Elf on the Shelf


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Have any of you heard of this? A close friend of mine who has small children told me about it. Evidently, it has become all the rage here in Georgia. Some people call them "secret elves."

The elf on the shelf

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> This charming tradition began for our family when my children were very small. Plagued by their desire to know how Santa really knew who had been naughty or nice, I searched through the Christmas decorations for a plausible explanation. Nestled among them was the answer; a small elf doll from my own childhood. With that discovery, the idea for the elf tradition was born.

At our home the elf would arrive around the holidays, usually at Thanksgiving. His sole responsibility was to watch my children's behavior and report it to "Santa" each night. The next morning after the children awoke, they discovered the elf had returned from the "North Pole" (with some parental assistance) and was hiding in a different place. My children would race each other out of bed to try and be the first to spy him in his new position.

Over the years the tradition was perfected and rules were even introduced. For example, to better preserve his mystique the children were not allowed to touch him; however, they were allowed to talk to him. For obvious reasons, he was not allowed to reply. Eventually, my children even gave him a name - officially adopting him into the family.

Unwittingly, the tradition provided an added benefit: it helped the children to better control themselves. All it took was a gentle reminder that the "elf was watching" for errant behavior to be modified.

I never dreamed this simple tradition would lead to so many Christmas memories for our entire family. It is my earnest desire that The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition will bring as much joy to your family as it has to mine.


My friend bought two small stuffed elves (one for each child) at Hallmark who mysteriously appeared at her house on December 1st. Each night, after the children are asleep, the mischevious elves do something silly (like end up hanging from the chandelier or eating an entire bag of chips and leaving the crumbs on the table) and the children wake up and go looking for the elves.

The elves also have a direct pipeline to Santa so she said her kids are on their best behavior.


Even her daughter's kindergarten teacher has a secret elf and the teacher comes in each morning and shares with the students what her elf did the night before. One morning she awoke and found her car was parked sideways in the garage.

They are having the best time with it and my friend's husband spends all day thinking about what the elves will do that night. I thought this might be great for those of you with small children or grandchildren.




Active Member
Why can I see my kids hiding the elf on ME and using it as an excuse for something THEY DID!!!!


Sounds like a lot of fun. Now I have to go find an elf or 3!!



Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
Oh, this is a really cute idea!

I'll have to tell easy child and Nichole about it. And we already have the perfect elves. I have elf decorations for the xmas tree passed on to me via mother in law from the 1940's. Cutest lil elves. They'd be great for this!

:elf: :santa:

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
Yes! We had one growing up!! It was a bendable stuffed skinny Santa Elf. His arms were looped and connected at the hands so you could make him sit by puching his legs into a bent position and making it look like he was hugging his legs, Know what I mean?? We had great fun with him when we were little. I wonder what ever happened to him. Hmmm.

I bought one at a yard sale when the girls were little. Ours was hard plastic and he had a 'seat' on his rear end, one leg hanging down and the other bent and tucked under his looped arms (just like the one from my childhood).

I didn't remember the story behind the elf until you told it here though. My sisters and I would hide the elf in the tree all the time and my mom had to find it!! Hahaha-


Well-Known Member
Oh what a great idea!

I think we are going to use this one and I will pass it on to Jamie and Billie. I will even go buy them an Elf if I can find one suitable for the job.


call 911........call 911
My Mom has done this since I was 3 or 4 we had 2 elves one had a green outfit and one had a red outfit. They had plastic faces and soft cloth bodies with dangly legs and their arms sewn shut to hold their fold up legs -


My Mother would hang them upside down from our cardboard chimney -put them in the tree - on the mantle - it was a riot.

(author notes she was as good as she could be with the elf watching)


Well-Known Member
This reminds me of something funny I saw in Burlington, VT this past summer. There were these big bronze monkeys with wings hanging off some buildings. It was the weirdest thing to look at, but the next day they were hanging off DIFFERENT buildings. It was cool, strange and interesting-the town was so incredibly beautiful also. If my kids were small, I would do the elf thing- what fun.-Alyssa

Pam R

New Member
Yup. I never knew what my elf was called until this year, roughly 45 years after I had one. LOL

I was astounded to see my little elf in the Vermont Country Store catalog this year. And he had a name!

And a story too, that I never knew.

Wished I could have bought one, as mine has long since disappeared.

Pam R.


Well-Known Member
I have one like Jo described with the legs that fold up into the arms. It was around when I was a little girl. He never appeared in different places around the house though. Wish I had thought of that. What a great way to have some extra fun for the family.