Tomorrow is December 1st, which means Christmas is fast approaching. It also means that multiple parents across the globe are pulling out the ol’ hat trick: Elf on the Shelf.

Elf on the Shelf was a new concept to me. I was introduced to it about 4 years ago by a coworker who swore by it. When I saw the “shelf elf” at Target that holiday season, all I could think was “NOPE!” If I was gonna go down this road as a parent, it wasn’t going to be with a commercialized elf that every kid had.

That year I headed out to The Antique Mall in Hopkins, MN (which I highly recommend and will get to in a later post), and that’s where I found Buddy.

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Buddy first joined our home in 2011 when my oldest daughter, Persephone, was 3. The initial confusion regarding Buddy’s presence began to fade once she realized that he was never in the same place twice. Each morning her joy was palpable as she would race to find where Buddy was hiding.

As a teaching tool, Buddy was a welcome addition to our home. He became a physical reminder that “Santa was watching” to make sure that Sephie was being nice & not naughty.

Finding places to move Buddy to became a constant source of amusement to my husband and I. Because our elf is only about 4-5 inches tall, he can hide in a variety of locales. Which he has over the years.

So begins another holiday season, and this year Buddy will have 2 children to watch over for Santa (although one doesn’t do much). Hopefully he won’t have to put in any overtime this year.

Fellow “Elf on the Shelf” parents: how effective do you feel your elf is? And what has been your most creative hiding place? I’d love to see pictures.

Until next time readers – Buddy’s watching!

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