“When does the Elf on the Shelf come?”, Zacharie asked after dinner last night.
Ah, Christmas creep. Television commercials, you have done well. “Ya! When does George, The Elf On The Shelf come to our house?” Charlie chimed in.
“When the Christmas tree goes up,” I replied. “And that’s not for another few weeks.” The boys slumped back in their chairs and leaned back to flipping through the latest toy flyer urging each other on to pick different toys for the impending arrival Christmas.
The Elf On The Shelf is a wonderful tradition and while it comes with a book and a formal back story, it’s really just a vehicle for you to make up your own magical story.
I made this video to convince the boys that George got magical powers the moment they named him.
It worked wonders to move the mythology down the path to believability. George has visited us each Christmas since 2011. That first year, he arrived in mid-November when he was adopted from the store. That was too soon for the George to magically appear.
When deciding when is a good time for the Elf On The Shelf to come to your house, there is one thing to keep in mind: A full six weeks of moving ‘that damn elf’ around the home is just too exhausting.
That’s likely where the naughty Elf on the Shelf Pinterest memes were born. Bored parents, tired of cleverly hiding the Elf around the house decided to go full misbehaving by staging their Elf on the Shelf in ridiculous situations.
It’s all part of the DIY nature of the Elf on the Shelf.
Some people like the mischief, we like the “spy” part of the story, so put our Elf in places where he can watch and listen and learn about the boys. So that’s why we wait until the tree is up.
“The star on the tree is a beacon to tell Santa we are ready for our Elf on the Shelf to come to our house,” we explain to the boys.
And it works. Our tree goes up sometime between Black Friday and December 1. That’s a full three and a half weeks of seasonal spirit in the house, and about the limit of cool, clever and reasonable hiding places we can think of stash our Elf.
When does the Elf on the Shelf come to your house? There’s no set in stone rule, I’d love to hear how you handle this fun addition to the Christmas season.