The Elf on the Shelf: Our Family Tradition Continues

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mama cheaps elf on the shelf

Last year we started a fantastic tradition in our family, and I invite your family to join us as we continue with it this year!

I first heard of The Elf on the Shelf from my sister.  A student of hers had one and told her about the story.  We both decided that this was definitely something that we would share with our daughters.

The Elf on the Shelf set arrives with a book telling the elf’s story and an elf himself (available in different skin tones, hair colors, and eye colors).

This is the basic concept of the elf story: The elf works for Santa.  Every year after Thanksgiving your very same family elf returns to your house from the North Pole. You see, Santa has so much going on in preparation for Christmas. He needs some extra help keeping an eye on all of the children of the world, and your elf has been assigned to your family by Santa to watch the children and their behavior.

Your family gets to name your elf when he first arrives.

Then each and every night, after everyone goes to sleep, the elf travels back to the North Pole to report that day’s behavior to Santa. The elf comes back in the morning, and hides somewhere in your house. Your family can have fun seeing who can find the elf in his new hiding spot first- BUT- the elf must NEVER EVER be touched by children- or else some of his magic might wear off, forever. On Christmas Eve, you’ll bid your elf goodbye.  He will hop a ride back to the North Pole on Santa’s sleigh… until next year when he will be back!

I am so very excited to continue the elf tradition in our family this year.  Even though she was so young last year, Lily Bean loved helping me find the elf each morning.  I know she’ll have a blast with it and I’m hoping that she will give him a name on her own!

And so, of course, like so many things in our lives, I’d like to share this tradition with YOU! Check back each day after Thanksgiving to see where our elf was found. I will be adding a link on the top menu bar so that you can get to those posts easily.

Want to start your very own elf tradition? Look below for where to purchase. And please- if you blog about your own elf, leave a link in the comment section so that we can check out what other elves are up to!  :)

Purchase the Elf on the Shelf from:

  • Amazon for $33.95 (Ships FREE)
  • Barnes and Noble for $29.95 (Ships FREE)
  • Borders (Backordered online)
  • Your local bookstore!

32 thoughts on “The Elf on the Shelf: Our Family Tradition Continues”

  1. I started this tradition two years ago! It has been so much fun. My 4 yr old son loves the website too! He has already been on it this week making cookies for Santa and serving hot cocoa to the elves!! I only goofed up a few times and forgot to move the Elf but he never questioned me…Whew!!! lol I have been telling him that “Shelfy” (that is what he named him!!) is coming soon to watch him…

  2. I love this idea. I thought about doing this last year but didn’t think my little dude was old enough to really understand… I might have to make a borders trip with a coupon and see what we can find! :D

  3. I just ordered this on Amazon the other day, SO excited to start this tradition in my home. I have a 2 & 5 yr. old so they are going to love this!!!

  4. We just it this year, and it works great. But we started using it on Nov 1st. I got mine from Barnes and Noble and had just missed the 25% off almost anything coupon that they had active for a few days.

  5. I just heard about this from my friend and think its such a great tradition for kids!!! I plan to order one soon for y son…hoping for a coupon to get it a little cheaper!!!

  6. Wow! I am 30 years old and my mom did this with us and a set of about 10 different random elves, she had collected at different places. She told us that they were watching us. Every time we came back from being out of the house, the elves moved around the house. We loved finding them and really believed in their magic, even long after we knew Santa wasn’t real.

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  8. We’ve been doing this for 33 years….. I made it up so the kids would be good. As they have gotten older and married and moved away I have passed on an elf to them!!!

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  14. Mama Cheaps,

    You mentioned that you are able to pick the skin tone, hair color, as well as eye color for the elf. Would you please let me know on which website you can do this? I have looked at Amazon, Borders, and Barnes and Noble and have not been able to pick anything other than skin tone.

    Also, do you think it will go on sale after Christmas passes or do you think $29.99 is the best price?

    Thanks so much for your help and I hope you have a wonderful holiday!!

    • Hi Amber!

      That is a SUPER question. Answer: I am not sure! I have seen a couple different ones on Amazon – maybe three different ones… but I know they make more. Maybe you could contact Elf on the Shelf through their website and ask where you can find an array of them to choose from?

      The price may go down a bit after Christmas. As a frame of reference, the best price that I have seen was about $20.


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