How to enjoy Elf on the Shelf with your family

I’ve done the one thing that I swore I would never do. I bought an Elf on the Shelf and am planning all of the different activities that our Elf will do.

If you’re not familiar with Elf on the Shelf, it consists of a doll (available in different genders and skin colours) and a rhyming book that explain how Santa uses Scout Elves to keep an eye on boys and girls. Kids aren’t allowed to touch or move the elf or it loses all its magic. The elf flies back to the North Pole each night and reports to Santa on the kids’ good and bad activities. It then returns to your home and is in a different location each morning.

Some parents freak out about the Elf on the Shelf and loathe buying into the idea of an elf watching and reporting back to Santa. Others consider it parental deceit to lie to their kids about Elf on the Shelf. (All valid objections). For me, I’m more relaxed about the Elf on the Shelf phenomenon. I’m planning to focus less on the elf surveillance and more on the Christmas fun of an elf!

I experienced first-hand the joy of Elf on the Shelf in my daughter’s Year 1 class last December in the lead up to Christmas. She would come home from school and excitedly tell me about where the class found Magic the Scout Elf that morning. It was less about the elf watching them and more about the challenge of trying to find him each morning.

For the past month, she’s been asking if a Scout Elf might visit our house this year. After much deliberation, I relented and ended up buying the Elf on the Shelf set with a female elf. She’ll make an appearance on December 1.

I have to admit I’m looking forward to moving the elf to different spots each night. I just need to remember to move the elf each night. Some other Elf on the Shelf experts suggest setting a reminder on your phone to move it or otherwise face serious questions from your kids about why the Elf didn’t move.

My friend thinks I’m crazy to add the stress of organising elf adventures each night to the general Christmas mayhem, but I have a day-by-day plan of what to do with the elf. I’m hoping that with this plan, it will make the Elf on the Shelf adventures much easier and more fun.

Here’s my Elf on the Shelf plan:

December 1: Elf appears with a letter from Santa

December 2: Elf hiding in the Christmas tree

December 3: Elf eating fairy bread

December 4: Elf ziplining on string or dental floss

December 5: Elf reading her book

December 6: Elf cutting paper snowflake

December 7: Sleepy Elf in tissue box bed

December 8: Elf hiding in the cutlery drawer

December 9: Elf decorating Christmas biscuits

December 10: Elf sledding on Tupperware lid

December 11: Elf playing chess

December 12: Elf doing yoga

December 13: Elf playing with LEGO

December 14:  Elf writing Christmas cards

December 15: Elf packing kids lunch

December 16: Elf playing with the Christmas lights

December 17: Elf Selfie

December 18: Elf playing Uno

December 19: Elf making snow angel using sprinkles

December 20: Elf playing with candy canes

December 21: Elf hiding in the fridge

December 22: Elf writing Christmas cards

December 23: Elf having a game night posing with board game e.g. Scrabble

December 24: Elf playing with Shopkins

December 25: Leave a note saying that elf is heading back to the North Pole to spend Christmas with their own family and that they’ll be back next December

Elf on the Shelf is available in stores and online. RRP $69.95. I spotted some in the Giftorium at Myer at Charlestown Square. They are also available at at a slightly cheaper price at Angus & Robertson Bookworld online.

If you can’t justify the cost of the official Elf on the Shelf, buy a cheaper elf or make your own. It’s less about the elf and more about creating fun family memories.

Make sure that you don’t miss any of the other fun and family-friendly Christmas events in Newcastle and the Hunter, visit the The Mummy Project Guide to Christmas.