The Christmas traditions of Elf on the Shelf and the magic of the elves are taking the nation by storm, for good reason. They offer a lovely way to build excitement for the holidays and keep kids on their best behavior. This is how they work.
The “official” elf on the shelf, the magical elf or other elf, comes to your home early in the Christmas season to spend the holidays with your family.
Each night, Elf on a Shelf returns to the North Pole, while her children sleep, to inform Santa about her behavior.
While the Bookshelf Elves have a more serious reputation, the Magic Elves Elves are a mischievous bunch and have a tendency to make a mess or do a crazy trick while everyone sleeps. Your kids will love waking up each morning and seeing what trouble the Elf got into the night before.
Here are ten ideas found on the internet and from local families to inspire your elf:
Elves love to do what your kids love to do
Elves quickly adapt to a home and many mornings are busy with the favorite activities of the children who live there. Reading their favorite books, playing games (including Wii or Nintendo DS), having a tea party with the most beloved dolls, and skateboarding are the Elves’ favorite pastimes.
Elves are on computers and social media
Elves in homes with teens have been known to have email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts to keep an eye on kids online and send funny emails, status updates, and tweets. Many elves also seem to be surfing the internet late at night, searching for fun new places for children to enjoy.
Elves love to be in pictures
Apparently Elves are very good at self-portraits. Many families have found their digital cameras filled with pictures of their Elves in all sorts of crazy poses.
Elves usually have a driver’s license
If an Elf cannot be found in the morning, the first place to look is the car. Elves are often found in the driver’s seat, sitting on a pile of pillows or books. The car may be parked upside down or in a crazy position, and in some cases even on the street or at a neighbor’s driveway. Usually Christmas music blasts through the speakers and the gas tank is mysteriously closer to being empty than before.
Elves write in diaries
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 correspondence in one place. Rumor has it that some Elves only write backwards, so children must hold the note in front of the mirror to read it. Some are familiar with Pig Latin or other codes that older children must crack.
Elves tell potty jokes too
Bathroom humor encompasses all languages and species. Elves love to green toilet water (with food coloring), decorate Christmas trees in underwear, toilet paper in children’s rooms or entire houses, and write on bathroom mirrors with lipstick from Mommy.
Elves write their names everywhere!
Each Elf has a name. Some are named after the children they see. Others arrive with a note introducing the Elf. Either way, it seems that all Elves love to leave their signature as often as possible. Perhaps 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 fresh snow.
Elves love things that remind them of home
Cotton ball snowball fights are the elves’ favorite pastime. Also, elves often make elf-sized snow angels. If no actual snow is available, then Insta-Snow or flour are good substitutes. A favorite game of the elves is Candy Lane. If the house doesn’t already have a copy, the Elves have been known to bring one from the North Pole as an early Christmas present.
Elves don’t always come alone
What could be better than an Elf on the shelf? Several Elves, of course. That means mischief can be multiplied and children are awakened to elaborate scenes of Elven mayhem. Maybe a game of poker or a game of baseball or soccer or a play of Elves in disguise (taken from other dolls).
Elves play with their elven neighbors
So many families have their own Elf on a Shelf during the holidays that the Elves team up with neighboring Elves to add to the fun. Many neighboring elves have been waiting together at the bus stop for their children to arrive. Other Elves organize a Christmas party for the neighborhood children.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless for your elven lore. Happy Holidays!