Blogging, Christmas

ELF ON THE SHELF: six years of elf antics remembered + photos

Amongst Brits, our family was a fairly early adopter of the American Elf on the Shelf phenomenon. I discovered it back in 2014. It was getting close to Christmas, so by the time our scout elf arrived, he didn’t get the chance to perform as many antics as he did in later years.

I’m not going to go into how the ‘system’ works on this post as you can visit the official website or millions of other pages on the Internet.

The one thing I will say, is that as I’ve noticed more and more families taking part, particularly with ‘unofficial’ elves, the ‘official rules’ are beginning to dilute. For example, I have seen photos and videos of children touching and cuddling their elves days before the ‘final goodbye’ of the season, clearly unaware of the ‘no touching’ rule. (Elves can only be touched and cuddled on 24th December, before they fly back to Santa at the North Pole). Now, the consequences of this should be quite severe – an elf should become ill and have to stay in bed for a few days, but I don’t always see this reflected in the next day’s antic. Of course, time-poor parents who are stuck for ideas may wish to use this ploy so that an elf is put out of action and therefore doesn’t need to be relocated, usually late at night when they have forgotten to plan something! (This oversight runs along the same lines as going upstairs to bed and realising you still need to make up the bed because you stripped the bedding that morning!) It is at this point that they feverishly trawl the Internet to find an antic which can be set up in minutes with scant resource! We had a few of those along the way!

My younger son Charlie, named his elf, Sam. He flew away for good on 24th December 2019 (his sixth Christmas with us) because he was being reallocated to a new, younger child in 2020. My son was aged ten at that point and by the next Christmas he would have already started secondary school – it probably isn’t too cool to have an elf when you’re eleven! If older children have younger siblings, they can probably start to come up with elf antic ideas themselves, but proceed with caution, eleven-year-olds can be quite macabre!

Photos and a few videos of the antics were posted contemporaneously on our Instagram feed, but I have added them here too, with their captions. I hope you enjoy them and if you have come here looking for ideas, I hope they help you out.


Sam the scout elf finally arrived yesterday! Charlie was a little worried that he might mess up his toys and Bobby seemed pretty freaked out by the idea that Sam will come to life in the nighttime (so we’ve had to let him in on the secret!! But I still don’t think he’s convinced!) Sam has started his antics gently by just scribbling in a Christmas colouring book. Let’s see what tomorrow brings eh?
Sam thought he’d surprise Charlie as Spiderman today!
Sam was double-checking Charlie’s wish list!
I think Sam needs toilet training!
Charlie caught Sam playing DC Superheroes Top Trumps with his festive friends!
After Charlie’s bout of bad behaviour yesterday, Sam thought he ought to give him a warning!
Sam visited Marioland today!
Sam is incredibly tired after all his antics so far this December. A little rest should refresh him for a few more!
Sam’s been found hanging out with Ken. Sam’s been given styling tips and a makeover!
Well it certainly looks like yesterday’s makeover has had the desired effect!


Sam helped to hang the candy-cane mouse that Charlie made at Beavers yesterday.
Sam fell asleep watching a movie!
Polo to ko a banana?
Family ‘Elfies’!

What did Mrs. Clause say to Santa when she looked at the sky?

Best Family Ever!

Snowmen are cool! Brrr…
Have a good last day of term!
Sam wanted to have fun in the ball pool!
How did I get in here?
Hot Choc Treat!
Scout elf snuggle time.
Sam took a leaf out of the York family’s book and did his Christmas food shopping yesterday!!


Identity theft!
Charlie the Red-Nosed Reindeer!
Hot lips! Sam found some sweets Charlie bought at Bath Christmas Market and thought he might like to finish them!
Snap, Crackle and Pop! (Sorry Crackle)
Fairy and Sam sitting in a tree,
“I can explain…”

Creeper Sam.
How do you scare a snowman?
Elf antics are no fun when you’re ill.
Sam did a spot of Christmas tree decorating!
Elf twister. 
Ornament hunt.
Caught in the act!
Elf marks the spot!
Constant antics makes for a thirsty elf!

Christmas Eve boxes.


Oops, I pea’d myself!
Marsh mellow!
Noughts and crosses.
Snow Angel.
Sam has been caught stealing Charlie’s Advent Calendar chocolate!
Sam is as baffled by how to duel with Charlie’s Yu-Gi-Oh cards as you or me!
Sam caught some Minion Haribos!
An ‘elfy meal’!

Holiday Hoops!
Fear of dogs.
Jurassic elf.
Sam and his friends after their work’s night out!
Sam found the mini copy of ‘the ELF on the SHELF: a Christmas Tradition’ that we made him!
Here’s our mini ELF on the SHELF book!
We’ll see!
Only 6 days to go!
Let’s play North Pole Bingo!
Elf yourself selfie kit.
Elves Rock!
Christmas Eve Boxes.


Sam the Scout Elf is back and has brought his trusty St. Bernard, Chunky, with him this year!
Going canvassing for the Lib Dems in the rain today along with faithful friend Chunky!
Polite reminder!
Q: Why did the gingerbread man go to the doctors?
A: Because he felt crummy!
Chunky elfed himself…
Don’t eat me Chunky!
Our overnight child’s elf, Eric, came to have a snowball fight with Sam. Chunky just ate the snowballs!
Chillin’ with Egg Sheeran!
Sam tested out my Glossybox makeup items to get in touch with his feminine side.
Christmas wrapping!

Frosty blue, just for you!
That’s no candy cane!
Ribbon rock climb.
Rainbow Magic!
Rainbow Magic!
My scout elf adventures.
My scout elf adventures.
Sam and Chunky brought Charlie a snowman from the North Pole… but he melted!
Holiday elf-ercise!
Kissing booth!
We couldn’t wait!


Candy cane hunt.
Funny feet!
Chocolate coins fail.
You gotta give… to get!
Still waiting!
Third time lucky!

Tinsel paper!
Vote for Alex White in North Devon.
Gingerbread 3D Christmas Tree Kit.
Toilet humour!
Christmas Countdown.
Any last minute present ideas?
We got trapped!
Elf bunting!

Elfie Shark Do Do Do Doooo!
Eli the visiting scout elf, decided to challenge Sam and Chunky to a Tug of War!
Eli the visiting scout elf, Sam and Chunky found the ribbon drawer!

Well I’m sad to say “that’s it folks!”. I’ve had a great six years of creating these antics for the children, and I’m glad to have been able to share them with you.

If you managed to make it to this point, please comment “So much elfing fun!” in the comments below! Thanks for reading.


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