Elf on the Shelf

We have adopted an elf from the North Pole named "Jingles". He arrived on our front porch at the beginning of the month and my kids really love him. He came with a book explaining that he came to spend some time with us to hear what we want for Christmas and to report any bad behavior to Santa each night. We are expected to behave all year long, so we mostly see him as a little friend sent to entertain us and keep us company.

Jingles is mischievous! My youngest son says "Mom, Jingles is trouble!" When we sleep he messes around in the house and we find him in the strangest predicaments each morning!

The kids have a special box they use to collect any little elf paraphernalia they find in the morning and they make me take a photo each day to document his mischief. Sometimes, I think they wish they could get into the same trouble during the night! So far, they have found him:

Roasting marshmallows
drinking pancake syrup
Fishing in their fish tank
Stuck in the paper chain
Making his own paper chain
Making a snow angel
Changing all the ice in the freezer to snow (use this)

I have heard from friends that Elf on the Shelf is too much work, or one more thing to worry about during this busy season. I have read on Pinterest that we should say no to "subversive parenting" like this elf. I have also heard from families who really love the tradition of their elf each year.

It's Feedback Friday...

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf?

Do you use him for behavior control during the holiday season?

What are your gut reactions to the concept?

Looking for Elf on the Shelf ideas? Check out my Elf Pins!


  1. My children are grown, but this is one thing I definitely would have done just for the fun of it!
    We raised our sons to know the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of a Savior.
    But we also believed in Santa & taught them that it was a great way to encourage imagination!
    As they grew older they understood these truths & were never devastated by them (as some parents feel is awful parenting, "lying" to your children).
    I've often thought this elf needs to come live in my high school classroom during this season - maybe it'll help their behavior! HA! HA!

  2. No, ours does nothing to control their behavior. His only purpose is to annoy the heck out of my kids (who happily write Santa a complaint letter). We introduced him last year in attmept to cover up a huge shipping disaster, so the premise has always been that our elf does not really want to be at our place and is very naughty.

  3. Our daughter said the elf was waaaay creepy and she doesn't want it any where near her. Plus, she said since all her friends have elves, she would rather her elf stay at the North Pole and make her more toys for Christmas.

  4. Wow what fun!!! We don't have the elf in the UK, but I know that my boys (even at 11 and 9) would love him. He would definitely be able to get into a lot of mischief in our house!!!


  5. "subversive parenting" You are kidding...right???

    We have an angle on top of our tree who opens her eyes and makes a note if my boys were good or bad and tells Santa. Who knew I was being "subversive"

    I think he is adorable and mischevious.

    Janet xox

  6. We don't have one, but I am seriously contemplating it :) I think I would have just as much fun with it as the kids. I do have some friends though, who have expressed to me the middle of the night panic attacks they wake up to because they "forgot" :) I LOVE what your elf has been up to and I hope if one does come to our house he/she is friends with Jingles!

  7. We have one named Sunny and we're having a lot of fun with him. I don't use it for behavior control, just fun.

  8. I made my own elf. My son called him hotsy. Everyone with children nearing to Christmas uses the reason for children to be good otherwise they won't get any christmas presents. The only difference is you are having fun with it!

  9. I so badly wanted to do the elf on the shelf...here is what happened at our house:


    I think it's great fun...if your kid goes along with it:)

  10. Willy is much more calm at our house....just watching with a smile :)

  11. I don't have kids yet, but after seeing so many fun ideas in the blog world I really want to do this when I do! :) My parent's always used the 'Santa is watching' bit when we were little, this is just taking it a little further and making it more fun!

  12. My kids are grown and I'd never heard of the Elf on the Shelf until now. I went to the web site to read about it. It seems to me that this elf thing is a great marketing gimmick to sell toy elves.

  13. Elf on the Shelf is all over the place now! I had never herd of it until this month. When we young children I will definitely do it...it seems like so much fun for them :)

  14. I always thought he looked really creepy and not so cute, so when I came across Christopher Pop-in-Kins a few years ago, I bought him instead (same concept!) I blog about him every Christmas and my son just loves him :)


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