Christmas is coming and parents will soon be dusting off their Elf on the Shelf to keep the children behaving well during the mad month of December.

Santa’s little helper will be keeping an eye on who’s naughty and nice from different vantage points around homes and then reporting back to the big man.

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Yup.....these guys are back. #scouttheelf #elfietheelf #elfonashelf #elfonashelf2017 #elf #christmas #yule #christmas2017

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If you’re new to it or looking for a refresher, here’s what you need to know about the Christmas doll that’s set to be ubiquitous as mince pies and tinsel again this year.

What is Elf on the Shelf?

It started in America in 2005 as a children’s picture book written in rhyme by mother and daughter Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell. It tells the story of how elves visit children in the run-up to Christmas before returning to the North Pole.

The book is accompanied by a scout elf soft toy which can be used to recreate the story. Parents place the puppet in different locations each day during December and kids go looking for it when they wake up every morning.

It’s become hugely popular, with people going on social media to share pictures and ideas for the unusual places they’ve found to put the elf doll.

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And so it begins!!! #ElfOnAShelf

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As with most things that take off in the States, the viral phenomenon has spread to this country in the last few years. Much like the annual John Lewis ad, it’s quickly become one of those things people weirdly refer to as a ‘tradition’ even though it’s only been around for a short time.

Elf of the Shelf is seen as cute by many but isn’t without its critics who say it’s creepy to have a doll spying on children or keeping watch over them and then supposedly reporting back to Father Christmas.

What are the Elf on the Shelf rules?

There is a set of rules attached to it which participating families are meant to adhere to:

Do not touch the elf - When you do they lose their Christmas magic and are unable to fly to the North Pole to complete their duties.

Scout elves can’t speak - After all, a scout elf’s job is to watch and listen. Therefore, no voice should be attached to the elves.

Scout Elves are not mischievous or naughty – They like to have fun, but they are never naughty, they are always nice. You will never see an elf acting inappropriately.

Scout elves don’t like pins, needles or anything sharp – A North Pole scout elf never has anything pinned, stapled or fastened to it/ Think how much that would hurt!

Scout elves never land next to light or flames - Just like you, they like to keep a safe distance from fire. If you notice an elf close to a flame, just let him know so he can move to a safer spot.

Scout elves move themselves by flying each night - Children know that scout elves use their magic to fly wherever they need to go. Refrain from saying things like, “someone move the elf”. If someone does move it then the elf would lose their powers.

Families don’t buy scout elves, they adopt them - Santa approved official adoption centres across the world as a way for families to welcome scout elves into their homes. Don’t refer to the scout elf as being ‘bought’ or ‘purchased’, they are adopted by their loving families.

Where can I get Elf on the Shelf from?

https://www.elfontheshelf.co.uk/

Have you adopted a Scout Elf? Send us your photos!