Lifestyle, Mom vs Life Series

Does Elf Of the Shelf really work?

Parents there are two main “rules” that must be followed to uphold the tradition of the “Elf on the shelf” one it must be moved every night somewhere new for your kids to find and two it must never be touched.

Now, the idea behind the story is that you welcome your own Elf to your family, including giving it it’s very special Elf name. Your Elf watches over your children during the month of December leading up to Christmas. Watching for good behaviors and kind acts and reporting their “naughty or nice” behavior back to Santa. The kids are not to touch your Elf, for if they do he/she won’t have enough magic to fly back to Santa and report his findings.  Each night you strategically place your Elf in a new place in where he will watch over your children.


Since this company exploded over the years it’s expanded elf on the shelf to many other activities and traditions. Including a Reindeer tradition, a reindeer who gives Santa a bit of his magic to get his sleigh moving in time before Christmas. Bernard tradition a story of kindness and Birthday traditions how the Elf’s celebrate.

Now if you’ve decided to dive into the Christmas tradition you can pick up your The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition  on amazon for around $30. They come in both male and female as well as both dark and light skin tones. When you get your very own elf it comes with the most magical story of a boy elf who is welcomed into his new home, he is given a name by his new family and explains to them all about what it means to follow the rules that Santa has made.  You can expand and personalize your elf with different props and clothing including skirts, sweaters, aprons, costumes, pajama’s, and even superhero suits. All to make this gift even more personal for each family. We like to watch An Elf’s Story DVD each year together, it really wraps in the tradition. This story is a little bit different then the book. An Elf’s Story is the inspirational tale of Chippey, the enthusiastic young scout elf who is assigned by Santa to restore Taylor McTuttle’s belief in Christmas magic. When Taylor breaks the number one Elf on the Shelf rule and touches Chippey in a boyish act of defiance, the elf loses his Christmas magic. Through the power of love and forgiveness, both Taylor and Chippey learn that true belief cannot be taught.

You better watch out You better not cry Better not pout I’m telling you why Santa clause is coming to town.

So, you’re probably wondering… DOES THE ELF ON THE SHELF REALLY WORK?


Our families Elf on the Shelf’s name is Lucky Boots, he’s been in our family going on three years now and I can’t tell you how excited as a Mom I get each year I get to pull him out. Now, I do believe that if you work your Elf on the shelf in its original tradition this absolutely works. Here’s why!

This is a tradition for the whole family to get involved in. Parents get creative! You’ve probably seen social media flooded with crazy places and trouble the elf on the shelf gets into. This is fun way to get parents involved and share different ways your elf fits into your family. I can remember one year he was in taped to the wall by my kid’s toy soldier and another he was out fishing. The most exciting part is his welcome home each year when he brings his very special Hot Cocoa from the north pole filled with marshmallows and whip cream.

Now pace yourself, you will get burnt out quick if every night your elf has some elaborate spot he’ll be hiding or watching your children.


Studies have shown year after year what a stressful time of season the holidays can be, with stressful families comes stressed out kids. Creating the idea of how important it is to bring back the spirit of Christmas in a fun positive way is what makes this time of year so special. It’s bonus to create an environment where kids want to share and show acts of kindness.


Believing isn’t always seeing. Children have the most innocent ways of believing in things even when we can’t see them, it’s that what makes these traditions so fun. At night they wonder where he’ll appear and in the morning they wake us with excitement to see where Lucky Boots will be, waiting and watching. They write letter to him and talk with him like he’s a part of the family. Our Lucky Boots send letters encourage them in school, at home, with friends and family.


Ok, so I know your waiting for me to tell you it’s all just a big lie to get our children to be good and use Christmas magic to ploy our kids into just getting along. I’m not going to tell you it’s right or wrong but I will tell you from experience when I throw down “Lucky Boots is watching you” You bet they listen up real quick, and their attitudes change. If your a parent to allow your child to believe in Santa, why not his friend elves?


How to be prepared for your Elf on the shelf.

All the questions your kids will ask.


Q: If you child touches the elf here’s how to fix it.

A: Cinnamon! it’s magic medicine to heal any kind accident. I like to add a band-aid for fun.


Q: How does he get to the North Pole?

A: Christmas magic and believing he fly’s his way home.


Q: Mommy, why didn’t Lucky Boots move to a new place? Did he not go back to the North Pole?

A: Don’t stress this is very common in our house. You can tell your children many different things. Maybe he didn’t have anything to report, or he slept in and might leave after the head to school.

Q: Where does he go after Christmas?

A: Back to the North Pole to prepare for the next Christmas.


Q: Did you guys move the elf?

A: Elves are part of the Christmas magic, by believing in that magic is what brings them to life. (come on we’ve all see toy story, use this to your advantage)


Q: How does “Luck Boots” know how I act at school?

A: He/She has elf friends all over town during this time of year.


I hope you’ve all loved reading more about bring this family tradition to life. I am a believer but each family and experiences are different. Tell me your story, what are the craziest questions your kids have asked you about Santa or your elf? Comments below your questions and stories I look forward to hearing from you.


22 thoughts on “Does Elf Of the Shelf really work?

  1. We won’t be doing this as I personally think the elf looks creepy, haha! So I don’t want it in my house! I can see that it is fun for other families though.

  2. We don’t do elf on the shelf in our house but it sounds like such a cute tradition!! I love seeing the creative ways parents incorporate it…

  3. Thanks for your post letting us know about Elf on the Shelf. I like how you use it to bring peace and excitement during the holiday season that can be full of stress. I love creating fun family memories through the holiday season!

  4. My kids love our elf on the shelf. A friend of ours got it for us a couple years ago. We named him Elvis. He’s become so popular now that they have expanded into different products like outdoor decoration too! I was really surprised to see that! I like your list of answers to be prepared! =)

    1. Ohh I love his name! It is exciting to see how creative they’ve gotten over the years, each year it’s something new. Thanks for commenting, Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  5. I love all the little Christmas games. We do not do Elf on the shelf. Im from Denmark and the tradition there is to have a little house elf. So you put up a little elf door on the wall, some Christmas trees, a sleigh, some elf clothes and other little elf acc. He move in the whole month of December and leave you a gift every day and write a little note. Some times he is naughty and color the milk blue, hang toilet paper from the lamps or put nuts in your shoes. I love it, and the kids do to! Have great holiday <3

    1. That sounds like a fun tradition too! I like that your elf leaves little gifts and notes. I need to get more creative and do that more. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    1. That’s so funny because we have a hard time remembering ourselves. We decided that we’d set our expectation little bit lower and that our elf wouldn’t report his “everyday” findings. Really the best part is you can sort of make it whatever you want. Make it your tradition. Merry Christmas 🎄

  6. God bless you, mama! I just have never been able to get into moving the elf every night – it feels to me like one more “to do” that I could just as easily eliminate. (Then again, this is the second Christmastime in a row that I’m nursing a broken bone and less than mobile). I am awed by you and every parent who is able to do this tradition with your kids!

    1. Thank you! It is a bit of a commitment, but I try to not set the expectations that he moves every night. He goes every few days. That way it’s more exciting if he moves/visits Santa. Sorry to hear about broken bones, that’s no fun this time of year, praying for quick recovery. Merry Christmas.

  7. I will be honest, I didn’t hear about Elf On the Shelf until a few years ago. I’m not sure when this became a phenomenon, however, as a commenter posted, I would forget to remove the elf and place it in another location. Thanks for sharing and enlightening me on Elf on the Shelf. Charlene –

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