onto Facebook or Instagram to see the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ craze is still taking social-media by storm. As a parent of two little boys, you’re probably surprised I didn’t know what the heck ‘Elf on the Shelf’ was until this morning. But then, I thought, maybe I’m not the only one?!

Who is the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ and what is the social media craziness all about?

The ‘Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition’ is a 2005 children’s picture book, written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell, and is illustrated by Coë Steinwart.

The book tells a rhyming Christmas story, that describes how Santa’s “scout elves” hide in people’s homes.  Every night the scout elf flies back to the North Pole and reports to Santa on the day’s activities (good and bad), then before everyone in the house wakes up, the scout elf flies back to the house and hides in a new place. By hiding in a new spot each morning, the scout elf plays an ongoing game of hide and seek!

More than 10 years later, it’s a social media dream – with its own Twitter page, and everyone on social-media sharing funny pics of what their elf’s been up to.

Pros of Having an Elf on the Shelf in Your House…

  • It’s fun! Every night when the kids are in bed, you can think up creative ideas and find new hilarious ways to hide your elf.
  • You get to take funny photos of the elf getting up to mischief and post them all over Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and amuse your friends.
  • The kids will love waking up each morning and looking to see what the elf has been up to!
  • By having an elf on the shelf, you can bribe the kids by telling them they are being watched and the elf will tell Santa if they are naughty. Maybe your kids will eat their dinner and keep their rooms tidy?!
  • Maybe the elf can watch the kids while you go for a wee?
  • Fighting will cease, there will be no arguments over toys, no snatching and definitely no punching or yelling (Ok, ok – so maybe I am being sarcastic!)


  • They are not cheap! It’s $79.99 if you decide to buy the elf toy and the picture book. Do you buy one elf per child? Crikey…
  • Are you OK with bribing your kids?
  • Do you really want your kids to think a spy is watching their every move and they have absolutely no privacy? Hmmm.
  • Can your kids cope with looking at the elf but not touching it? (It’s one of the rules apparently!) – my boys still touch EVERYTHING and if they were pre-schoolers – they would be climbing up the furniture to get it.
  • As if you’re kids aren’t excited enough to have lollies from the advent calendar, they’ve got another reason to wake you up at 5.30am.
  • When it’s 10.00pm and you’re still finishing off the day’s chores, you still have to try and be creative and come up with yet another idea of where to hide the elf – when you really don’t give a shit.
  • When you’ve been hiding the elf for a few weeks your mind starts getting evil. You’re thinking things like melting his head in the toaster or poking his eyes out.
  • Once you’ve started the tradition there will be no going back, you’ll be doing it for years, and YEARS and YEARS!!!!

Anyway, I think it looks like a lot of fun, but this year I’m out. I’ve got enough to do, my kids are already bouncing off the walls with all the festivities going on. We are going to start our own family traditions like HELPING and GIVING at Christmas. However, I am really enjoying seeing all the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ pics on Instagram – some of them are pretty hilarious!

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