Elf on the Shelf 101 – All You Need To Know!

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The Elf on the Shelf was first introduced to me 4 years ago and instantly I loved the idea. I am a bit mad about Christmas! My son was just 3 when we started the tradition and not only was it a hit for me he absolutely loved it. In this Elf on the Shelf 101 guide you are going to learn everything you could possibly need to know, and more!

We started with just one elf and we are currently on 4 elves plus Uncle Si plus a reindeer (Elf Pet)! If you are not familiar with this concept I will explain it below.

elf on the shelf traditions

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Elf on the Shelf 101

At the North Pole, Santa has many helpers who make the Christmas season special! His scout elves (Elf on the Shelf) serve as his eyes and ears in homes around the world.

The Elf Pets play special roles in creating the Christmas spirit that will help Santa complete all of his Christmas duties.

They traditionally come on the 1st of December and watch the children’s behavior before flying back to Santa every night to report back. They reappear in the morning in a different place so the kids have to go and find them.

Elf on the Shelf Arrival Ideas

As I am a bit super crazy for Christmas we start the festivities around mid-November!! In fact, we have an Elf on the Shelf Halloween too!!

Halloween Elf on the Shelf

We create an elf construction site where there are workers getting the elf door ready! Below is last year’s effort! As you can see we take it fairly seriously!!

Elf Construction Site

The Elf on the Shelf door then magically appears on the 1st of December with the arrival of the Elf for Christmas. 

If you are looking for Elf on the Shelf printables, I wanted to share with you an amazing deal.

If you are in a rush and are tired of searching for Elf on the Shelf printables you can purchase all of my printables for a small fee here. There are exclusive printables included not found anywhere else, and 32 pages to print!

32 pages are included in this download including:

  1. North Pole Breakfast Menu (2 pages)
  2. Elf construction zone (2 pages)
  3. Snowman soup (exclusive)
  4. Elf Kisses (exclusive)
  5. Elf notes (3 pages)
  6. Elf scavenger hunt (3 pages)
  7. Elf memory game
  8. Elf games
  9. Elf hats
  10. Elf coloring page (8 pages)
  11. Elf arrival letters (5 pages)
  12. Elf goodbye letters (4 pages)

Naming The Elf on the Shelf

The first year your elf on the shelf arrives you ask your child to name the Elf.

We have a number of different elves and we also have a traditional Elf on the Shelf. These are the top 20 scout elves’ names.

Top 20 names elf on the shelf

Our son decided on Twinkletoes for his first main Elf. But we also have Sparkles, Snowflake and the others we have are not named! Thank God as it is so hard to keep on top of remembering all of the names of his invisible friends and teddy bears as it is!!!  

Certificate of Adoption for Elf on the Shelf

What is the North Pole Breakfast?

With the arrival of the Elf for Christmas, we have a big celebration called a North Pole Breakfast. This is where the elf creates a magical little party with lots of naughty Christmassy food.

He also invites some of Freddie’s friends to join in the party! Before Freddie started school we would do this on December 1st but now he is at school we do it on the nearest weekend before the 1st. We use special straws and create lots of unhealthy and healthy treats.

Elf Behaviour Cards

With the arrival of the Elf for Christmas, we use Elf Report Cards. Each night we leave one of these notes by Freddie’s bedside saying whether the Elf thought he had been a good boy or a naughty boy that day.

Elf Behaviour Cards

This works really well. The thought of Santa thinking he had been naughty in the run-up to Christmas works really well! We believe that this daily reminder encourages great behavior and reminds Freddie to be kind every day. If he has been super good we might leave a little present from the elf such as a little chocolate bar.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Kids

Our Elf for Christmas is a good elf and as such isn’t naughty. We have lots of friends though who have a naughty elf who wraps the television up in wrapping paper, or rolls down the stairs in a toilet roll!!

On the last day of November while Freddie is sleeping we change his bedding to a Christmas duvet. We also change ours. So when he gets into our bed in the morning his little face lights up as he knows it is time for the fun to begin!

Check out my latest post on the best elf on the shelf accessories, and the best free elf antics.

When does the Elf on the Shelf leave?

The elve’s last day is Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve night they fly off with Santa to help distribute the presents to all the boys and girls. 

On Christmas morning when the children wake up expecting to see the elves we always leave an Elf on the Shelf goodbye letter explaining why they have gone.

Elf on the shelf going home to santa

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Last Updated on 21 September 2022 by homeschoolof1

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