Our Elf on the Shelf Traditions

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Our Elf on the Shelf makes his way back into our home tomorrow.

I admire those parents who are super creative and put their elves in fun, compromising positions every night. Really, I don’t feel like I have patience or memory capacity for that every night. So, with help from Mr Boots, I mostly move our elf around the house so he’s in a different place each morning for the boys to find. Nothing fancy, but still fun for the boys.

However, our elf does have a few things up his sleeve while he is with us in December, and some of them have been tradition since I started putting him out two years ago.

While our elf may not do something crazy every night, he does have a few surprises in store for the kids leading up to Christmas | Elf on the Shelf Traditions plus a FREE PRINTABLE letterhead via muddybootsanddiamonds.com

The “I’m back!” Letter

Our Elf on the Shelf arrives with a letter to the boys on December 1. This has been a tradition from the very start. The letter reminds the boys the elf will be hiding in different parts of the house so he can make sure they are kind and well behaved.


Every year, I’ve bought my kids a new ornament of their own to put on the tree. The night before we decorate the tree, the elf puts the ornaments out on the kitchen table along with another note telling the boys he heard we’re going to be decorating the tree and he’s got new ornaments for it.

PJs and a Book on Christmas Eve

I started this last year. This is our elf’s last day with us, so in his note to the boys, he also says goodbye because Santa is going to take him home to the North Pole before a much needed vacation. (Last year he went to Tahiti.)

Polar Express!

This year my BiL and his fiancée are gifting us a trip to ride the Polar Express in a few weeks. To get the boys excited about that, the elf will be leaving them PJs to wear on our train ride and the Polar Express book the morning of our trip. I doubt this will become a tradition, but it is definitely a fun excuse to have the elf do something fun again.

In the past, I’ve had many “OH SHIT!” moments where I realized right before I go to bed that I needed a letter to go with the elf on particular days. I’d quickly whip up a document in Word with a candy cane border and print it out. Actually, I think last year’s Goodbye Letter was written on a piece of scrap paper I found laying around. Yeah, yeah the boys do not care about these letters. I know. But my Mom Guilt usually made me feel badly for at least forgetting I was going to make an extra effort a few days out of the month.

This year I wanted to be a little more fancy (and possibly prepared). Last night I took to Canva and made our Elf of the Shelf some letter head. G named our elf “Soldier” our first year, but last year the boys just called him “Elf” so I made the stationary more generic.

Elf on the Shelf Traditions Letterhead Printable via www.muddybootsanddiamonds.com

download: from-the-desk-of-elf-letterhead-from-muddy-boots-and-diamonds-PERSONAL-USE-ONLY

This letterhead is 8.5×11 inches. If you’d like to use this for yourself, feel free to download it and print a few out. But please….

  • This printable is for PERSONAL USE ONLY
  • You may not re-sell, redistribute, or claim the original as your own
  • Please link back to this specific post to let others know where you found this printable.
  • I’d love to see how you use this letterhead! Please feel free to tag me (Twitter: @bootsndiamonds or IG: @muddybootsndiamonds) when sharing your photos!

I’ll be sharing pictures of our elf’s surprises on my Instagram page. Feel free to follow along!

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? Does he get into mischief or just hang out? Does it come with any traditions?

3 thoughts on “Our Elf on the Shelf Traditions

  1. I love the polar express idea!!! We love the elf of shelf! I forget half the time to move him around hahahha

    1. lol! Our elf made no promises he’d move every night 😉 I remember the first year we did Elf on the Shelf – I thought it would be so easy to remember to move it every night. Oh, how wrong I was 😉

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