For the new families joining the tradition this year, we have created a printable initial Elf on the Shelf arrival letter to help get the magic started! We have 3 versions for you to choose from – all free.
The festive season is just around the corner and for those with children, that means Elf on the Shelf will be making his way back to wreak havoc.
The tradition has been around for many years but it has made its way into our homes only recently when author Carol Aebersold decided that it’s time to share her secret with other families across America!
Since then millions of children have enjoyed watching elf fly out of sight just before everybody comes back home after night. But how does it work?
How Does Elf on the Shelf Work?
If you’re not familiar with the story, here’s a quick summary:
The elf on a shelf is sent from Santa to watch children for him throughout December as he prepares back at the North Pole for delivering presents on Christmas Eve.
Each night, the elf reports back to Santa on the good (or bad) deeds the children have done that day.
When the elf returns to the home, he/she is usually in a different spot. Sometimes the elf is naughty themselves and gets into mischief – often hiding or moving things.
Kids love this tradition because each morning they get up to find out what their elf was doing during the night. It can also encourage them to be on their best behavior or spread kindness.
Parents do it because it’s a fun way to bring some Christmas Magic into the home and also create lifelong childhood memories.
But it does take some effort and planning to pull off!
If you want help with daily ideas and getting your child to engage with the Elf (without touching!), try our Elf on the Shelf Daily Note Cards.
How do I introduce an Elf on the Shelf?
When you get your Elf on the Shelf, it comes with a book and instructions.
Obviously, you’ll want to read through them before introducing the elf to your children, but really there are just a few key points to know:
- They are Santa’s helper and report both good deeds and bad each night.
- The children should find them in a new spot each morning as “evidence” that they left and came back.
- They can not be touched or else he will lose his magic and will not be able to fly back to the North Pole.
- They need to be named for the magic to start.
The elf typically arrives right around Thanksgiving and stays until Christmas Eve, but you can start your tradition on any day you like!
Elf on the Shelf Arrival Letter Ideas
When the Elf on the Shelf arrives for the first time, there is often a letter (from the Elf or from Santa) to the child explaining why he is there, what will happen and how long he or she will be staying with them.
A sample letter you could write would be:
Dear Little Friend, I'm sure you've heard that I'm the elf that lives in your home from now until Christmas. One of my jobs is to keep an eye on you to make sure you're being good. Sometimes I'll sneak over at night and report back to Santa. I can't wait to see what kind of elf stuff we do together this Christmas season. Don't forget, if you touch me, I'll lose my magic and won't be able to fly home! Love, Your Elf
Elf on the Shelf Arrival Letter Templates
Some crafty parents create these letters themselves, but we all know it’s much easier if you have some help.
So I’ve created these fun little Elf on the Shelf arrival letters that you can print at home.
It’s an original poem that I made up (so please be kind and give credit if you choose to “borrow” it for your own blog or site).
There are 3 versions to choose from.
To download the free Elf on the Shelf arrival letters printables, just click the button below.
More Elf on the Shelf Letters
Elf on the Shelf Annual Return Letter
This letter is for families that have already started the tradition and the elf is returning for a following year. You can find our matching Elf on the Shelf Return Letters here.
Elf on the Shelf Goodbye Letter
This letter from Elf on the Shelf Goodbye is given on the elf’s last night in the home (usually Christmas Eve or the night before). You can find out matching Elf on the Shelf Goodbye letters here or write your own!
A sample letter you can use for inspiration is:
Dear Little Friend, It's time to say goodbye. It was so much fun watching you for the past month, but it's time to go home now. I'm going to miss you all! We laughed and played together every day, and I hope that we can do this again next year. So many memories were made this year, I'll never forget them! Remember to be good, helpful and kind always. Love, Your Elf