ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Elf On The Shelf: A Christmas Tradition

Updated on December 16, 2015

The Elf on the Shelf Set for Kids

It's almost time to get your Elf out! The Elf on the Shelf Story is an exciting way to have some great fun with your kids. This story was written by a mother and her daughter who came up with a new idea for kids around the Christmas holiday. The idea of a helpful elf isn't a new one, but they told it in a very different way. The old Germanic and Scandinavian holiday traditions include elves called nisser, who watch kids before Christmas to make sure they are behaving!

Now, the Elf on the Shelf will do just that for moms and dads all over the world. There is just one rule that comes with the Elf on the Shelf...don't touch him! If you want on of your own, you only have to click on one of the many links you will find on this page. Every day your kids can wake up to their own house elf hiding in strange places and doing all sorts of fun activities...like taking a bath in marshmallows! Find elves, elf accessories and lots of crazy elf ideas on this page. The elf image to the right is from Amazon, and you can get an Elf on the Shelf there.

My grandson is a fan even though he is too young to understand what this relatively new Christmas tradition is all about. At this stage in his life, we adults have much more fun with it than he does. We've named his little elf, Buddy, after the main character in the movie, "ELF." My son, his wife and I make a game of it, we talk everyday during "the season" and decide where to put little Buddy next. I can't wait until my grandson can have as much fun with this Christmas elf as we do!

Where are you going to put yours today? Find some great ideas to keep it busy and your kids entertained during this holiday season. Wait until you see how much fun it can be!

The Elf On The Shelf comes with different hair and eye color choices.  See Amazon for more details; that's where this picture came from.
The Elf On The Shelf comes with different hair and eye color choices. See Amazon for more details; that's where this picture came from.

Start a New Tradition

Holiday traditions are an important part of many families, and few holidays have as many traditions as Christmas. Whether it is decorating the tree with the little ones, hanging the stockings, drinking cocoa and telling Christmas stories and singing carols, or just being together with family, Christmas is a special time, and this is a new and decidedly fun tradition that you might want to add. The cute little sprite is really starting to gain more of a following, and with good reason.

The Elf on the Shelf already plays on another holiday tradition, and one of the most famous. Good ole Santa Claus has elves living at his cottage and toy shop in the North Pole, so it's only natural that this elf would be popular! Let's see where it all began.

Do You Own An Elf On The Shelf?

Do You Have Elf On The Shelf In Your House?

Here's The Baby Elf On The Shelf - Find more information by clicking the link!  This picture is from Amazon.
Here's The Baby Elf On The Shelf - Find more information by clicking the link! This picture is from Amazon.

The History of the Elf on a Shelf

It started in the early 2000s when Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell, a mom-daughter writing team and their book illustrator Coe Steinwart, went from publisher to publisher in an attempt to have them consider their book The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition. Publishers, as so often is the case, wanted nothing to do with the book, believing it would not make any money for them. Rather than giving up, the writers persevered and self-published, something that was still a bold move back in 2005. After their initial printing of just 300 copies, they went on to sell more than 1.5 million copies, and the book is still selling. The tale has even been adapted to an animated special.

How It All Began

Decorate your Christmas tree with an Elf on the Shelf ornament.
Decorate your Christmas tree with an Elf on the Shelf ornament. | Source

What Is The Story Behind It?

Now that we know where it started, what is the story of this little elf? The story weaves a tale that lets readers know the answer to that age old question: How does Santa know who is naughty and nice? The story tells us how the elf arrives to sit on a shelf and watch over the children at around Thanksgiving time each year.

Start a New Christmas Tradition

Start a new Christmas tradition!
Start a new Christmas tradition! | Source

Each night, the elf returns magically to the North Pole and reports to Santa, and comes back by morning to watch the little ones again. Each time the elf returns, he is in a different spot. The only rule is that the children must not touch the elf, or else he will not return. However, they can talk to the elf and tell it about all of their Christmas wishes.

This fun, new tradition could be perfect for many families, including yours!

Where Is the Elf?

Where did you find him today?

A Grown-Up's Take

Are You Up for New Christmas Traditions?

Do you like to add new Christmas traditions or are you a bit old fashioned and like to stick with the oldie, but great holiday traditions you already have?

Do You Like To Add New Traditions To Your Christmas Celebration, Or Are You Satisfied And Happy With The Old Ones You Use Year After Year?

The Elf on the Shelf Christmas Training Video

Elf for Girls

Here's an Elf on the Shelf for girls!
Here's an Elf on the Shelf for girls! | Source

There's a Nightlight!

Nightlight
Nightlight | Source

Elf Coloring Pages

Coloring page of elves.
Coloring page of elves.

Where to Hide Your Elf?

The Elf goes to the North Pole every night to talk to Santa and when it returns, he or she has to be in a different spot! Here are some ideas on where the Elf can hide!

The bookshelf, the top of the TV, the edge of your curtain rod, on the chandelier, peeking out between kitchen canisters, hanging out of the hamper, or find more ideas from Complicated Mama. I've read some really terrific ideas so if you need a few, here's the place to find them.

My Favorite Elf Is Buddy!

Elf Shelf Books

There are lots of books out that are perfect for Christmas reading! Here are more fun Elf ideas in book form.

Elf On The Shelf Personalized Ornament For Christmas

Personalized Christmas ornament.
Personalized Christmas ornament. | Source

I found this Elf on the Shelf personalized Christmas ornament and I think it would make a great gift idea or holiday tree decoration!

Links You Will Love

Find activities, worksheets, ideas and lots of fun all revolving around the Elf on the Shelf!

Breakfast Ideas

Some people have a welcome breakfast celebration in honor of their Elf. Are you going to start this holiday tradition with your family? Here are some delicious food and fabulous decorating ideas.

Fun Ideas for December

Here are more fun ideas for your Elf. Take a look at the cards, printables, and fun ideas you can use to thrill your kids this December. Make the holidays more fun than ever with a new family tradition.

Elf Clothing

Your Elf likes to look nice and these new outfits will help them to look festive and fresh all through the Christmas season.

Proof that elves do move around the house.

Learn how to draw the Elf with these step-by-step instructions. Drawing is fun!

Week 2 with the Elf.

Grow Some Magic Candy Canes

Got this idea from Facebook and it's a great one.  You can begin a new holiday tradition and grow some magic candy canes!
Got this idea from Facebook and it's a great one. You can begin a new holiday tradition and grow some magic candy canes!

Here's a great idea...have your Elf plant some magic candy cane seeds in a bowl of sugar and watch as candy canes magically appear one day. The seeds are actually jelly beans (or whatever candy you happen to have on hand) and one day after however long you decide is a good growing period, you replace those jelly beans with candy canes...or your elf does! It's a fun and easy way to enjoy the Christmas season with your kids and their Elf!

Name Ideas

What did you name your Elf? Here are some fun ideas:

  1. Buddy - After the fellow in the movie Elf!
  2. Pedro - After Pedro from the movie Napoleon Dynamite
  3. Jingle - After Jingle Bells
  4. Jolly - In honor of the jolly holiday
  5. Charlie - After Charlie Brown
  6. Lightening - After Lightening McQueen of Cars fame
  7. Frostie - After Frostie the Snowman, another favorite Christmas character
  8. Terry
  9. Trouble
  10. Sweetie
  11. Jeannie - After I Dream of Jeannie
  12. Lilly
  13. Sally - After the character from The Nightmare Before Christmas
  14. Jack - After Jack Skellington or Jack Frost

More Fun Ideas

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Found this picture at http://www.poofycheeks.com.  Head on over if you need some ideas for Elf adventures this holiday season.Meet Zippy!  He can be found on http://www.rachelswartley.comOh the fun an Elf can have with toilet paper!  This little festive fellow can be found at http://www.homestoriesatoz.comOh no! The elf found the dinosaur toys—or they found him. Check out the fun ideas at http://sweetfunkyvintage.blogspot.comHere's 100 fun ideas for a little Elf mischief!  These ideas come from http://www.designdazzle.com/2011/11/100-mischievous-elf-ideas/.Fun ideas for your Elf at http://thatscountryliving.com/2011/10/master-list-ideas-for-the-elf-on-the-shelf/
Found this picture at http://www.poofycheeks.com.  Head on over if you need some ideas for Elf adventures this holiday season.
Found this picture at http://www.poofycheeks.com. Head on over if you need some ideas for Elf adventures this holiday season.
Meet Zippy!  He can be found on http://www.rachelswartley.com
Meet Zippy! He can be found on http://www.rachelswartley.com
Oh the fun an Elf can have with toilet paper!  This little festive fellow can be found at http://www.homestoriesatoz.com
Oh the fun an Elf can have with toilet paper! This little festive fellow can be found at http://www.homestoriesatoz.com
Oh no! The elf found the dinosaur toys—or they found him. Check out the fun ideas at http://sweetfunkyvintage.blogspot.com
Oh no! The elf found the dinosaur toys—or they found him. Check out the fun ideas at http://sweetfunkyvintage.blogspot.com
Here's 100 fun ideas for a little Elf mischief!  These ideas come from http://www.designdazzle.com/2011/11/100-mischievous-elf-ideas/.
Here's 100 fun ideas for a little Elf mischief! These ideas come from http://www.designdazzle.com/2011/11/100-mischievous-elf-ideas/.
Fun ideas for your Elf at http://thatscountryliving.com/2011/10/master-list-ideas-for-the-elf-on-the-shelf/
Fun ideas for your Elf at http://thatscountryliving.com/2011/10/master-list-ideas-for-the-elf-on-the-shelf/

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)