Elf On The Shelf – All the Tricky Questions Answered

When we started Elf on The Shelf back in 2012 we were very naïve. We hadn’t
seen the official Elf or the film. We didn’t even know about antics.

As everyone does things slightly differently, we have had some tricky
questions from the kids. These are the answers we give, whilst trying to keep
the magic for our children and not put a downer on the way other families do
Elf on The Shelf.

Why Can My Friend Touch Their Elf?

The first year we weren’t aware of the no touching rule and Chilly just moved from spot to spot, the children could touch him. Then we became aware of the no touching rule. In the film if you touch the elf it loses it’s magic and cannot get back to the North Pole.

The following year we adopted the no touch rule and our antics began.

One very good reason for adopting the no touch rule is you will know where the elf is. There is a risk of the elf being lost if taken out and about and there is nothing worse than going to move the elf and finding the children have moved it and you have a midnight search in the dark.

Another reason we don’t touch the elf is it reduces the wear and tear to the elf as they do become bobbled over time and we want ours to last.

Christmas Eve, the only day they can touch their elves.

What do you do if you see another child with an elf that doesn’t follow the no touch rule in their family?

I didn’t want to go down the “their elf isn’t magic” route. What we have said is some children’s elves leave them toy versions of themselves so they have an elf they can play with. If it is a friend who we know and they know this isn’t the case we have said all elves are different, they can come from different departments and have different levels or magic, some elves are more sensitive to touching especially younger elves that don’t have full magic yet. But our elves have asked that we don’t touch them. Also if we don’t touch them they don’t have to use up their reserve magic and have more power to do fun things for us.

The exception to the no touch rule is Christmas Eve, because Father Christmas collects the elves they don’t need their magic to return to the North Pole so the children can give them a cuddle goodbye before leaving them next to the milk and mince pie to be collected.

The Elf Forgot to Move

I have alarms set on my phone so thankfully I have never forgotten all together, but it is easy to fall asleep before moving the elf.

Maybe he isn’t feeling well and needs to see some extra Christmas kindness to feel better. I always keep a small jar or magic dust to sprinkle in case of accidental touching, this would be a good idea to make the elf feel better. Maybe he can then move later in the day.

Why is there a label, seem etc on my elf? It looks like a toy.

Well yes it does look like a toy, that is because it has to be disguised. If adults all knew they were real elves they may try to catch them to research them or to use their magic for the wrong reasons (mine have seen E.T so this line works well). They are disguised as toys but when humans aren’t around they return to their true form. We used the Santa Spy Cam app a few years ago to show the elf coming through the elf door in his true elf form which convinced them nicely. Other people have used a stop start video app to show the elves moving if you want to go down the Toy story line and the actual toys move as they are.

Why does my friend’s elf look different?

Elves are all different just like us, they come from different families and different departments in the North Pole.  Scout elves were so popular Father Christmas had to recruit elves from different departments to send out to families.  This is also why their magic may be slightly different and why some elves can tolerate being handled more than others.  

A few different looking elves celebrating together.

Elf Doors

Why is the elf bigger than the door?  Elves can change size to be able to carry out different tasks.  An alternative explanation is the door is just a portal so as long as they touch the door they are transported back to the North Pole.

Why does my friend not have an elf door?  Not all elves use a door, they can all make their way back to the North Pole each night, some elves just like a short cut.

Why are there Elves and Elf Props In Shops?

When we first started we had to be creative in what we’d used for the elf, now official and non official elves are in the shops and it’s harder to stop the children spotting everything.

The elves themselves are less of a problem, in the film it shows elves being sent out to shops to be adopted. Explaining all the props and accessories is another matter. A few years back there was an article by Greggs in the newspaper talking about elves infiltrating their stores in the night and filling them with festive bakery items. I loved this and showed the children the article. We have used this as inspiration when they spot things in the shop. When Father Christmas writes to them he often mentions how popular the North Pole treats are and how the elves are having to fill shop shelves so everyone can enjoy the special North Pole treats. We have also said the accessories are also for people to buy gifts to leave their elves or for them to use with their own toys.

If in Doubt Stall

Sometimes it is better to stall before answering, “I’m not sure how it all works, I’m not an elf, maybe we could leave a note and ask the elves” is a good way to think of an answer. I find the Santa Claus Book of Secrets a fantastic resource and whilst not specifically elf related there are answers to almost all the tricky questions you can be asked. I often say let’s have a look in the book and see if the answer is in there.

What is the trickiest question you have been asked about the elves?  



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