Parents with small children will no doubt already be familiar with the phenomenon that is Elf on the Shelf. According to a brand research study conducted by MMR, the beloved toy ranks third for children’s top five holiday traditions behind Advent calendars and leaving milk and cookies for Santa.
And, love it or hate it, with over 12 million families now in possession of an Elf set worldwide, it seems the tradition is here to stay.
So whether you’ve never heard of it, or your children are only now the right age to be enthralled by this little house invader, read on for your ultimate guide to all things Elf on the Shelf.
How to play Elf on the Shelf
The basic premise, dreamed up by former teacher Chanda A Bell from Georgia, is that the Elf in question is there to watch your child’s behaviour in the run up to Christmas. Each night during Advent it runs home to the North Pole to report back to Father Christmas, but is back in the morning when the little ones wake up, ready to start gathering information again. It’s basically a spy in elf’s clothing.
The parents’ job is to find a new place to perch the elf each night after the children have gone to bed. Mums and dads come up with ingenious ways to stage it. Expect a last-minute midnight dash downstairs if you’ve forgotten to move the thing. Because woe betide the parent that punctures their child’s belief in the magical world of elves, snowy workshops and Father Christmas.
While it may seem like an added hassle at an already busy time of year, there’s a lot to be said for introducing it into your pre-Christmas schedule.
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