Our Elf on the Shelf shows up, usually on Thanksgiving day or the next morning. He is sent by Santa to ensure that the kiddos stay on their best behavior during the holiday season. The children can look at him and talk to him, but can't touch him (it is in the book). Our Elf (Bob the Elf) likes to move around the house from time to time to be sure to keep the kiddos on their toes. It is fun to see them look for him if he isn't where he was the night before. It is a fun tradition in our family.