Skip to Content

My New Best Friend

The holidays are filled with traditions, and I’m pretty sure none of them are as rewarding as this one. Meet Elf on the Shelf, the most magnificent behavior bribery tool for the holidays EVER. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s this little elf (based on the tradition Carol Aebersold began with her family in the 1970s), who comes with a cleverly rhymed children’s book explaining how Santa knows who’s naughty and nice.

The book explains that the elves keep an eye on the children, and then each night they magically report to Santa. And if you think the threat of a little elf (who, by the way, the children can’t touch, name themselves, and he mischievously relocates himself every morning) doesn’t affect your children’s behavior, oh, you are soooooo wrong. It’s brilliant.

Elf on the Shelf

Since first being introduced to this little elf last year (ours is named Alvin), I’ve learned that there’s an entire community surrounding him—parents, who go above and beyond the boring moving of shelf to shelf and actually create adorable scenes for the Elf. Thankfully, I’m not the only parent dying to bring him out the day after Halloween, too. (Gotta get the full benefits of this little guy!)

Elf on the Shelfimage from

And let me tell you, it’s hard to remember to move that little guy every morning, especially when “Alvin” had two glasses of wine last night. Apparently, this year I need to up my elf game. Here’s some of my favorites…

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

1. A creative elf by beatrice.killam (he drew mustaches & glasses on the family photo)! 2. An elf making smores by Jen McKen 3. An elf snow angel by rubyandmyrtle 4. An elf with his new girlfriend by Jen McKen (my 3 year old daughter would LOVE this)


And, if you are still looking for more ideas, check out my “Elf on the Shelf Ideas” board on Pinterest. Now, if they would only come up with an elf for every other month of the year, I’d be one happy mommy.

frisbee our elf on the shelf: update | southwestern, pa photographer | holiday | Jen McKen Photography

Tuesday 6th of December 2011

[...] [...]


Saturday 12th of November 2011

This is the first time I have heard of Elf on the Shelf, and I think it's a brilliant idea! I absolutely believe this kind of tactic will work. My kid still believes she needs to be good to get her gift from Santa, but sometimes she just forgets -- and we forget to mention Santa each and every time. This one should serve as a constant physical reminder to her.


Wednesday 9th of November 2011

This is genius. I must aquire this little last year!


Wednesday 9th of November 2011

Our Elf on the Shlef "Norman" is Mommy's best friend!! He comes out on Thanksgiving and I am so sad to see him go after Christmas. My little ones adore him!!! Last year we had a horendous day at the Mall. The kids were running around and hiding from me and causing me to go crazy so after they were buckled in the car I went outside and called their Dad to let Norman know all about the trip. Well when they got home Norman had packed up all of their presents and left. Talk about devastated!!! He left them a note and told them that if they were very good for the next week he would return. So every morning they ran around the house looking for him until one day he came back. They woke up and seen him from across the room and ran right past their presents to see him!! They were so excited he was back I had to remind them that he brought back all of their presents too!!

jen mcken

Wednesday 9th of November 2011

haha! thanks for linking back...and I'm glad you enjoyed!! :-)