The poor Elves have been getting a lot of flak over the past few years, but this is why our Coco will be back. My Mom gave us our Elf on the Shelf last year, and we had the best time creating this new tradition for our kids in our home.
What is the Elf of the Shelf?
The Elf on the Shelf story depicts how the elves hide in homes to watch over the goings on (whether the children are naughty or nice). When the children go to sleep, the Elf goes back to Santa to report every night. Every morning, before the family awakes, the Elf is back and hides in a new spot. We choose to start our visits from 1 December with Coco staying for Christmas morning and leaving that night, but some start and end it earlier.
So, what do the naysayers have to say about this sweet, but slightly creepy looking Elf?
Well, just about everything from it being too much work and effort, to making the children forget the real reason behind Christmas, to whether the Elf is inciting bad behaviour. Our Elf doesn’t do anything too crazy and is more about fun than anything. I’ve had people say it’s become too competitive, blah blah, as with anything, just do you. Stop worrying about what anyone else is doing and just have fun with this tradition, to whatever extremes you want to go. It’s those people, I find, that are in fact the most competitive of the lot. Do it, don’t do it, it’s all up to you. Life is not a competition unless you make it one.
How do you come up with ideas for your Elf?
You can look at trusty Pinterest for a multitude of ideas on what to do with your Elf, and choose whether or not to have fun with it, or just move him/her to a new hiding spot every night once the kids are asleep. I go the Pinterest route, call it the creative in me, and I think I have as much fun as the kids. We even took our Elf on holiday with us last year and I just thought of easy to do Elf activities that required minimal effort whilst away in a hotel. How creative you choose to be is entirely up to you.
I like to print out a calendar of sorts, so that I can plan ahead (I’m that person), so that come 7pm when the kids are in bed I don’t have to scramble to get creative all of a sudden, or I can get Dad to set it up.
Here are some fun things our Coco got up to last December, hopefully they’ll inspire you:
Why will Coco be back?
Our kids have literally looked forward to our Elf returning all year. Having him visit every night brings even more excitement to the anticipation of Christmas, and the special holiday, and helps them count the sleeps. Having ‘Coco’ around just brings in an extra element of fun to the Holidays. It’s a lovely family tradition to have. My kids truly believe that Coco goes home to report on how good and kind they’ve been, and head to bed even earlier than normal so they can wake up sooner to go find their elf. Is it a bad thing that their Elf reports on their behaviour? I don’t think so. We don’t not move our Elf if the kids have been misbehaving, we don’t punish them. But I do think they are more cognisant of their behaviour and actions with this little guy around.
What’s in store for Coco this year?
- More silly antics
- Delivery of their Letters to Santa
- Delivery of Christmas books for Christmas Eve
- Good Deed encouragement (toy donations, 3 kind deeds, help others etc.)
The most important thing to remember, is that this is all in the name of fun. We love having our Elf around, and love that our children Believe. It’s all in the magic. Having Oli and Soph dashing around our house in the morning to see where their Elf is and have them shriek with delight, is all the proof I need that our Elf will be around for the foreseeable future. A little bit of wonder. A little bit of magic, and a little bit of extra Christmas joy, all from a little felt and plastic toy. Best. Money. Spent. Ever. Nope, our Elf isn’t going anywhere.
*Apologies for the poor picture quality, these were all shot in stealth mode after dark