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To elf on the shelf or not elf on the shelf?

(30 Posts)
dancingsnowfairy Mon 19-Sep-16 21:33:37

We love Christmas in our house and dh and I think our 4 year old might quite like the fun behind the elf on a shelf idea, I've just seen loads of fun things it could get up to on Pinterest, though i'm slightly worried that we might lose momentum with it after a few days later in the month and we might be stuck with doing it every year and everyone in her class thinking she is a bit odd if she starts going on about it. I do love the idea and think I would have been thrilled with it when I was a child. It seems to be quite a marmite thing on mumsnet, so just wondered what people's experiences of doing it are or why you think it's completely awful!

Flisspaps Mon 19-Sep-16 21:35:32

We do it. At least once a year we forget to move the sodding thing.

Lilaclily Mon 19-Sep-16 21:37:06

Can someone explain to me what it actually Is?.

gamerchick Mon 19-Sep-16 21:39:04

I brought it up last year and it horrified the bairn. It then became a handy threat.

'Ahh shall we invite the elf on the shelf to see how you're behaving minigc?'

Worked pretty good. When those horrible gnomes were in asda he would do a wide arc around them whispering about elfs on the shelf before asking if we could buy one and lie it in his brothers pillow while he was asleep.

FireflyGirl Tue 20-Sep-16 07:16:38

More and more people seem to be doing it in real life.

DS is 18 months, and I've bought one mostly to send photos to my sister to freak her out as I bought the one with the creepy-ass smile. I reckon this year he'll just bring a new book each day, and not do a whole lot of moving.

I'm sure loads of people forget to move them - there must be a list of excuses on Pinterest somewhere!

Moxiechick Tue 20-Sep-16 10:09:58

I've also got one to start this year for my 3 y/o dd. I'm very excited but also aware it might get tricky keeping it going. I've searched easy elf on the shelf ideas on Pinterest!

GingerbreadCake Tue 20-Sep-16 10:16:33

What is it?

Humidseptember Tue 20-Sep-16 11:23:53

Op do it but do it YOUR way

loads of templates on internet for santa letters and headers and do your own.

I got a sweet elf from ikea we call Elly.

She came with a note we created saying something like...

" Dear X we have noticed from our records you have never had an elf visit you, frm time to time, we like to send out new elves into the work place to feed back ideas about the children's likes and dislikes, this helps us tailor presents to their personalities more. HOwever please note as these are new elves they can be prone to mischief. Whilst we fully expect some cheek - any major misdemeanors must be reported back to us at the north pole.

Elly will return with us on the sleigh xmas eve night, you must not touch her lest you spoil her special fragile magic.

Noting about spying etc and our elf is cute and not sinister looking

I also only did it for ONE WEEK. which was hard enough believe me.

Elly last came three years ago.

She will be visiting again for a short while this year as youngest will be 4.

My older dd LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We had shaving foam all over car with merry xmas in it - elly painted their adn our faces in the night.....the green wee in the loo....she loved it!!

so do it - but your own way what you can manage

gamerchick Tue 20-Sep-16 11:31:14


2014newme Tue 20-Sep-16 11:34:53

My kids saw one at someone else's house and asked that we not have any come to us!

dancingsnowfairy Tue 20-Sep-16 11:40:42

Thank you all! Humidseptember, that is perfect - I was thinking it would definitely be better to do it our way, it sounds like you got it just right and our 4 year old (and dh) would love it I think. I like the bit about visiting from time to time, so sets us up for not doing it every year / all of December if we don't want. For those that asked, I think there are lots of variations of what elf on the shelf is - from having a toy elf arrive and keep eye on behaviour before Christmas, to just getting up to mischief (Google brings up loads of ideas for what those things would be). We really want to keep it fun and not about behaviour (though never say never I suppose). That's a rubbish explanation really, sorry. I've seen it loads on here and as I said people seem to love or loathe it. We think we like it and just interesting to hear how well / not well it has worked for others.

RueDeDay Tue 20-Sep-16 11:42:02

I do it, DD loves it, but our elf doesn't get up to any mischief... Instead, he brings advent chocolate every night (we have small buckets hung from a garland instead of a traditional advent calendar).

ImYourMama Tue 20-Sep-16 11:51:08

My daughter will be born just before Christmas this year and I can't wait until she's old enough to do elf on the shelf <3

At my friends he turns up 1st December, sits somewhere up high and watches for naughtiness. Also brings books wrapped in Christmas paper and advent calendars. So lovely

AmyAmoeba Tue 20-Sep-16 15:12:51

Not for me personally - I would worry that it stretches the belief a bit far. Mine are already a bit dubious about fairies though still unquestioning about the main man.

But a more compelling reason is that December is traditionally an horrific month for sickness in our home. I've learned to get crafts out of the way in November because my plans always go pear shaped in December. The last few years I've done home made advent calendars with activities and craft suggestions and on the days I haven't forgotten it altogether I've had to substitute the original plans for "watch yet another DVD"

So an elf is more than I could manage.

I do like how you did it Humidseptember - will keep that in mind in case any of them ever see an elf in a friends house and want one.

I also really liked an alternative called the kindness elves (Google) but I'm just barely organised enough to manage Santa.

Mummyshortlegz Tue 20-Sep-16 15:16:39

We did it last year for our then 2.5 year old. This year he is coming out again. Can't remember what he was bloody called last year so hopefully neither can he. It's a bit of fun, we like it. Don't do anything particularly Pinterest worthy with it.

BowlFullofJelly Tue 20-Sep-16 15:33:14

Don't do it - this will be my 4th year - once you have started its hard to stop. Finding new things for him to bring or do for 24 days every year is hard work, wish I'd never started confused

WhatWouldCoachBombayDo Tue 20-Sep-16 15:40:44

I'll be doing it, but for 7 days only. The run up to Christmas day. He won't being gifts, but will keep an eye on naughty behaviour and get up to some manageable mischief.

I also want a cute elf not a creepy one blush

Floggingmolly Tue 20-Sep-16 15:50:35

They are pure evil...

missyB1 Tue 20-Sep-16 15:58:32

I've deliberately stayed away from them,but I'm a lazy devil anyway and couldn't be bothered with the faff grin
We do plenty in the run up to Christmas and it doesn't need to be any busier for us. Our friends started it last year for their kids and by half way through December they were regretting it!

disneyprincesswannabe Thu 22-Sep-16 06:35:13

We do it but our elf only arrives for the Christmas holidays (when school breaks up!). Last year her visited for a week. This year it will be 4 days. Perfectly manageable. I couldn't do a whole month

lostlalaloopsy Thu 22-Sep-16 07:36:28

We've been doing for about 5 years and the do love it. They often talk about the elf.

There have been a few 3am moments of getting up because I've forgotten to hide the elf, but it's all good fun!

elQuintoConyo Thu 22-Sep-16 07:41:10

If you do end up doing it, make a list in November of all the things he could do then choose one the night before - if it involves dye in the toilet, snow angels in flour, being sellotaped to the wall, pants all over the tree etc.

Tbh I can't be bothered wink DS has an advent calendar that alternates chocolate with an activity (no gift except a playmobil man on his birthday - as well as a birthday pres! Just on that advent day he will have a wee something extra), so we are covered for December.

Plus a Spanish tradition Christmas Eve, the stocking, the main gifts and then the 3 Kings on the night of the 5th/6th... Christmas can become a bit overloaded. And I can't be bothered with the faff!

When I was small, whenever we saw robin my mum used to say that he had a book and pencil under his wing and was making sure we were being good for FC. You'd see robins at random times and not everyday and it worked really well. I still love seeing robins at Christmas.

WhirlwindHugs Thu 22-Sep-16 07:44:29

We got sent one last year and completely forgot about it. The intention was sweet but it's way too much faff and I'm always really busy in december without having loads if extra mischief tidying up to do.

TitsTingle Thu 22-Sep-16 07:47:01

I've done it for two years now. Am really stressed now because dd is so excited for it coming back and I (and Pinterest ) have fun out ideas confused.

TheDowagerCuntess Thu 22-Sep-16 07:51:21

We do it - the kids love it.

The elf arrives on the 1st with a Christmas tree decoration for each DC.

Have had to haul ass out of bed at midnight when we've forgotten to move him, but it's all good fun.

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