Christmas Elf Traditions - Elf on the Shelf or Alternatives

Whether you follow the original tradition of 'The Elf on The Shelf' or you have your own Christmas Elf traditions you'll find lots of useful links, information, ideas and free poems to help you make this December's Elf visit the best one yet!

So What Is The Elf on the Shelf?

It is a Christmas tradition started in 2005 by the book The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell. The story describes how Santa sends his special Scout Elves all over the world to keep an eye on children to see if they have been good and report back to him. The Elf which is sent to a family is adopted by them and named - once this has happened the elf becomes magic and can travel back and forth to the North Pole every night and report back to Santa on how good the child they are watching has been. So every morning when the child wakes up they find that their elf has moved (it never moves when anyone is watching) and possibly got up to some mischief as well! The elf cannot be touched - instead it sits up high (hence the name - Elf on the Shelf) and observes, ready to report back.

First Things First - Where Can I get My Elf?

The orginal Elf tradition that kick started the popularity of the December Elf visit was The Elf on The Shelf story as outlined above- visit elfontheshelf for full details and to purchase a girl or boy scout elf. For 29.95 you get your elf and the story book that explains the tradition which is a nice rhyming text for children. The story explains why Santa needs to send his scout elves all over the world and how they help let Santa know who should be on his naughty or good list! You can also purchase some additional outfits, accessories, books etc.

However if you are looking for an alternative Christmas elf to start your own tradition here are some good examples.