The Importance of Play for Children

All About The Elf On The Shelf

Elf on the shelfIf you have not heard of the Elf on the Shelf, then turn away and never look back, especially if you have children!

Just Kidding!


The Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas tradition which requires dedication and creativity, and it helps make the build up to Christmas extra special for children.

What is the Elf on the Shelf?

The Elf on the Shelf is a little Elf that arrives in your home before Christmas (either after Thanksgiving or on the 1st December) and stays with you until Christmas Eve night, every night the Elf will return to the North Pole and then reappear somewhere different in your home the next morning.

The Elf on the Shelf has taken the internet and social media by storm and a lot of people really get creative and thousands of pictures, videos, and ideas can be found online.

The Elf on the Shelf has become a Christmas tradition in many households all over the world, the idea came from a book written in 2004 by Carol Aebersold and her daughters about how Father Christmas deploys a ‘scout elf’ into children’s homes to watch over them and to report back to the North Pole every night to let Father Christmas know who is naughty or nice.


The history of the elf

Aebersold has stated that the idea came from an old tradition in her childhood with her own elf named Fisbee who was an ornament on the Christmas tree. The idea morphed over time and she passed it onto her own children, and now into the household of children all over the world.

Aebersold has said that she never intended to turn her childhood tradition into a business, it was originally intended to be a fun project with her daughters, however the idea has taken off and even celebrities are participating in the festive activity.


What are the rules?

Many families will do their own version of the Elf, however there are a very main rules that the majority follow –

  • The elf will arrive before Christmas (usually around the end of November/ beginning of December) and return Christmas Eve night
  • The Elf will reappear somewhere else and/ or participating in a fun/ funny activity
  • The Elf must not be touched, as touching the Elf will make him lose his magic

Where can I find an Elf?

The official Elf on the Shelf website has a store where you can buy an Elf complete with story book, you can also get a reindeer or a pup.

The official Elf can also be bought in other major retailer as well, including Elves with different coloured clothes, different genders, etc.

There are also accessories, Elf packs, and various other merchandise available to really bring the Elf to life and create magical memories for years to come.

Do you have an Elf? What is your Elf’s name and what shenanigans has it been up to?


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