The Elf on the Shelf

He joined our family the day after Thanksgiving in 2009.  I was 8 months pregnant with Little Man and Curly Q was 3.  We were living in limbo, so to speak.  Our move to Maine was forthcoming, but first we had to celebrate Christmas, have a baby a couple of months after that, and then get well enough for the move.  Things were a bit crazy and Holiday Traditions were more or less thrown out the window.

And then entered Cole, our Elf on the Shelf®.

If you haven’t heard of the Elf on the Shelf®, here is a little background information from the official website:

The Elf on the Shelf® is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day’s adventures. Each morning, the elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their elf each morning.
There are two simple rules that every child knows when it comes to having an elf. First, an elf cannot be touched; Christmas magic is very fragile and if an elf is touched it may lose that magic and be unable to fly back to the North Pole. Second, an elf cannot speak or move while anyone in the house is awake! An elf’s job is to watch and listen.
Elves typically appear in their families’ homes at the beginning of the holiday season (around Thanksgiving in the U.S.). On Christmas Eve, the elves return to the North Pole with Santa Claus–until next year!

Cole quickly became a huge hit with Curly Q.  She can’t wait to wake up each morning to see where he might be.  Our first year with Cole was exciting but he was pretty tame.  He pretty much moved around our apartment and when we traveled to Georgia for the holiday, Cole followed us there!  

Each year, Cole has gotten to be a bit sillier and more adventurous.  Especially now that Little Man is old enough to enjoy the fun, too.  We don’t really push the idea that Cole is Santa’s official tattle tale.  The kids just have fun looking for him and can’t wait to see what he has done next.  Sometimes he comes up with ideas of things we could do: drink hot cocoa, watch a movie, make cookies, read a book, etc.

I’m pretty “social” with Cole.  His antics show up each year on my personal Facebook page and Instagram account and this year you can see him on the Facebook group page.  I know that I rely heavily on seeing what my friends are doing with their elves and it is almost like a huge idea swap to garner ideas for the next day on Facebook and that is the reason that I post what he does.  Do a quick search on Google or Pinterest and you will find hundreds of ideas and will be amazed at just how creative people can be with their elves.  The hardest thing about having an elf in the house is not coming up with creative ideas. It is remembering to do it each day…

The Elf isn’t for everyone.  I’ve heard from some friends that they are creeped out by the whole thing.  Even some kids think that they are a tad weird looking.  The Elf just works for our kids.  It is something fun that they look forward to each day and bridges the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas and we don’t have to constantly answer the question, “how many more days until Christmas???”

So if you’re curious about what Cole has been up to this year… Here are a few of my favorites:

Cole the Elf

Cole replaced the kids stockings with their underwear…


Cole the Elf

Cole rolled our living room with toilet paper.

Cole the Elf

Cole was a tad thirsty and grabbed a drink in the refrigerator. It took awhile for the kids to find him…

Cole the Elf

Cole built a zip-line between light fixtures in the kitchen. He even left a string hanging down so that the kids could take him for a ride back and forth.

Cole the Elf

Cole really wants to be a Nutcracker. He would be a great one if his legs weren’t made of felt…

 Cole the Elf

Cole caught a little cold and Barbie took good care of him. Then she was sick for a few days.

Cole the Elf

Cole and Barbie have quite the relationship going each year. Looks like he is trying to impress her here with some sit-ups.

Cole the Elf

Cole using the bathroom. Wonder if the kids will give him any privacy?


I usually post a new Cole picture each day on the Graceful Mess Facebook group page.  If you haven’t “liked” me yet, why don’t you come on over and join the fun?  You never know what Cole will be up to next…


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