Knee hugging shelf elves have been a family tradition since at least the 1950s when miniature figurine elves sat atop shelves to keep children honest. This tradition became more mainstream in 2005 with the publication of, The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition by Carol Aebersold and Chandra Bell.
This charming tale describes a small house elf who arrives the day after Thanksgiving to “watch” over the household children each day. When the children go to sleep, the Elf on the Shelf gives the naughty or nice report back to Santa. The next day the elf reappears in a new area of the house, often having moved items around to show that he came to life that previous night and that Christmas magic exists. The house elf stays with the family through December 24th when he heads back to the North Pole to be with Santa until next year.
Many parents have begun this tradition in their homes, often starting when their child reaches age three. The excitement children get over naming, talking to and seeing their own house elf “move” is heart-warming and memorable.
Now you can get creative with how you move your elf each night. Here are 25 ideas to help you get started with your own Elf on the Shelf Christmas family tradition.
And there you have 25 ideas for your Elf on the Shelf Christmas family tradition. If you’ve already begun this tradition, what are the most memorable elf “moves” you’ve done in your own home?