Introducing Our Elf on the Shelf for the 1St Time

Updated on November 30, 2010
R.G. asks from Rockwall, TX
14 answers

Hi mamas,
We should be receiving our Elf any day now and I'm wondering if I should have my toddler there when I open the box, maybe say the return address is the North Pole or something? Or is there something inside the box that would ruin the story for her? How did you introduced your elf for the very first time??

** for the mamas who have never heard of You can also find them on Amazon and in several book stores.
( And a shout out to Jennifer in Pittsburgh for filling me in a couple of weeks ago. =) )

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

We gave the Elf to my son the day after Thanksgiving. We wrapped the book and put it on his bed and put the elf on one of his shelfs in his bedroom and when he found the book we told him that Santa left him an early present and he opened it, we read him the book and told him the rules and that explained why Santa left him early. He than found the Elf on his shelf and it has worked GREAT ever since, the first thing he does in the morning is walk around the house yelling "Lightning McQueen" where are you!!!

Edit My Answer
3 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

i did not want my kids to see the box, then they would know the elf was a "toy" that i bought... i put the elf on a branch toward the top of our xmas tree and then pointed it out to them when they woke up and read the book to them. they LOVE their elf!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Evansville on

We love our elf on the shelf. My son is 2.5yrs old. We did it last year... but he was really too young. This year he is really into it! He named him all by himself... Red Jo Jo. (so cute). He looks for him around the house everyday. We started it this past Sat when we decorated the tree/house. sat down, read the book, named our elf, and looked around the house for him.... he found him right away! (above the front door). The next day... he looked for him... on top of the curio in the living room. He was so excited to find him! and he understands the concept.. when he was being 'mean' to our puppy, I told him that Red Jo Jo was watching and he was going to tell Santa that he was not being very nice. He stopped pushing her immediately and gave her hugs and kisses and said he was sorry. I just wish this elf could stay year round!!!! :-)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

barnes and noble online has it on sale for 20 bucks
we introduced it last year. what i did was talk about 'santa's elf' a few days before introducing it. i kept saying stuff like, i hope santa chooses our family to give his elf on the shelf. and would talk about the elf.
so then i got it out, all wrapped, and read the instructions. i asked my kids to come up with a name, which they did.
our ELF was awesome. he's show up at different spots, throughout december. we had to be on top of it, to change it's location.
my girls, age 5, at that time, loved it, and totally believed it.
i did tell them to not tell other kids about our elf because only special families receive it (this is to prevent mocking etc). so then for xmas, i had ordered the elf on shelf dolls (girls) and they received those for xmas for santa, which magically our elf on shelf disappeared xmas morning.
sooo cool. love love love the idea, love our elf.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I just got mine yesterday!!!! I am SOOOO excited!! I'm glad you ordered it, I know it will be so much fun for years to come. My kids are only 13 months (he'll have no clue whats going on) and my daughter is 2 1/2 but I think she'll have fun with it. As soon as I got the box I had to open it and I wanted to read through the book first before I read it to the kids. Here is what we are going to do. I am going to take the kids upstairs and give them their baths and get pjs on and while I am finishing up, my husband is going to ring the doorbell. We'll come down and see the box inside the door. We'll say it was sent from Santa and then open it up and read the book and name our elf. However, I'm not sure if I am going to let them see the elf right away or if I want to read the book and tell my daughter that the next morning the elf will come to the house and let her find it. I'm going to keep checking back to see how others introduced theirs. Have fun and have a great Christmas!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We told my daughter (she was 2 at the time) that Santa mailed it to her. She believed it and she loves Kirby!

Just be sure if you do that do not let her touch the Elf!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't let your child see the box, it would possibly ruin the "magic". Our elf shows up the night we decorate our tree, after the kids are in bed of course. We decorate our tree, then sit together and read the book. The book explains why the elf is there, tells you the rules and instructs you to pick a name. Then the next morning my kids are so excited to find the elf hiding in the house. We love our elf...Henry.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I agree, we have ours appear the day after we put the tree up. We read the book after decorating the tree and the next day elfie arrives!!! Elfie always brings advent calenders for the kids too!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

There is a book that comes with it with a story that explains everything to them. We read the book together. It talks about how Santa sent the elf to watch them and each night the elf flies back to Santa and gives a report on whether they have been naughty or nice. Just remember to hide the elf in a new place every night for them to find. My daughter was upset when I forgot and the elf was in the same place this morning.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Barnes & Noble has 30% off on this online today.


answers from Oklahoma City on

elf on the shelf? ?? never heard of it


answers from Asheville on

Im with JessinTx, I'm going to have to google this one! Have no idea what your talking about!



answers from Pittsburgh on

I REALLY want to get one! Where do you get them?????


answers from San Antonio on

What am I missing out on?? I have NO idea what this Elf is that you're referring to.

Next question: Ok...what Is This 'Elf on the Shelf'?