Christmas is a truly wonderful time of year. Even the most cynical of us can’t argue that there isn’t something a little bit magical about the holiday, especially if you’ve got a little one in your life. And part of what makes Christmas so exciting is all the traditions that they can look forward to year after year. Cue the smiley little Elf on the Shelf…
“But what is an Elf on the Shelf?” I hear you cry. Perhaps, like me, you’ll assume it’s an ornament that can only be displayed in a certain place. Well, after a bit of unwrapping, I discovered that they are so much more than a cute decoration that comes with a picture book and lovely keepsake box.
so what on earth is an elf on the shelf?
As many festive jingles sing, Santa loves making a list of who’s been naughty or nice! But he does get very busy this time of year. He’s working so hard to find you the perfect present that he doesn’t always have time to check on you himself. That’s where his helpful Elf on the Shelf comes in.
Your elf flies back to Father Christmas every night, with the help of a little Christmas magic, just to let him know if everyone has been good. Did you help mummy or daddy cook dinner? Or maybe you didn’t tidy your room when they asked? Your elf isn’t just a helper for Santa though; they also like to play games. When they fly back, they’ll often land in a different place, so toddling tots can play hide and seek in the morning!
The arrival of your special elf is a wonderful way of kicking off your festive celebrations, so don’t wait until December. After all, the longer your elf is around, the more fun you can have with them! Christmas magic is delicate stuff though, so you must treat your house guest with care.
Watch out for little hands reaching for the elf or they might lose their magic – they can’t fly back to Father Christmas without it! And while Santa’s scouts can’t speak, their ears are pricked to listen carefully to children’s wishes. They’ll stay and have fun with you until Christmas Eve but then they return to their beds at the North Pole... until next year that is.
the nightmare before christmas
Christmas is a very exciting time of year, and not just for little ones! As we lose sight of our routines amongst the tinsel and the lights, sometimes our little angels can become – well – not so angelic. Having the Elf on the Shelf around is a great way to have fun and remind them to behave like one of Santa’s little helpers.
It's just as important to let your little one know that their elf tells Father Christmas how good they’ve been! Any time they’re kind or helpful is noted and rewarded, and encouraging good behaviour is a great way to see more of it.
what’s in a name?
Once your scout Elf arrives at your home, it’s time to introduce them properly. Settle down to read the cleverly rhymed story with your little ones so that they can understand who their elf is and why they’re there. When story time is done, it’s time to officially adopt your elf into your home.
Adopting an Elf on the Shelf makes them a special part of your family and your festivities. It also gives your elf their Christmas magic! Picking the elf’s name is a magical part of this tradition, as it’s the name that your tots will recognise year after year. It makes them familiar, so they become a festive friend who children can look forward to seeing! What will you choose? Something festive like Snowflake, Tinsel or Jingle? Or something more human, like John, Sarah or Sam?
elf on the shelf, or in the fridge, or under the sofa
Now comes the fun part. In my opinion, the best bit about an Elf on the Shelf as a parent is seeing our babies excitedly hunting around for their tiny yuletide buddy. Simply moving the elf around each night provides a fun searching game for your tot that they’ll love. Watch them jump out of bed in the morning as they rush to try and find where their jolly pal has moved to!
If you want to be a bit more creative, you can create different situations that your elf has gotten into in the night. They can be as cheeky as you make them, and giving them their own personality makes this tradition so much more personal. Little ones will wake up each morning, eager to see what mischief their elf has gotten into the night before. Perhaps they’ll have gotten themselves tangled up in the tinsel on the tree, or they might be relaxing in a cotton wool bubble bath in the sink. Check out the elf on the shelf website for more fun ideas for your scout elf!
Add some extra festive magic to your home this season with your own Elf on the Shelf, which is sure to bring your family many giggles and – if you’re lucky – some little helpers of your own!