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Fayette-Mom: My love affair with Elf on the Shelf

Posted December 5, 2011

Jennifer Joyner

I’m thinking whoever came up with Elf on the Shelf should probably just rule the world.

In case you’re not familiar, Elf on the Shelf is a little elf doll that visits your house every year when the Christmas decorations go up. He places himself high on a perch in your home so that he can observe how the children are behaving. Each night, he flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa on how the kids are doing. Every morning, children scramble to find the new place the Elf has placed himself in the house.

See? Genius.

My kids are mesmerized. We got ours last year, and it made such an impression, both Emma and Eli were asking about our elf’s return way before Thanksgiving. Now that Elfis is back (yes, that is the name they chose!), all they have to be given is a little reminder that he is watching, and you should see how they straighten up their behavior. Getting them up for school in the morning is no problem, since they can’t wait to see where Elfis is hanging out. And they love writing him notes, asking him questions about his life back at the North Pole.

Why, my daughter even chats on the Elf on a Shelf website, and has asked for Elf plushie dolls that she can play with for Christmas.

These are the kinds of ideas that drive you crazy, with you thinking “Why didn’t I think of that???”

Kudos to the person who did think of it because man, has it made my holidays with kids a lot more manageable!

Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in 2010. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.



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  • imsosorry Dec 6, 2011

    Our elf seems to get into a lot of mischief, he always gets into stuff that needs cleaning up, opens candy and leaves it laying around, gets into the flour bag and toilet papers EVERYTHING !! But we sure do love him.

  • Lab mom Dec 6, 2011

    OMG, we LOVE our elf! She (Alexis) toilet papered the Christmas Tree last night!! My nine year old loves the fun!! She gives my daughter a small token each year. She always cries because she is so happy. I agree. What a great idea!!!!

  • moppie Dec 6, 2011

    I'm 36, and we had the Elf when I was a kid. I didn't do it with my two kids, who are 11 and 8, and I should have :) I would tell them to that all the security cameras in stores were "Santa Cams"!

  • Go_APPS Dec 6, 2011

    I think the Elf on the Shelf is CREEPY!!!!!!
    I wanted to do this with my daughter when she is old enough, so I started looking around for similar alternatives and found Christopher and Christina Pop-In-Kins. They are way cuter and totally non-creepy and posable. :)

  • snowl Dec 6, 2011

    I've never heard of this.... but that 'ol lump of coal trick? Yes. lol

  • Amused Dec 6, 2011

    I think the popularity died out and then Hallmark brought it back about 3 years ago :) Now he appears in other stores.

  • Killian Dec 5, 2011

    My family had one of these when my 49 yr old sister was born. The Elf has been around for years!

  • kittiboo Dec 5, 2011

    I threatened my daughter with an elf the other day. I said, "I KNOW you don't want me to call Santa and have him send an elf here to keep a closer eye on you.... do you?" And she straightened up! Saved me about $19.99. For now. I have a feeling the little guy may be making an appearance for real soon. I'm all about some bribery! =)

  • Love my boys Dec 5, 2011

    We have one and while he sometimes lands in the same spot, he's still a get-up-and-going motivator in the mornings! And he ends a squabble with the blink of an eye.