I love the Elf on the Shelf. I absolutely adore this tradition. Christmas 2014 marks our SIXTH year doing it. It has become more and more fun each year as my children have aged. Their excitement this year is incredible. If you need elf ideas, you've come to the right place!
When the Buddy was around 12 months old, we attended a church league basketball game of my husband's. A family for the other team sat near us and was enchanted with one year old Buddy. They told us all about a tradition they'd had in their family that totally trumped Santa, and succeeded in taking the emphasis off Santa and his gifts. They were elves that made fun mischief each night and found themselves in different places daily. This family told us how much fun their kids had with it and how excited they were each morning to look for their elf. I made a mental note to investigate.
I remembered later in December 2008 and googled. What this family had told me about in 2007 wasn't the currently marketed Elf on the Shelf, but that is what I came across first in my search. I can't remember now what that other family's elf tradition was called. But the EotS website said that a few stores in my small town actually carried them, and I was on the trek to find them! Unfortunately, all the local stores were sold out that December. So I ordered online and saved the special box for a year until December 2009. We never looked back.
I love that a mom did this with her children as they grew up. I love that those grown up children thought so much of this tradition that it could be brought to other homes and set out to make that possible. It's a wonderful American Dream success story. And now my own children have benefitted and will likely continue on with the tradition when they have children of their own.
I don't understand all the elf hate - though I shouldn't be surprised. Our society seems to be motivated by judging others and verbalizing their attitudes. Why should the elf be any different than to fall prey to society's judgment at large? Why should people be upset at the success of the original family? I wish we could just encourage each other, however we see fit to celebrate in our individual families.
This year I shared Jolly's adventures in a six part series on Peanut Blossom. Jolly has a little different look than the currently available elf, and I really like his face better than what you can buy now. I hope you'll take a visit and see what Jolly got into last December. Here's a preview of my favorite images of 2013.