What with Christmas shopping, decorations, getting the food in, going to parties, throwing parties (some of us anyway) sorting what we're doing on the Big Day, packing in a visit to Santa and making sure we've got everyone a present we're supposed to, we really could do with something else to think about during the festive season, right?


So thank goodness mum and daughter duo Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell came up with this cheeky guy to give us another thing to do in the run up to Christmas.

Awww, we know we might sound a bit cynical - and we're not really - in fact we're super-impressed with our MFM mums, who have shared some AMAZING photos of what your little elves get up to. We're just keen to make sure the whole Elf stuff doesn't get too out of hand and become just another thing parents get bashed about for not doing well enough. And, after all, it's meant to be a bit of fun, right?

And just in case you're one of those mums who fancies trying it but isn't quite sure where to start - take our tips on board.They really might just help...

1. If you start too early, you'll never be able to back track

Ignore this advice at your peril. You don't HAVE to start your elf antics on 1st December. That's a whole lotta days to come up with things to do with your little guy. And if you start it one year at the same time as the advent calendar, that's set in stone. FOR EVER. You have been warned.

2. It's really not a competition

There are some LEGENDS out there who treat the whole Elf on the Shelf thing as an Olympic sport - our own mums are pretty flipping nifty at it.

But you really don't need to suspend him in ice with Elsa next to him or get him bungee jumping from the Crimbo tree - unless you're the creative type and you want to of course.

Popping the jolly little fellow somewhere different each day - with that wry little smile on his face - is all it needs to give your kids the idea that he's been up to things in the night. Keep it as simple as you want. It's not about getting pics to go viral - it's a bit of fun and magic for the kids.


3. Don't put him in the same place twice

As much as we're all for keeping it as simple as ABC, one of our dads here at MFM HQ (yep, we have them by the way!) pointed out that his children were quick to spot when their Elf was found somewhere he'd already been. Oops. So that's one rule you might want to stick to if you have particularly eagle-eyed kids...

4. Don't be creepy like this dad (unless you REALLY want to)

Seriously. There's a doll that does it for you. We say don't. It's a bit weird.

Well, day one, and I am not sure about this "Elf on the Shelf" thing. FLE ate the kids advent calendars, they will be devastated!

Posted by Megan Wynberg on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

5. If you get desperate - use the ultimate get-out clause

We love, love, LOVE this idea from Epic Parenting who suggest if you really can't think of anything else to do with Elfy, then you may find he's sadly broken his leg and can't move for the next few days. Crafty but OH SO GOOD.

The poor little guy fell and broke his leg. No moving for two weeks! (Parenting WIN!)

Posted by Epic Parenting on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

6. Ditch it when they've stopped believing

If you make Elfy a family tradition, you'll have maybe, 5 or so years of ideas to come up with - depending on how many children you have. That's doable right? Though we should warn you, one of our MFM writers has confessed that if her mum had done Elfy when she was little she'd still be expecting it this Christmas. And she's 28. Hmmmm....

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Tara BreathnachContent Editor and Social Media Producer

Tara is mum to 1 daughter, Bodhi Rae, and has worked as Content Editor and Social Media Producer at MadeForMums since 2015