Do I want an Elf in My House?

Do I want an Elf in My House?

Elves are appearing in homes all over America. Your child wakes up, rubs their tired eyes and is greeted by a mischievous elf who toilet papered their bedroom! Hilarious, right? Last holiday season I toiled with the idea of Scout the Elf for my then 2-year-old, but decided he wasn’t old enough. This year, he’s all about Santa, more affectionately known as Mr. Ho, Ho, Ho! My kiddo has become quite the prankster himself, and I know Scout will bring holiday cheer to my child. Heck, it may even bring some cheer to his Scrooge of a father. But, don’t we have enough fa-la-la? I’m already packing the advent calendar, wrapping 25 Christmas themed books for holiday bedtime stories, planning a Gingerbread House party, and buying tickets to Fantasy in Lights. This is on top of decorating the inside and outside of my house plus all the other holiday cheer responsibilities. But have you seen the cute rain jackets for Elf? I mean, I’ve already decided to name him Tinsel. So let me break it down for you:


  • This little doll is the ultimate tattle-tale, watching your child’s every move and reporting back to the man in red. It does help to keep your kiddo on their best behavior.
  • It gives your child something to look forward to each morning. I’ve spoken to kids who couldn’t stop raving about Elfie’s antics.
  • It’s a teaching opportunity to solve clues and answer riddles to find the Elf.


  • The Elf is comparable to Chucky or Annabelle. A doll that comes to life at night and gets into trouble? Yikes.
  • It’s another task after your kids go to sleep. If you forget to move the Elf, your kids start to worry he’s sick or angry.
  • When your child doesn’t listen, you must remember to use the Elf as a bargaining chip.
  • In all seriousness, you’re lying to your child, encouraging credulity and using a doll to police your child.

If you’re not convinced the Elf is for you, there are some alternatives that may fit your parenting style or religious affiliations a little better:

Mensch on a Bench: Mensch is very similar to Elf, but is made with Jewish children in mind.  Every day at Hanukkah give your Mensch a Shamash candle to hold. If your child behaves, Mensch will let go of the candle easily and the child will receive gifts if not, the child does not receive gifts.

Giving Manger: The Giving Manger helps families shift the focus of Christmas back to giving. A piece of straw is placed in the manger for each kind deed or act of service performed.  On Christmas Day, the baby Jesus is placed in the manger filled with service and love.

Santa’s Lazy Gnome: No hide & seek or silly games to keep this Santa helper around. Santa sent The Lazy Gnome to help with the Naughty/Nice list. These mysterious friends report to Santa if you’re naughty or nice, even when you’re out of sight. Comes with a book & cute gnome!

Hug & Hide Olaf: This adorable box set comes with a brand-new Olaf hide-and-seek story and a squeezable plush for children to hug! Play along with Olaf as he tries first to hug you, and then to play a game with you.


Some of our favorite Elf on the Shelf Accessories: