Product Reviews

The Elf On The Shelf Review


Reason For Use:

I’ve always wanted “The Elf on the Shelf”. I first read about them years ago in a catalog and I was immediately enchanted by the idea. I’m not sure if it’s the vintage-kitschy-creepy little face (with its mischievous smile) or the magically mysterious backstory that won me over…but for one reason or another I’d always forgotten or postponed ordering one. Fast forward to NOW, when I have two little boys of my own and happen upon “The Elf On The Shelf” gift sets (which include the storybook) at nearly every major department store…and we just can’t afford the price tag of approx $30! 😦 To add insult to injury, every time I’d log onto Facebook I’d get bombarded with the images of elves with cute names, in cute little poses, that belonged to my friends and family.

Even Target corporation has one named “Red”!

I did what any respectable person would do in my position: I complained in my Facebook status.


Luckily my friend Sarah saw my complaint…or maybe her own “Elf On The Shelf” Stanley gave her a nudge…but she sent me a private message to inform me of the special delivery on its way to my mailbox from the North Pole: An “Elf On The Shelf” gift set and the additional DVD too! I literally danced with excitement.


Looks like Stanley decided to give Sarah a jumpstart on her holiday baking!

The Product:


The “Elf On The Shelf” gift set includes the elf figure and a storybook, housed together in a convenient display box. Mine arrived in the mail with the additional DVD that Sarah had added, all tucked into a bonus red nylon bag before being boxed for shipment.


According to the book…and reinforced by the film…our elf wouldn’t receive his “magic” until he was named. After that, he risked losing his magic if he was touched by a person. As long as he has magic though, he can fly to the North Pole every night to report directly to Santa and tell him how nice…or naughty…we’ve been. There are also multiple references to the fact that “Elf On The Shelf” elves land in different places when they return from the North Pole each night. …This could be fun!


The minute Charlie set eyes on that box, with it’s little red elf, book and DVD, we wanted to tear right into it.

Our actual “Elf on the Shelf” delivery, as it arrived.”

I had to explain to Charlie that we couldn’t touch the elf until we’d read the book and watched the movie to make sure we got the directions right. I told him that our elf would be an extra set of eyes for Santa. Charlie was impressed:

“Like a movie camera for Santa?!” he asked.

Of course not. That would be silly. I set him straight:

“No, more like a ‘stealth ninja spy’ for Santa.”

Charlie was intrigued.

The first step was to name our elf. I left this task to Charlie’s capable skills. He is after all, the kid that had already named two dogs (Nemo and Dory) and two cats (Cotton Ball and Robert). The conversation went a little like this:

Me: So what do you want to name our elf?
Charlie: Buddy!
Me: That was fast. Why “Buddy”?!
Charlie: Because that’s what elves are named. Buddy!

…Thanks Will Ferrell

The next step was to open the box and leave it out before going to bed. This would assure that Buddy wouldn’t have any trouble escaping his packaging when he needed to fly to the North Pole. We did as instructed, being extra careful not to actually touch Buddy.

We must’ve followed the directions correctly because when we came out the next morning Buddy was curled up inside the roll of blue tape that was sitting on top of the TV.

Not bad for his very first landing! Am I right?!

It soon became obvious that Santa had assigned us an elf who was a bit of an “adrenaline junkie” though, because his landing places each morning where usually pretty high. Very daring for a little elf!

…Or maybe he just hasn’t gotten the hang of his magic yet. Landing’s are pretty tricky, I imagine.

In the end, I strongly recommend “The Elf on the Shelf”, especially if you have children. It’s a small commitment to maintain, but gives consistent and continuous rewards in the form of childhood wonder. Charlie comes dashing out of his room every morning now, anxious to find where Buddy “landed” each day. His daily ear-to-ear smile is proof of this product’s worth.

Kids love elves…and elves love kids! Just look at how much Buddy likes this old picture of Charlie!

Final Overview:

Price: $29.95 (for gift set)
Available At: Amazon, Walmart, Target, most major retailers and all over the web too!
Ease of use: 8 out of 10 (diligence is key!)
Buy again?
Definitely! When we’re back on our feet financially, this will be the new Christmas gift of choice!

A quick Internet search revealed the mischievous nature of “The Elf on the Shelf”. Careful, these may give your elf some ideas…

Flour angels in the kitchen!

Someone got into the makeup!

That’s not nice!

Chillin’ in the mallows!

Even elves need to beat the 5 o’clock shadow!

Now really! TP the Christmas tree?!

Admittedly, he DOES look tougher.

The elf and cookie cutter “Rockettes”!

Our own Buddy, riding the “iron kitty” on top of the curio cabinet!

This is not a typical result…unless you’ve been particularly naughty.

Who will win the prized Elf Cup? It’ll be a photo finish!

Naughty elf. Do your job!

This little guy was thorough.

Uh oh. Those better not be the nice pillows!

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