Whether you are a seasoned elf on the shelf family, or you are bringing him into your home for the first time in 2016, there are lots of things to remember (mainly just to keep moving the bloody thing).
1. The elf comes out for the first time on 1 December.
Bring it out any sooner, and you’ll have to feel pretty imaginative to come up with 40 interesting hiding places...
2. And then leaves again on Christmas Eve.
Your elf will return to the North Pole on the 24 December, hitching a ride with Father Christmas when he comes to leave the presents.
3. You have to put them in a new position every day throughout December.
There is lots of inspiration on Pinterest if you’re feeling short of ideas.
4. Your child has to be in bed before you can move the elf.
The elf doesn’t move if they are being watched - another great reason to get your children into bed on time.
5. Your elf only gets their magic by being named.
Families can name their elf anything after ‘adopting’ them, but there is a pool of popular festive names available here. The top names last year were Buddy, Jingles and Snowflake.
6. They are keeping watch for Father Christmas.
The whole point of having an elf lurking around your living room for a month is that they are keeping a close eye on your children’s behaviour and feeding back to HQ, to decide whether or not there will be any presents under the tree this year.
7. Children are not allowed to touch them.
Elves are very fragile, and if they are touched by human children they lose their magic and ability to communicate with Santa.
8. If they are touched, your child has to write a letter to the North Pole apologising.
The official website also suggests singing carols with your family or sprinkling a little cinnamon next to your elf, as this works like vitamins: “It will help them get back to the North Pole where the elf doctors can check them out!”