Summary of elf tradition and ideas on starting your own!
The answer is really it's up to you! If you buy the original Elf on the Shelf package the book lays out the rules/ tradition - basically your elf has been sent by Santa to help keep an eye on his/ her child and report back to who will be on the naughty or good list. The elf never moves when people are watching but when no-one is around moves around and usually gets up to some kind of mischief (some ideas on possible elf pranks) The story suggests that the elf should not be touched or it will lose it's magic.
However you may want to have a different elf / different traditions. Maybe you'll have a cuddly elf who likes to join in with play, maybe yours isn't naughty but does good deeds or leave little presents each morning. You may not like the idea of having an elf spy in the house so maybe yours doesn't report back to Santa. Have a look at some of the ideas and make a few of your own.
Here are a few accessories which might help with some of your elf adventures!
Some free to use elf poems you may like to help with your elf traditions.