Friday, November 25, 2016

Getting started with The Elf on the Shelf

The Elf on the Shelf phenomenon has been steady in America for the last few years, and recently this cute tradition has found its way into New Zealand. Unlike other overseas traditions that I am less than thrilled about, this is one I can actually get on board with!

So, what is The Elf on the Shelf?
The official Elf on the Shelf toy is a sweet elf who reports to Santa each night, letting him know if the children in his assigned household have been naughty or nice. Every morning, he appears in a different location at your house so that the children can have fun finding him.

Does the Elf have a name?
Each family can choose a name for their Elf- register it online and get an official adoption certificate.

How do I explain his appearance?
The official set comes with a beautiful storybook, telling the story of The Elf on the Shelf. This means that all the explanations are done for you!

Isn't this just a way to get kids to behave?
I hope this Elf will encourage good behaviour in my children, but I think the best part about this is the fun that your children will have trying to find your Elf. For me, the whole of December is full of fun things for my kids to do and I really hope that this will be the start of something that they will remember as part of their childhood. Children only have the magic of Christmas for a short while, and so I want to encourage their imagination while they are still little enough.

Do I have to do elaborate scenes?
Only if you want to! Sometimes, the simplest things are the best- Tall, Short, Tiny and a Pickle has some great simple ideas  and Pinterest is full of ideas that do not involve any effort. I know that Christmas can be a busy time, but this way I hope my children will get out of bed on time every morning so that we can start the day, as December can be quite full on with the end of school and there have been grumbles in the past. Even something simple like placing him in the fridge with the milk can be fun and doesn't require any props or settings.

What if someone touches the Elf?
Part of this tradition is that the Elf loses his or her magic if touched. However, there are kits you can buy to re-magic him, as well as a reminder not to touch the Elf again!

What kind of props can I use with my Elf?
You can buy so many accessories, outfits and pets for your Elf! How cute would this tutu be for a little ballerina, or even a reindeer to keep your Elf company. I have some Elf PJs for our elf to wear when he brings Christmas pajamas for the boys.

Where do I get my Elf from?
I got my Elf from Smartypants, a fabulous local shop that sells New Zealand wide. I try to support small, Kiwi businesses where possible and this shop has some fabulous Christmas ideas, dress ups and even a pocket money zone instore, as well as great Elf on the Shelf accessories.

I love this idea, how do I get started?
Your Elf can arrive at any time- the most popular are the day after Thanksgiving, 1st December or the 5th December. He can arrive in stealth mode, in the morning, or at night, whenever suits you and your family. Creating your own traditions for the arrival, goodbye and daily mischief is all part of what makes this so fun!

I need some more ideas!
The past few years, there have been Instagram posts using #kiwielfontheshelf - to share ideas, inspire and keep the motivation up! Every Monday in December I will also be sharing our elf's weekly antics, so please check in to see what he is up to and get some ideas for your own Elf.

NB: I was not compensated for this post, however I have provided links (non-affiliate) for ease of shopping.


  1. I love that you are using the elf for some
    Magic and fun! It's much nicer to use them positively instead of a threat or bribe for good behaviour x

  2. we're getting some kindness elves this year - when I wanted Elf on the Shelf years ago, you couldn't buy him in Australia. But kindness elves can help my kids bring back some love and respect for each other and family, I think.


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