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Tell us: Is there an "Elf on a Shelf" living in with you this season?

Emily H
December 1, 2016

Wilderstein Holiday Tour · More Info

Have you incorporated Elf on a Shelf into your holiday traditions at home? If so, what have you done with it? Share your best tips!

Tell us! (photos encouraged)

Comments (67)

  • Alonda Clinton

    I am surprised to read that so many find the "elf on a shelf" to be creepy. I had heard of it, seen it in stores, etc but didn't think too much of it until I read an article about who wrote the story and why and I decided I wanted to share the tradition with my grandson. The story was written by a Mother and daughter that live in the Atlanta, GA area (as do I) and that immediately made it more interesting to me. The story is based on their own personal childhood tradition that they decided to share with others. I find the Christmas season to be magical and this little elf helps to bring the magic into my home. The first thing my grandson does each morning when he wakes up is to go find Ella (that's what he named her). When I come home from work it's "Grandma, come look where I found Ella!". He's so excited each day and he share's that excitement with me. I do find the added benefit of having him be on his best behavior a plus! He's only four so he truly believes in the magic of Ella and spirit of love that she represents. I am glad to have this special connection with my grandson and I hope we continue the tradition for years to come. May the spirit and magic of Christmas be in all of us!

  • M L Radcliffe
    No kids @ home, so I don't have it but my daughter does & she as excited as her kid about it.
  • motherhuber

    My daughter has an "Elfie" as part of their countdown to Christmas. The boys seem to really enjoy searching for it. I also have not one but two in my home and when the grandkids are here, all the adults get into the game and move one or both when the kids are otherwise occupied. It becomes a great game of "where is elfie". This continues in both our homes till Christmas Eve when elfie goes back to report to Santa. We also have a Nativity scene that the children are allowed to play with and are told the story behind it.

  • Delora Dickey

    Never jumped on that bandwagon. Just doesn't appeal to me, but hey...if it charms you, do it!

  • Tangela W

    No elf here also....

  • Sharyn Bass

    We have our own Elf, which we have used for over 46 years - way before the slinky looking ones they sell today. He is now making sure my grandson is on the "nice list" and leaves every once in awhile to report back to Santa Clause. It's not Christmas without an Elf!

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    123 Remodeling Inc.

    @nnigrt, my grandmother had dozens of those carolers, just bought more every year, and then my mom inherited them when she died. So I avoid visiting in December - too many creepy wood faces...

  • Bailey R

    Those Byers carolers creep me out....

  • vikingqueen7
    1. I'm the KID. I keep the spirit of Christmas alive for me, (65 yrs.) and my grandchildren. And my husband who was a sailor for years, can't wait to decorate now. I have two elves that live in my tree. Thank God for the magic of Christmas.. Can you find both in the bottom picture?
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    LBC Modern

    yes, second year have small grandchildren. They love waking up to find him.

  • jowill22
    Guess I'm behind the times. Never heard the story before of the "elf on the shelf". This elf has been around for fifty years, usually on or under the tree.
  • onewingstudio

    Had one (actually two, one red one green) when we were kids.

    A gift from a rarely seen grandfather? They must still be sitting somewhere

    on a shelf in one of the dozens of homes we lived in. Have to admit, they do look like clowns...

  • miss lindsey (still misses Sophie)

    No Elf on the Shelf, but our children and their cousins each have a hand-knit gnome who lives in the Christmas tree, a tradition from their parents' childhood :-)

  • ninigret

    i think its a great tradition and a great activity, i just despise the look of the elf. maybe do 'pickle on a shelf' instead of hanging it on the tree. LOL.

    twelvegates, i cant say enough how much i love that picture and i think i'll steal it for my fb picture.

  • auntthelma

    vikingqueen7 Found them!! Beautiful tree!

  • rainigirl

    Yes!! who needs kids!!

  • Emily Jowers

    We never did Elf on the Shelf, but my mom did the Santa lost a button thing. I think she did it once for each kid. She found a gold button with an S on it and would place it somewhere near the fireplace and one of us would find it on Christmas morning.

  • charl8855

    Never knew there was a story! This year, mine is living in the front door wreath.

  • lynartist
    Not really familiar with elf on the shelf but I do have an elf!
  • shanfed

    Yep, the kids love her. She shows up during "elf return week" and reports back to Santa every night (good incentive to keep kids well behaved). My daughter writes notes for her to give to Santa and tells her how much she loves her. Today, our elf is in one of her tap shoes with her hands over her nose. A couple days ago, she added her name to my son's friends list for his birthday party, she took down our angel on top of our tree and promptly put herself up there, she found herself hostage in a Lego house with all the Lego Friends, she wrote on my daughter's white board that my daughter's room was messier than hers, she has strung yarn across the basement ceiling and dropped down to steal the Lego treasure, has crashed the Barbie cars, slept in Barbie's bed, made snow angels in flour, roasted marshmallows over a battery powered tea light, taped the kids inside their bedrooms and lots more fun stuff. Kids can't wait for her to come and miss her when she goes. Very popular with all their friends and at school with teachers.

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  • auntthelma

    shanfed, you are having more fun than the kids, I think!

  • ninigret

    thats the way it goes sometimes.....

  • diyer59

    No! When I was growing up, my mother brought that elf out each Christmas and I really began to hate him! Never have had one in my home and never will.

  • janetteash

    Don't see an Elf on a Shelf in this picture, but I do see Bears on a Chair... LOL

  • wannabath

    When my kids were 10 and 8 we got one. Problem is they love watching these things move around the house and supposedly if it doesn't move it means they were bad. Needless to say sometimes you miss a day or two and you have morning issues.

    I took one elf and put their toothbrushes in his hands and had the other bending over and lets just say the brush was where the sun don't shine. Problem solved...they never wanted anything to do with them again. They now sit happily on the tree without movement.

    No elfs or children were hurt in the above antics. Well in all honesty there might have been a little crying. LOL!

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  • jakofall
    Nope, never, nada. Didn't have to deal with it as a kid and don't want one as an adult.
  • katie32123

    I wish I still had the "knee-hugger" elves we had when we were kids. They were just Christmas decorations, no story attached. My grandson now has Chippy, the Elf on a Shelf and though it's fun for a while my daughter is finding it a lot of work to set him up in different situations every night. Ah well. Better her than me. Personally, I'm not thrilled with using any fake character to effect children's behavior, but I'm sure I too used Santa that way when they were young. We all did. Hard not to!

  • nicky36

    I have my elf since the 70's. A sweet happy looking little elf. My cat loved him and carried him around the house forever. So there, he was never in the same place.

    This beloved elf now sits on a shelf all year. My cat today pays him no mind.

  • luvzhowzez
    for those who think it's creepy.. it's just a toy and parents can have some ridiculous fun with it. the kids enjoy it a bunch.. makes Christmas seem more like a seasonal event rather than just a present-opening day. ours has been taped to the wall with all our old school army figurines aiming at it.. the kids freaked. they were so concerned so we freed her the next night so she could be posed at the stove cooking chocolate trail mix bars. it's like a game. I only learned about it 3 yrs ago and we've had silly fun with the weirdness ever since.
  • tatts

    Not only is it creepy, it's mean-spirited. It's the worst of ugly commercialism.

  • patriciakorourke

    My grandkids also found an authoritan elf always watching creepy. By year 3, they threw Elf Johnny in the garbage. "He was always looking at us!"

  • ninigret

    'he sees you when you're sleeping... he knows when you're awake'.

    i was raised that if you werent good santa wouldnt come, and if you were bad between christmas and new year's he'd come back and take away your toys. i was one terrified child!

  • chezbon

    Oh no!

  • celestina89

    Last month I had a get-together so all my friends/neighbors can get the stories about my latest trip as well as share about their own recent trips. About a week afterwards, I was doing some dusting and spotted this elf on top of a hand made bird that I purchased on a trip to Canada some years ago. Say wha? I have no idea who did it and no one has come forth since. The elf stays where it was put. He'll go into my collection for my whimsy cottage I'm going to build within a few years.

  • eneguess

    I laugh every time I see that someone has posted an inappropriate "elf on a shelf." I never followed this with my children......but these pictures do make me laugh.

  • nicky36

    what makes an elf so disliked? Mine amuse me and my cat as well.. She would bring him, to another location every day.

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    LBC Lighting
    I personally get great pleasure from seeing my grandkids work to find him.

  • Jennifer M

    Elf-in-a-shelf wasn't a thing when my kids were young, and they are only recently launched and I am not yet a grandma. I had no idea there was a book behind this, or that there was even a controversy. I thought it was just a game of "find the elf" and didn't realize there was a context of elf watching you and judging whether you were naughty or nice.

  • Kym

    I never heard of Elf in a Shelf until this year. Seems amusing but a lot of work.

  • grumpy_tulips

    We have an Elf but it is a different brand and he isn't creepy looking and footless like the mainstream one. He just hides around the house, no elaborate displays, and the kids love going to find him every morning.

  • Renee Texas

    I don't...I think the concept is weird, and my children behave quite well without one. Conversely, I dont' want them thinking "oh, no one's watching I can misbehave!" later on. Our nativity wise men wander around at night though, and the kids like to find them each day...once they visited the fridge!

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  • lake1114

    wow, I think some of you are missing the whole point, while others do not know the concept of "Elf on the Shelf". The elf is meant to be fun and an exciting way to count down to Christmas and perhaps get children to listen and behave! The new ones are adorable. Some of you guys really over analyze the whole concept and take it much too seriously in my humble opinion!

    How difficult is it really to pick up a 2 inch stuffed toy and put it in another place once a day for a game of hide and seek for your children to play each day for a few weeks out of the year? My 3 year grandson's elf hides with a Christmas book near by and when my grandson finds "Buster" and the book, he sits down with Mom and/or Dad and reads a story about Christmas. It's a fun game and a great way to spend some quiet time as a family and learn about the true meaning of Christmas. And amazingly, he remembered Buster from last year.

    I don't find anything weird, creepy, commercialized or behavior confusing about spending quality time as a family and learning and sharing the meaning of Christmas. In fact, I find it fun, loving, learning and memory making. It's all what you make it to be. But hay, that's just me. Merry Christmas to all!

  • Raymond Lindsay
    We love our funny elves and our granddaughter who lives nearby also likes them
  • auntthelma

    Have you seen this? I LMAO!

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    LBC Lighting

    Yes, saw when this was introduced on Shark Tank

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