You may have heard of The Christmas Elf Tradition, The Cheeky Elf, or various other terms which are used to describe a new and fun Christmassy activity for children and adults alike. Possibly you’ve heard it being talked about, it’s piqued your interest and you’re keen to know more. So what exactly is it?!!
Your Own Christmas Visitor
The main idea, around which everything else revolves, is that your child – or children – will receive a surprise visit from a visitor from the North Pole at the start of December (it doesn’t matter if you join in late, though!). This visitor is an Elf, which Santa has sent out especially to stay with your child in the run-up to Christmas. In The Cheeky Elf packs this is all introduced and explained to your child in a letter from Santa Claus himself.
Your Elf toy will come in a special Christmas box addressed from the North Pole, so that you can arrange a doorstep arrival at the time of your choosing.
What Does The Parent Need To Do With The Elf?
OK, this is where it gets really fun! You can get as creative as you like with this – some people go to elaborate lengths, other people don’t do a lot.
Your Elf is cheeky by nature. The clue’s in the name, see?! It’s after the Elf has been settled for the evening, and after your child has gone to sleep, that magical things happen. It’s only after people are asleep that your Elf will magically come to life. What do they do when they come to life? Well, they do any number of things. Your child will love looking for their Elf, and for what they’ve been up to! Sometimes they might have been helpful and will be found with the breakfast things that they’ve set out; sometimes they’ve been cheeky and might for example be found head-first down in the biscuit jar; sometimes they may have tried to be helpful but it’s all gone a bit wrong, for example they may have tied themselves in knots with tinsel; sometimes they may have brought a gift for your child.
As you can see, the possibilities are pretty endless here – it will mostly be governed by how imaginative you want to be! The Parents’ Instructions include a range of fun ideas, and you can always check our Facebook page to see what other Elves have been up to!
Got It! So What Happens After The Elf Arrives?
The first thing your child needs to do is give their Elf a human-friendly name, as Elf-language names are far too complicated for us people to pronounce. You should then enter their new name in their accompanying Elf Passport.
Your Elf will generally come with various accessories which are designed to engage your child throughout the seasonal period. A Cheeky Elf pack, for example, always comes with a Christmas Journal in which your child can draw pictures and stick photos, as well as fill out Christmas-themed pages (e.g. ‘Christmas Favourites’, where they’re prompted to think about their favourite Christmas film, song and story, and a ‘Christmas Checklist, so they can tick off all the important things that need to be done before Christmas, like writing a letter to Santa).
Other elements that you’d find in a Cheeky Elf pack would likely include a Behaviour Chart with star stickers – so that you can all be sure that your child ends up on that all-important ‘Good List’ – as well as an Elf Passport, a Report Card, which your child can complete for Santa at the end of their Elf’s stay, and a present from your Elf for letting them stay (a Christmas candy cane).
Importantly for the grown-ups involved, the package will also come with Parents’ Instructions which set out exactly what to do and provide ideas on Elf-themed activities.
I’ve Got More Than One Child – How Many Elves Do I Need?
This is entirely up to you. It works really well with just one Elf, and you certainly don’t need more than one, but some parents like each of their children to have their own Elf. You can select either a boy or girl Elf – or buy a twin pack which comes with one of each.
Sibling Packs are a good and cost-effective way to ensure that brothers and sisters can take part. This means you don’t necessarily have to buy more than one Elf pack.
Are There Any Elf Accessories I Can Buy?
There are a multitude of special accessories you can order, or bring into play from what you have at or home or available locally. Some of the most popular Elf accessories we’ve had here at The Cheeky Elf have been a Christmas Jumper for the Elf, an Elf-sized Suitcase they can arrive with (and maybe put their Christmas Jumper in, if they have one), a magical Elf Door which can appear mysteriously on a skirting board or shelf one night and maybe offer a way for the Elf to get back to the North Pole and back during the night so that they can see their Elf friends and report back to Santa on how their trip is going, and an Elf Sleeping Bag so they can be tucked up cosily in bed for the night.
Other accessories that can be fun might be some Christmas pyjamas or an Elf Hat for your child to wear, Christmas-themed party cups and plates to have a special North Pole breakfast one morning, or chocolate coins. Some parents like to buy tickets to a local grotto and give them to their children from the Elf, so they can all go to meet Santa before Christmas!
How Long Should Elf Activities Go On?
This is your new tradition, and you can organise it however you like. However, we think it works best if the Elf is left out on Christmas Eve and goes back to the North Pole with Santa after he delivers the presents. This may be sad for your child, but it’s an important step as it keeps the magic alive for the next visit, which will then be similarly exciting when your Elf arrives back next year. It simply won’t be as exciting if your Elf has spent the whole year amongst a pile of other soft toys on your child’s bed.
It may comfort your child to know that Santa Claus needs their Elf back to help him get all the toys ready for next year. This is obviously a very important job. However, some parents like their Elf to make occasional appearances during the year at special occasions such as your child’s birthday.
There's also a section on the Report Card which tells Santa whether your child would like their Elf to visit again next year!
What’s The Difference Between The Christmas Elves You Can Buy?
Each type of Elf comes with its own ‘story’ behind it. With The Cheeky Elf, your child is encouraged to play with their Elf and involve it in lots of fun activities.
We hope you will embrace your new Christmas tradition and both parents and children will enjoy this together. Don’t forget to tell us – and the world – what you get up to on our Facebook page!