“Elf on the Shelf” Protocol


The Elf on the Shelf

What is it? What do you do with it? Is it good for children? Is it fair to children? The list goes on.


Beginning at the beginning, “What is it?”

Description as given right from the horse’s mouth on http://www.elfontheshelf.com/content/about-us:

The Elf on the Shelf® is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day’s adventures. Each morning, the elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their elf each morning.

There are two simple rules that every child knows when it comes to having an elf. First, an elf cannot be touched; Christmas magic is very fragile and if an elf is touched it may lose that magic and be unable to fly back to the North Pole. Second, an elf cannot speak or move while anyone in the house is awake! An elf’s job is to watch and listen.

Elves typically appear in their families’ homes at the beginning of the holiday season (around Thanksgiving in the U.S.). On Christmas Eve, the elves return to the North Pole with Santa Claus–until next year!

Continuing on…

Now that you have the basics, please make your own informed decision. We have talked before about scaring kids inappropriately. Remember our tip about the uncle who made all kinds of “teasing” threats to a five-year-old?


Each parent has his or her own comfort level with the imaginary. I recommend, as you choose yours, to be especially sensitive to how your child understands and interprets your adult playfulness.


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