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Elf on the Shelf Guide and The 2014 Elf Planner

Elf on the Shelf Guide and The 2014 Elf Planner


A few years ago we introduced ‘Elf on the Shelf’ to my kids, at the time they were 6, 8 and 8.  Knowing now how much fun our elf is I really wish I had started this super fun tradition when they were much younger.  Many people have not heard about the Elf on the Shelf, so I thought I wanted to share this guide with you.  If you don’t have one you will need to order it soon so you have it in time for 1st December and there were many questions.  Here is my guide to ‘Elf on the Shelf’

The Organised Housewife Guide To Elf On The Shelf 600

What is Elf on the Shelf?

Elf on the Shelf is an elf sent by Santa to spend a few weeks with the family.  Elf returns to the North Pole each night to visit Santa and report on the kids behaviour, telling him who has been naughty and/or nice.  When the elf returns he is doing something new and mischievous.  The kids have so much fun trying to find where he is hiding each day.  Elf does not speak, only listens and he cannot be touched otherwise his magic will disappear.

What I love about our Elf 

I love the fun and excitement our Elf brings each morning and the magic of the kids knowing that he visits and talks to santa about their behaviour.  It’s a great way to get kids to improve their behaviour and attitude if they are playing up, Elf can acknowledge that he notices they are being ‘naughty’, ‘helpful’ or ‘caring’.

Where to purchase an Elf on the Shelf

Our elf is different to the ‘traditional’ elf on the shelf, it was given to us a few years ago by a friend.  The traditional Elf on the Shelf can be purchased from The Book Depository, they are very reasonably priced (and cheaper) compared to the very few places that stock it here in Australia.  Shipping is FREE.CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

Please note I am an affiliate of The Book Depository, I will receive a small commission when you purchase from this website, so thank you, I am very grateful. 

Where to buy Elf on the Shelf
click here elf on the shelf FREE POST 2

What are elf antics? 

Each night when the elf returns from the ‘North Pole’ he is hiding in a different place in the home and sometimes is up to mischief.  Possibly spilling coconut all over the table and creating snow angels. Or lego men have tied elf up with dental floss.  It’s whatever you want them to be.  There are nights that we just have our Elf sitting on a tabletop next to a christmas ornament or sitting in the fridge, very basic, but the kids still have a lot of fun trying to find him.  I have created ‘The Elf Planner’ which includes one month of fun elf antics, see more details below.

Elf Antic Snow Angel 600


The Elf Planner

A few years ago I had plenty of requests to help you create a plan of antics for your Elf so I created The Elf Planner.

{The Organised Housewife} The Elf Planner Pages to help with Elf on the Shelf 1

Elf on the Shelf Planner in Shop

The planner includes the following:


November and December blank calendars to plan your antics.  Plus a December calendar filled with suggested antic ideas, all ready for you to plan

Elf on the Shelf Calendar

Antic Ideas

Included is some suggested antic ideas with pictures and a list to write down fun ideas as you think of them

Letters about Elf from Santa and a Letter from Elf – Editable, type in your child’s name

I’ve included 3 different letters, one from Santa explaining to the kids about your new Elf, another from Santa welcoming the return of your elf (this is if you have had an elf visit last year) and a letter from Elf to be given to the kids on Christmas Eve.  Each of these letters are editable, you can add in your kids and elf names.

Writing pages for kids

Get the kids to keep a record of what Elf has been up to each day, they can draw a picture with a few words, or write a longer story.

Official Naughty and Nice Acknowledgements

Use the editable (add in your childs name, behaviour and elfs name)  ‘official warning’ to acknowledge that Santa has heard about some bad behaviour.  Use the ‘official letter’ to make it known Santa is happy with their good behaviour.

Elf notes

Included is over 30 little notes that can be left next to Elf each night.  Notes vary from jokes, noticing behaviour with siblings, elf notices a room needs tidying, praise for helping mummy, Santa notices you are being very nice, elf noticed you cleaned your teeth really well and many more.  I have included an editable note that you can personalise unlimited times with your own message.

Elf Report

Use this special little elf to your full advantage and try and get the kids to keep their room tidy and improve some behaviours.  Elf will tick off the chart each night acknowledging which task was completed that day and will report back to Santa.

Elf on the Shelf Planner in Shop


More Elf on the Shelf Questions Answered

How did you come up with the name?

Our Elf’s name is Elfred, the kids came up with it.  I have included in the ‘Elf Planner’ a list of boys and girls suggested elf names.  My favourite girls name Candy.

What age group did you find your kids understood the concept of the elf?

We started our elf tradition when my youngest was 6, however we had friends with young kids that visited during this time and they were fascinated by the elf.  I can only imagine that children as young as 2 will wake with excitement each morning to wonder what their elf is up to.  In the later years you use the elf to help improve and acknowledge good and bad behaviour.

Did you strictly follow the no touching and leave him/her exactly where he was left for the whole day until his next lot of antics?

Yes we don’t allow the kids to touch, this is the keep the magic of the elf being real alive for as long as we can. The Elf stays still for the full day.

I’m wondering how did you introduce the elf to the household?

I created a letter from Santa.  Santa introduces the elf and explains that Elf reports back to him every night letting him know if the kids have been naughty or nice.  I have included this letter in the ‘Elf on the Shelf Planner’ it’s editable so you can type in your kids names.

Do they just turn up one day?

Our elf arrives on the 1st December and leaves on the night of Christmas Eve.  I have included in the ‘Elf on the Shelf Planner’ a letter from Elf, which is editable to add in your kids and elf’s name.  It says how much fun he had the past few weeks, apologises for the mess and mentions how proud he is of the kids.

Just wondering how to explain to my 6 year old why we suddenly have an elf this year, when we didn’t last year.

We started it when the twins were 8 and youngest was 6 and they didn’t ask any questions.  My hubby and I harped on about how special we are that Santa has chosen us to look after his Elf because we know other families that don’t have a special elf.

1702 Xmas Binder Graphic_Insitu

Why do you love your ‘Elf on the Shelf’?


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  • We got an Elf last year and the kids ADORED it – I can’t wait to do some funny stuff again with him this year! xReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I love the kids faces in the morning seeing what he has gotten up to and even more fun when they can’t find him and search everywhere (he’s in the fridge or hiding in a cupboard, somewhere not obvious)ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten

    I have purchased an elf for my kids this year and have started chatting to them about a special little elf that santa sends. Can’t wait to put him into action!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh he is so cute, my kids love him too! I love Christmas and look forward to having the Elf out.ReplyCancel

  • Joanne Baker

    Last year was our first elf year. The fun I had hiding the elf each night and the looks on the kids faces the next morning when they spotted where she was were priceless!! It adds to the Christmas spirit!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      It certainly does Joanne! Just makes it that extra bit special.:)ReplyCancel

  • Helen W

    We’ve had our Elf for a couple of years now. Mr 5 is already asking if he’ll be back this year. Last year our elf even showed up in our hotel room in China! As we had an overnight stay on our way to the UK. Then lo and behold he showed up in Nan’s stocking, which was hung on the mantelpiece! Our Elf is much loved, but very naughty! He ate most of the gingerbread we made last year. And we found him surrounded by chocolate Santa wrappers!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      LOL ooh a naughty little Elf!! Love that your Elf likes to travel.:)ReplyCancel

  • Michele

    We love our elf. His name was a combined effort “Benteeny” (“Ben Elf” from Mr 5 who was “teeny-tiny” from Mr 3). There was some discussion last month about when he would come back, and he’s being very much anticipated. Mr now-4 spotted the photos on here and got excited about him revisiting… I hope I covered by saying I was looking at old photos.
    I love helping the children discover his new hiding place. More challenging this year. I’m planning to introduce some more notes from Santa this year. Love your checklist.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Wonderful idea Michelle, i love that Santa leaves notes! Elf on the shelf is a huge hit and makes it so special for the kids.:)ReplyCancel

  • Katherine

    Hi, I bought this planner last year and I just wanted to know what other than the calendar days has changed since last years pack? Will I be buying the same pack again with the number 2014 added, or is it a completely new pack?ReplyCancel

  • sharon

    We got an Elf for the first time last year. My kids were 7 & 10 & they still had so much fun with it.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Fantastic! Yes mine are 9 and 11 and still love seeing where the Elf ends up each morning.:ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Percy

    Hi Katrina
    I bought the Elf planner last year and it was fantastic. The kids loved it and my husband and I had a ball planning all of our Elf’s antics each night. Just wondering if it’s possible to just get the updated calendar pages for this year as I imagine the rest of the planner is much the same? Thanks, Jenny.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Jenny, Yes please don’t purchase it again as it is the same. I am going to do an updated calendar antics page very soon.ReplyCancel

      • Kaliste

        Hi Katrina
        Just wondering when the 2015 Elf on a Shelf planner is going to be released.
        I’m very excited to start the tradition with my little boy this year as he loved watching the movie (a lot) last year on the lead up to Christmas.
        Thank you

  • Margaret

    Last year was our first Elf on Shelf. We named him “Shelf the Elf the Elf on a Shelf”. Elf on the Shelf wasn’t around when my kids were little. They are 29 and 32, one lived 2 doors down, one lives in NY and comes to visit for Christmas. They have fun with it too. Initially I did stuff with “Shelf” and posted his antics on FB so they could both see even the one in NY. It wasn’t long though before my boys had taken “Shelf” on a few adventures to surprise me. Elf on the Shelf is for all ages!ReplyCancel

  • Margaret

    Last year was our first Elf on Shelf. We named him “Shelf the Elf the Elf on the Shelf”. Elf on the Shelf wasn’t around when my kids were little. They are 29 and 32, one lives 2 doors down, one lives in NY and comes to visit for Christmas. They have fun with it too. Initially I did stuff with “Shelf” and posted his antics on FB so they could both see even the one in NY. It wasn’t long though before my boys had taken “Shelf” on a few adventures to surprise me. Elf on the Shelf is for all ages!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Oh Margaret that is so lovely to hear! It made me smile as i was reading your email. Love the Christmas spirit.:)ReplyCancel

  • katrina allan

    Im doing this for the first time this year…my girls are 3years and nearly 9months….i can’t wait…not sure who is more excited, me or them on the day…lol…how did you elf “arrive” katReplyCancel

  • Kevin

    Doing this for the first time this year and my wife and I love it!!! Our son who is three cannot wait to come downstairs to see “what’s Jimmy been up to.” Looking for some help with a breakfast idea not extravagent just with typical English ingrdi, any help would be greatly appreciated by Jimmy the elf!! Oh and us!!!!
    Thanks in advance

  • Jennifer

    Thank you so much for writing about the Elf on the shelf! I had never heard of it before and a friend of mine got one last Christmas and had a lot of fun with it for her kids. I have just purchased one (using the link on your page)for my kids for Christmas this year. Bit early but I will be prepared! They’re going to love it :)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      That is fantastic Jennifer.:)ReplyCancel

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