elf on the shelf, christmas

Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas trend adopted by South African moms.
Image via Leslie Banner from Pixabay

Elf on the Shelf: Moms around Mzansi break out Christmas craze

He’s back! Elf on the Shelf – the little Christmas prankster who gets kids to behave – is loved by moms right here in Mzansi…

elf on the shelf, christmas

Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas trend adopted by South African moms.
Image via Leslie Banner from Pixabay

With December in full swing – and the countdown to Christmas officially on – moms around the world have begun their cheeky festive tradition geared at helping kids to behave – Elf on the Shelf!

Like other overseas events and occasions, the little red elf and his antics are becoming more of a trend in South Africa during the Christmas season – and parents around the country are loving the results!

And the concept is simple – be on your best behaviour if you want to land on Santa’s nice list this year!

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Elf on the Shelf originated as a Christmas tradition by author and music teacher Carol Aebersold.

In 2005, the US mom penned the book The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, which told the tale of a group of elves who work for Santa Claus in the North Pole. The elves visit children’s homes during the holiday season on a mission from Santa. And that is to determine who is naughty or nice and report it back to him.

Carol penned the book for her daughter Chanda Bell as a way to spread cheer during the holiday season.

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The actual game of Elf on the Shelf works with a small toy elf doll who makes an “appearance” between Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November) and Christmas Day (25 December). Every day, the elf appears in a new spot in the house.

But there are a few important rules to the game: Firstly, you cannot touch the elf, or it will “lose” its magical power. Secondly, they see and hear everything. And lastly, they disappear on Christmas Eve to give a “full report” to Santa on the children’s behaviour.

According to Carol, the Christmas tradition is a “simple game of hide and seek.”

She explained in an interview with CNBC; “The elf will watch us during the day, report to Santa at night, and in the morning before kids wake up, the elf flies back from the North Pole and lands on a different spot in the house”.


On social media, many local “mom influencers” have been posting about their daily Elf on the Shelf shenanigans…


Remember it’s your job to move the elf each night to a new spot for your kids to find.

Watch the clip below to see how to make the festive tradition fun for both you and your kids.