The Elf on the Shelf Christmas and Elf Magic traditions are sweeping the nation -- for good reason. They offer a delightful way to build excitement for the holidays, and keep children on their best behavior. Here is how they work.
The "official" Elf on the Shelf, Elf Magic Elf or a another elf, arrives at your home early in the Christmas season to spend the holidays with your family.
Each night the Elf on a Shelf returns to the North Pole, while your children are sleeping, to report to Santa regarding their behavior.
While the Elf on the Shelf Elves have a more staid reputation, the Elf Magic Elves are a mischievous bunch, and have a tendency to make a mess or pull a crazy stunt while everyone is asleep. Your kids will love to wake up each morning and see what trouble the Elf got into the night before.
Here are ten ideas found around the internet and from local families to inspire your elf:
Elves Love to Do What Your Kids Love To Do
Elves adapt quickly to a household, and many mornings are found busy with the favorite activities of the kids who live there. Reading favorite books, playing games (including the Wii or Nintendo DS), having a tea party with best-loved dolls, and riding skateboards are all favorite Elf past times.
Elves Are Into Computers and Social Media
Elves in homes with teens have been known to have email, Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep an online eye on the kids and send funny emails, status updates and tweets. Many elves also seem to surf the internet late at night, finding fun new sites for the kids to enjoy.
Elves Love to be in Pictures
Apparently, Elves are very good at self portraits. Many families have found their digital cameras full of pictures of their Elves in all kinds of crazy poses.
Elves Often Have A Driver's License
If an Elf cannot be found in the morning, the car is the first place to look. Elves are often found in the driver's seat, sitting on a stack of pillows or books. The car may be parked backwards or in a crazy position, and in some cases even down the street or in a neighbor's driveway. Typically, Christmas music is blaring through the speakers and the gas tank is mysteriously closer to empty than before.
Elves Write in Journals
Elves and children often learn more about each other and build bonds by writing letters back and forth. Some Elves arrive with a festively decorated journal to keep all the correspondence in one place. It has been rumored that some Elves only write backwards, so children must hold the note up to the mirror to read it. A few are conversant in Pig Latin or other codes that older kids must decipher.
Elves Tell Potty Jokes, Too
Bathroom humor spans all languages and species. Elves love to turn the toilet water green (with food coloring), decorate Christmas trees in underwear, toilet paper kids rooms or whole houses, and write on bathroom mirrors with mom's lipstick.
Elves Spell Their Names - Everywhere!
Each Elf has a name. Some are named by the children they watch. Others arrive with a note introducing the Elf. Either way, all Elves seem to love to leave their signature as often as possible. Maybe the Elf's name is written in Cheerios, flour, or chocolate syrup on the counter. Other times in toothpaste on the bathroom mirror. Best of all, in food coloring on freshly fallen snow.
Elves Love Things That Remind Them of Home
Cotton ball snowball fights are a favorite past time of elves. Also, Elves often make elf sized snow angels. If real snow is not available, then Insta-Snow or flour make good substitutes. A favorite game for Elves is Candy Lane. If the house does not already have a copy, Elves have been known to bring one from the North Pole as an early Christmas gift.
Elves Do Not Always Come Alone
What could be better than an Elf on the Shelf? Several Elves, of course. That means the mischief can multiply and children awake to elaborate scenes of Elf mayhem. Maybe a poker game or baseball or football match or a play with Elves in costume (borrowed from other dolls).
Elves Play With Their Neighbor Elves
So many families have their own Elf on a Shelf during the holidays that Elves join with neighbor Elves to increase the fun. Many neighbor elves have been waiting together at the bus stop for their children to arrive. Other Elves host a Christmas party for neighborhood kids.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless for your elf tradition. Happy Holidays!