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How does Elf on the Shelf work?

(16 Posts)
rufos Wed 18-Nov-20 09:34:48

I know this is really stupid so please don't flame me....I've seen it all over social media last year but I don't understand what the point is and how it works? I'd like to do something special for my 2yo DD this Christmas and thought of Elf on the Shelf. Is she too young for it? If not, what do I do? blush

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rufos Wed 18-Nov-20 10:53:53

Anyone please?

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daisypond Wed 18-Nov-20 10:56:11

Ignore it. It isn’t something I’d encourage at all. Why don’t you get a traditional card advent calendar with doors that she can open to see the pictures behind?

OohKittens Wed 18-Nov-20 11:00:58

The official elf on a shelf does nothing except move to different places. They are not supposed to do anything naughty at all, don't do it honestly.

Snipples Wed 18-Nov-20 11:04:46

I've not done it but essentially it's a magic elf that moves each night and the kids aren't meant to touch it or it loses its elf magic. They have great fun finding it in different places each morning. It doesn't need to be crazy elaborate set ups but that is the trend on social media. There's lots of ideas on Pinterest if you're interested.

I'm really into Christmas and I'm not doing the elf as once you start you're basically committing to 10 years of it and I think it will just turn into another chore to sort everyday for me. My DD is 2 and I think it's quite young to understand the concept of it so if I were you I'd wait a year or two.

ladybee28 Wed 18-Nov-20 11:06:41

It's an American thing - blackmail your kids into good behaviour by telling them that a doll is watching their every move in their home, and if they don't behave then they won't get any presents.

Creepy as anything I've ever heard.

OnTheBenchOfDoom Wed 18-Nov-20 11:20:09

I did do it and we had a lot of fun. FC only brings a stocking of small stuff like novelty socks, chocolate coins, a bookmark etc and brings it whether you are good or not (otherwise how does the little shit in their class always get presents?)

So no blackmail involved on any level. My sons are teenagers and last year was the first year they let me not do it! Basically he is an elf that is sent from FC to see if you go on the naughty or nice list but because he himself gets up to mischief then clearly you can be a great child who does some "naughty" stuff too. Obviously FC sent the elf, trusts him, knows he is up to mischief but still has him as an elf and sends him back every year. God, it is just a bit of fun.

I think 2 is too little. Pinterest has a million things that the elf can do. Some days he just moved around the house, he was found in the cutlery drawer, the fridge, inside a non-school shoe as you can't touch him or his magic rubs off. Ours only moved around downstairs, my children have very fond memories of him and Ds1 loved being in on the secret to continue to make it special for Ds2. (they are 17 and 14 now)

He brought Cookie Crisp cereal every 1st December because I would never buy that shite for my children. wink He covered the Christmas tree with their underwear or wrapped it in toilet roll, it was just a nice tradition, and yes they still get a box of Cookie Crisp on 1st December.

As a child I had a very religious mother who was quite miserable about Christmas, my Dad on the other hand went overboard with decorations etc and made it incredibly special. Even now, the man is 79 and wears Christmas jumpers, has Christmas dinner sets, napkins, glasses, gravy boat, you get the point. He loves Christmas. I wanted that for my sons.

peakotter Wed 18-Nov-20 11:27:50

We got some kindness elves (not that you need special elves to be kind but they are cute and come in a nice house and different skin colours). They appear in different places each day that I can be bothered with ideas of things to do like baking cookies or decorating the tree. My just 3yo loves them, but she was too young last year.

I prefer using the elves to encourage my kids to do something kind, as I have enough trouble keeping on top of the housework without an elf messing things up!

GreyishDays Wed 18-Nov-20 11:29:08

Ours just plays at night and we see the evidence in the morning. No creepy reporting back and no forbidden to touch him.

Loti92 Wed 18-Nov-20 11:55:00

Iv considered doing it with my almost 4yo this year. But worried if I do it this year she will expect it every year and it sounds like a lot of effort!

My husband says when he was younger he would have a treasure hunt type thing each morning and there would be 1 golden chocolate coin to find each morning. I’m nit sure if it was like the elf brought it? Sounds a bit easier to do.
This might be what we do instead!

Sally872 Wed 18-Nov-20 11:59:30

Elf arrives, not allowed to touch elf, each morning elf is found in a silly situation.

Doesn't have to be too elaborate if I have time I will stage something otherwise just peeking out from cushions or sitting on top of a door frame. Half the fun is finding the elf.

It is magical and lovely but it can become a chore so our elf will arrive 7-10 days before Christmas rather than 1st Dec.

LindaEllen Wed 18-Nov-20 12:05:37

Soooo many mums I know wish they'd never done the elf now, because the kids expect it every year, and it's hard to come up with something different every night, then different again the next year and so on.

If you're particularly creative and into that kind of thing then you could give it a go, but if there's even the slightest chance you'd run out of idea/motivation/time/will to live I'd give it a miss, honestly.

lurkingattheback Wed 18-Nov-20 12:08:41

It's whatever you want it to be and however
You want it to work. It should be fun, not a chore. The elf only has to stay one night, you're in charge.

Twilightstarbright Wed 18-Nov-20 13:35:40

I think two is a bit young, I'm.doimg it for the first time with 3.5yo DS. He'd be happy to find the elf just sat somewhere so no need for anything too elaborate.

Flaxmeadow Wed 18-Nov-20 13:49:49

It's an American thing - blackmail your kids into good behaviour by telling them that a doll is watching their every move in their home, and if they don't behave then they won't get any presents.

Creepy as anything I've ever heard.

Yes and dreamed up as a marketing tool by the company who make the elf and all the paraphernalia, so that people will buy more of the creepy deceitful toy every year. More junk and tat from the USA, on top of all the plastic Halloween rubbish. Great !

As a pp said. Just get an advent calender if you want to do a build up to Xmas day

rufos Wed 18-Nov-20 14:24:07

Oh okay! I thought they had more purpose than that blushgrin

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