Elf on the Shelf – Is he watching you?

I have heard about “The Elf on the Shelf” tradition for the past few years, however this is the first year we have had an elf.  Our elf showed up on December 8, 2009.  Hannah was thrilled to see the elf, but was worried that he would eat all of the cookies that I have been baking.  She had heard some stories about these elves from her friends at school and from Aunt Kelly & cousin Noah (who has an elf named “Quirky”).  Hannah has named our elf “Buddy” (wonder where she got that from?), but today I was told that he also goes by an alias – “Peppermint”.  When Hannah went to bed last night, Buddy was happily hanging out in the kitchen getting his shoe fixed by Aaron.  When we woke up this AM, Buddy was hanging out somewhere new:


He stationed himself where he could keep an eye on Hannah & Jon and then report back to Santa. 


If you haven’t heard the story behind “The Elf on the Shelf” here is some info for you to read:

From My Family to Yours,

This charming tradition began for our family when my children were very small. Like most children through the ages, they wanted to know how Santa really knew who was naughty or who was nice. Their answer, as in my own childhood, came in the form of a small pixie-elf.

The first time the elf arrived at our home, my children officially adopted him by giving him a name. Each year he would arrive around the holidays, usually at Thanksgiving. His sole responsibility was to watch the children’s behavior and report it to Santa each night. The next morning after the children awoke, they discovered the elf had returned from the North Pole and was now resting in a new and different place. My children would race each other out of bed to try and be the first to spy him in his new position.

Over the years the tradition was perfected and rules were introduced. For example, to better preserve his mystique the children were not allowed to touch him but talking to him was a different matter all together. My children shared many secrets with the elf, and while he was under strict orders not to talk to them, the elf was under no such orders where grown-ups were concerned.

Unwittingly, the tradition provided an added benefit: it helped the children to better control themselves. All it took was a gentle reminder that the “elf is watching,” for errant behavior to be modified.

I never dreamed this simple tradition would lead to so many treasured Christmas memories for our entire family. It is my earnest desire that The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition will bring as much joy to your family as it has to mine.

Enjoy this tradition, and MAKE IT YOUR OWN!

With my best wishes for you and those you love,



This letter was written by the author of “The Elf on the Shelf”. 

We can’t wait to see where Buddy (aka Peppermint) shows up tomorrow!



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8 Responses

  1. What an enchanting tradition. =) Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks for reading! 🙂 Hannah is so stinkin’ excited about this elf! She came downstairs today & just giggled when she saw him. I will post a picture later of where he showed up today.

  2. Love the Elf on the Shelf! Can’t wait to do it with my kids!

  3. My kids call our Elf on the Shelf “Zippy” because he zips off to the North Pole to report to Santa. It’s a great way to get them out of bed in these dark mornings. They wake up every morning wondering where he’ll be next. Fun.

  4. I love this tradition! The Elves often visited our house during the days leading up to Christmas to leave little treasures in my son’s advent calendar but we never actually had an Elf of the Shelf. Either way it’s a fun tradition because let’s face it — Elves are fun! (Buddy is a great name — Peppermint, too.)

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