When Does The Elf On The Shelf Come?“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.

See Also:

Elf On The Shelf Rules

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.

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  1. Mad girl November 16, 2014 at 8:02 am

    The parents do not move the elves the elf moves on its own.

  2. george December 5, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    I need a elf on shelf

  3. shamarsmith December 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Santa can I have a good elf

  4. Lol gamer December 11, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    So the elf comes back?

  5. jahazzi December 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    i need a elf on the shelf so bad that i cant take it

  6. ANGEL December 16, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    i want a elf tommorow

  7. samantha November 30, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    dear Buddyscushepaws,Icant wait for you to come to are house tomorrow.My mom said that she dosein want you to come tomorrow.But you are going to right. I think that you are.please right back.

    FROM;Samantha Viscito

  8. Lily December 4, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Dear elves could one of you come to mine tommorow love lily pleaseeee thank you xx

  9. sam November 22, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    dear elves
    this Christmas can u please send a elf pet with u so u have a friend? send a dog for Jingles and a deer for Sparkles?

    thanks love Sam and Clare
    merry Christmas!

  10. cori schoen December 13, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    hi i want a elf on the shelf tonight

  11. Sophie November 12, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Dear elf I wish you can come Tomorrow morning and be there at 3 or s something

  12. romay November 30, 2019 at 8:15 am

    hi Santa can I have an elf on the shelf please tomorrow?

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