Elf: The New Tradition

A few years ago, I decided to jump on the Elf on the Shelf  (in our house Jake) bandwagon, and I have never looked back. The original concept of the Elf watching the kids and reporting to Santa was definitely a draw, but this is a common misconception because the scout elf in the book also encourages good deeds. Regardless of telling good or bad deeds, I was sold on being an Elf family once I saw my kids’ reactions to their very own Elf.  I admit that there have been times when I cursed the whole thing as I was walking to bed and remembered that Jake forgot to move that day, but overall I have been pleased with my decision to be pro-Elf.

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I’ll be honest I didn’t expect to enjoy being an Elf family as much as I do.

Jake serves many purposes in my house.

Of course I use him to remind my kids to behave and do good deeds, but that is such a minimal part of Jake’s existence.

The first happy surprise that occurred once Jake entered our family was the dialogue that played out between my kids and myself. “Where will Jake be next?” “Remember when he …. last year.”  “Jake was so silly when he…!”  It’s all about creating memories! For example, I will always remember that Avery named him “Jake” because she had just finished watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

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But the true reason I am pro-Elf is that Jake brings me to my children’s level during Christmas. And as we know, Christmas can get stressful, and the JOY can disappear quickly. For those few minutes at night when I am setting up the scene and the few minutes in the morning when my  kids are searching for Jake, Christmas gets back to being fun and childish. And I literally mean for a few minutes. I know everyone has those friends who go WAY overboard with the Elf, but I stick to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) mentality. Jake doesn’t bring big gifts or mess up my house; he occasionally writes a note (good and bad) and just has fun. He brings JOY to our house. I look forward to my kids waking up and quickly getting dressed before going on their daily Jake scavenger hunt. The squeals and laughter that follow are stored in my memory and used to get me through those stressful Christmas moments. I am already getting excited about this year’s adventures.


I understand many people’s concerns with the Elf and Santa taking away from the true meaning of Christmas…Jesus. I just remember that I am controlling my Elf. I have used Jake to teach the reason for the season, and this is just another great way to get your kids excited about learning about Jesus. If you ask my kids, Jesus, Santa, and Jake are buds.

For an awesome Elf on The Shelf printable calendar, check out this post from our Rio Grande Valley sister site.

Is your family Pro-Elf? Send us your Elf pictures! We would love to get some ideas for next year or maybe tomorrow! And stay tuned for tomorrow when Krista tells us why there won’t be an Elf in her house this year.





Allison is a New Orleans native and moved to Baton Rouge in 2005. She and her high school sweetheart married in 2006 and have two amazing kids, Avery and Bennett. She works full-time as a pediatric Speech Pathologist and feels that these kids are her second family. She believes that parenting truly is the hardest job in world. She is learning everyday how to balance marriage, kids, work and personal time. She enjoys tailgating for LSU events, soaking in New Orleans culture and being outside with friends and family as much as possible. Allison has a passion for long and usually loud talks with friends over good food and wine, loves photography and escaping into a great book.


  1. We also do the elf, “Mr. Cherry.” I agree, it is special to watch their excitement in looking for him. It is so cute too when them talk to him, leave him cards. Very little of what they talk about has to do with presents, they just chat him up. The twinkle in their eye always makes me smile! I feel that our house is in the minority in that our elf is not in funny situations or messy. My oldest is almost ten and when our elf first visited, I didn’t know about the mischievous elves. From the book I just thought the elf watches over from different places in the house. I’m sometimes tempted to copy some of the adorable situations I see, but they are quite happy with our elf, it might be odd if he started that now, and it would be a lot for me personally to keep up with. I love seeing them all, and who knows maybe one day Mr. Cherry will do something crazy!

  2. We have enough to do for the holidays much less to be cute like Pinterest and move some creepy elf. LOL. I enjoy the holidays and love the lights, decorating, etc. But this is just one thing that I just don’t get. I know the kids love it, so if you do it, I understand. Personally, I just think it is dumb. People need to focus more on Jesus and less on a dumb elf. Hey, ya asked my opinion.


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