Last year was the first time I'd ever seen anyone taking part in the Elf On The Shelf tradition and I was hooked straight away, it looked like so much fun for the parents and the children that I couldn't wait until Christmas this year so that we could join in.
If you haven't heard about The Elf On The Shelf then I'll quickly sum it up for you, basically you have an elf turn up at the beginning of December sent by Santa to watch over your children and report back to him every night to determine if they should go on the naughty or nice list. As well as that every night while the kids are asleep your elf gets up to a little mischief like making snow angels in flour or wrapping the Christmas tree in toilet paper and every morning the kids are excited to wake up and find out what he's been up to.
My first reaction to this whole idea was "wow that looks like so much fun, I know my kids are going to love it" and I couldn't wait to get started but I have noticed quite a lot of really negative comments about the tradition and to be honest I really don't see why. I completely understand that it may not be everyone's cup of tea and it's totally fine if someone says they just don't like the idea and don't want to take part but some of the reasons people have given for thinking it's wrong just don't make sense to me.
I've read people say they think it's too expensive, my answer to that is only spend as much as you want to, you can use any elf you like to take part, it doesn't need to be this particular elf and actually it doesn't have to be an elf at all if you don't want it to be and as far as spending money on the elf's antics again there is no set budget, you decide what your elf get's up to and therefore you decide what it costs.
Some people think the elf looks creepy, again you don't have to use this particular elf, there are lots of different elves out there so just use one that you think is cute.
People have said that because the elf does some things that are quite mischievous that it's setting a bad example to the children and telling them that it's ok to be naughty. There is no set rule that says that your elf has to be naughty, if you use your imagination then there are lots of activities that your elf can get up to at night that don't involve being naughty at all.
Some people think it's too competitive, my attitude is it's only competitive if you make it that way, to me it's a bit of fun that makes my children extremely happy and excited to get up every morning which is really what it's all about.
So with all of that said, here's what our elf Buddy has been getting up to in his first week in our house.
Buddy arrived on day 1 with balloons for the kids, a mini Christmas tree each and mini baubles to decorate them with, the kids were thrilled when they saw Buddy and couldn't wait to get started decorating their trees, when they had finished we all sat down and read the Elf On The Shelf book so that they understood why Buddy was here and what would be happening over the next few weeks and they were so excited, it was lovely to see them so happy.
Day 2 saw Buddy having fun riding around the living room in a shoe train with some of the other toys, Riley loved this idea and thought it was really funny.
Day 3 was poker night with reindeer, Sponge Bob, snowman and dolly and it looks like Buddy was winning.
Day 4 the kids woke up to Buddy leading an army of dinosaurs up volcano mountain, this was Riley's favourite day so far, he nearly exploded with excitement when he saw this and made me promise to leave everything where it was until he got home from school so that he could play with it when he got home.
Day 5 and Buddy turned our living room door into a snowman.
Day 6 we woke up to Buddy rolling down the stair in a toilet roll.
And Day 7 Buddy spent the night camping and toasting marshmallows with his friends which was also a big hit with Riley who played happily with this set up for hours.
Our first week with Buddy has been brilliant, I love the excitement especially from Riley every morning when he wakes up and the look on his face when we comes downstairs is priceless. I know this is a tradition that is here to stay in our house and I can't wait to see what fun week 2 brings.
What are your thoughts on The Elf On The Shelf? Do you love it, hate it, or just not really care? Leave me a comment and let me know.