It’s getting to be that time of year when you start searching the Internet for fun Elf on the Shelf ideas for arrival, right? Not only do you want daily activities (and sometimes, mischief) for your elf to get into, but his return to your home should be a fun event too! Have no fear! We’ve got plenty of ideas to make your elf’s arrival special this year!
We’ve also got some fun activities for when it’s time for the elf to head back to the North Pole too!
ELF ON THE SHELF IDEAS FOR ARRIVAL
Because you want to keep the holiday magic alive, your little Christmas buddy’s arrival to your home is one that must be carefully planned. It’s something your children look forward to, so it’s important to have fun with it – and mix things up from year to year! (But trust me, it doesn’t have to be complicated either.)
As you can see, you can your elf do something as simple as arrive with a treat for your kids from a favorite fast food restaurant! (That took very little planning on our part!)
But first things first…
DON’T FORGET YOUR ELF’S ARRIVAL!
Not forgetting is the most important thing to remember when it comes to all of these Elf on the Shelf ideas for arrival night. If your kids are like mine, they most likely will be asking when does the Elf on the Shelf come back way ahead of time. Maybe even right after Halloween!
Hopefully, they won’t let you forget!
So…when does your Elf on the Shelf return to your home?
This can vary depending on your family and the traditions you have set up through the years.
Some elves return the morning after the Christmas tree is put up. This decorating typically signifies the start of the holiday season, so it’s only natural your friend from the North Pole would show up at the same time!
While you are here, be sure to check out all of our Elf on the Shelf Ideas for moving him about the house!
So, if your tree is up on the evening of Thanksgiving, the elf is there the next morning – perhaps primed and ready to greet you after your early morning Black Friday shopping??
For other families, the little elf buddy simply arrives on December 1st. This gives you just 24 days to come up with those daily elf ideas!
The next question you may be asking is… how does elf on the shelf arrive every year?
Well, the fun part is, you can bring him into your home however you wish! The Elf on the Shelf does come with a book that is intended to be read on his first night in your home every holiday season, but you can omit that or combine it with another fun celebration.
This is a tradition that you can tweak to work best for your family! If you want to have a family elf but don’t want to move it around every night, the great thing is that you don’t have to! Your elf could make his first appearance of the season and then keep a watchful eye from a shelf in your home for the rest of the season!
This is a tradition that’s so easy to make your own!
The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition
5 Favorite Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Arrival
Planning ahead makes sure you can create an elf arrival that’s worthy of your little friend! There are so many ways you can announce return his/her return in your home as Santa’s trusty eyes for the holiday season. Remind your children that your elf on the shelf helps Santa make his list and check it twice!
Check out some of our favorite Elf on the Shelf arrival ideas that you can use in your home too!
Elf on the Shelf Arrival Letter
Having your elf arrive with a personalized letter in tow is a great way to set the holiday season on a positive note! Let your friend mention how great it is to be back and suggest that the kids be on their best behavior to make Santa’s nice list this year.
You could even mention holiday projects or ways to give back – giving them something to look forward to or activities to do during the winter break from school!
A Sweet Elf Message
Break out the candy and your Elf on the Shelf back to your home on a delicious note! Write out “Hello” or “I’m Back!” with fun treats like Twizzlers, M&Ms or Swedish Fish. Choose your kids’ favorite candies so it will be like their elf really knows them!
Elf Mail Has Arrived
A very fun way for your elf on the shelf to return is by having him “shipped” to your front door from the North Pole. Make it special by sprinkling snowflake confetti around the front porch, steps, and lawn. Inside the box with the elf, you can stash a new Christmas book, hot cocoa or a pair of holiday pajamas.
Elf Arrival Movie Night
You can combine one of the other Elf on the Shelf ideas for arrival with this one for a really fun event. For example, your elf comes in a package filled with a new Christmas movie, popcorn, candy, and PJs for the movie night.
Or, your Elf Arrival Letter could mention your family watches your elf’s favorite movie (choose a family favorite so your kids can relate to their friend, or one none of you have watched before for even more fun!).
Elf on the Shelf Arrival Poem
Sometimes shorter than a letter, and less personalized, a poem for your elf on the shelf’s arrival can still be a fun way to welcome him back! Lil Luna has some very cute printable elf poem ideas if you are pressed for time – or accidentally forget to plan something for the important arrival!
Elf on the Shelf Return Ideas
When the holiday season nears its end, you must have a plan for your elf to make his exit from your home to head back to the North Pole until next year. It can be a sad time for little kids who will miss their jolly little friend, but it’s all part of the experience!
But…when does elf on the shelf return to the North Pole?
Usually, the night of Christmas Eve is when your elf will return to Santa’s workshop until his next visit. He can simply disappear for another year, but you can also have a bit of fun with his leaving too.
Special Gift from Elf
Consider leaving a small present beneath the tree that will be from your holiday elf rather than Santa. That way, your children will have something to treasure and remember their friend by once he/she is gone.
Elf on the Shelf Return Letter
Just like your elf can bring an arrival letter with him from Santa, he can leave the same way! Included in the letter can be a gentle reminder to behave throughout the year so that you always find yourself on the good list.
See You Soon! Text Message from Elf
Set your phone with a contact that is Santa Claus or your elf’s name. When he reaches the North Pole after leaving your house on Christmas, he can let your children know it made it to the workshop safe and sound. The elf can also use this texting method to check-in through the year, making sure your children are behaving!
An Elf Selfie
Maybe your family Elf on the Shelf will be so kind as to leave a photo of him/herself behind so your children won’t feel so sad. You can leave your phone out so that the elf takes a selfie and leaves it as your phone’s lock screen photo — better yet, on your child’s tablet or the family computer! Or, if you have a photo printer, the elf could make a quick picture to hang on the tree or fridge before leaving.
Just remember — no matter what the arrival date or return date for your elf is, the point is to have lots of fun and enjoy his activities – and occasional mischief – as a family to keep the Christmas magic alive in your home!
It’s all about making holiday memories!
Comment and tell us about your favorite Elf on the Shelf ideas for arrival!
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Anne Higgins says
I like when an elf is a part of the kitchen activities (eating/drinking or sneaking cookies!). Don’t have an elf of my own (YET) but have enjoyed the stories from neighbors.
I like to bring him out with a trail of marshmallows behind him to look like snow.
Ashley C says
I like for him to bring a letter from santa in preparation for Christmas
I have a minor obsession with Elf on a shelf, I think it’s adorable
Antoinette M says
I think the best Elf arrival for my kids would be with a Christmas movie & popcorn & hot cocoa!
Betty Jean says
Last year, elf came in “like a wrecking ball. ” sitting on a balloon swinging from the ceiling. I have older children and elf makes Christmas fun!
Dana Hackney says
I love arranging my elf’s shenanigans every night! My favorite is the day he returns though. He usually decorates the kitchen, and makes us an elf breakfast lol..
Casandra LaMonaca says
I plan on having our elf appear on December 1st. I’m also starting the tradition of wrapping 24 books and opening one each night so the Elf on the Shelf book will be the first wrapped book that she unwraps. I love seeing all the different Elf antics across social media.
The Elf Arrival Movie Night!
Tina Thurlow says
Love Elf on the shelf
I like for the Elf to bring a gift on arrival and also to be a bit funny/mischievous by wrapping other things around the house in wrapping paper (that aren’t gifts) as well.
Carrie miyake says
Last year our elf returned on the day we flew back from Wyoming, she filled my daughter’s room with balloons. Some of the balloons had notes in them that lead her on a scavenger hunt to find hidden candy canes around the house.
Hot air balloon, red carpet, plant him with magic seeds and wait for him to grow.
Our elf always arrives the night our tree goes up. But…. I set up the tree early this year after some inspiration from an early freeze (for TX) and the kids have been waiting for him since. I guess it’s about time to start the month of creative craziness!!!
Rachel Freer says
My favorite is to have him arrive in a rocket ship.
JoAnne Walker says
the kids enjoy any place where he arrives.
cindy mahoney says
I start my elf on y porch looking in.
In the pantry or the refrigerator!
Laurie Emerson says
My favorite is having him arrive on a handmade Santa’s sleigh holding on to Rudolph.
Trisha McKee says
I love when Elf is somewhere unexpected, like in the fridge or on the television. Something that the kids suddenly see and giggle over.
jenny lofthouse says
I love when the elf is interacting with other toys
Special Gift from Elf.
Leah Shumack says
Our Elf (Elfie) always appears the day after Thanksgiving and brings us breakfast! Sometimes it’s as simple as donuts, other years she has brought us mini pancakes!
Mary Gardner says
The day our Elf arrives he wants to join us for breakfast and we find him in the kitchen in the cereal box and the bowls full of cereal.
kathy pease says
I love the ELF SELFIE idea that is so cute :)
Philip Lawrence says
I like the idea of the Sweet Elf Message.
Sarah Mathias says
Our elf comes in the first week of December. The kids like several different collectible card games, so he comes with a pack of cards.