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38 brilliant Elf on the Shelf ideas that will see you through December

The Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas tradition which involves toy elves being placed around the home during December to keep an eye on whether kids are being naughty or nice.

Beginning as a US children's book in 2005 by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell, the phenomenon has gained popularity in the UK and across the world. The magical Scout Elves help Santa manage his nice list by taking note of a family’s Christmas adventures and reports back to Santa at the North Pole nightly. Then each morning, the Scout Elf returns to its family and perches in a new spot, waiting for someone to spot them.

This activity sees parents, grandparents and guardians wake up extra early every morning (or at night after the kids have gone to bed) to place the elf in a different area of the house, usually up to some sort of mischief.

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As one Instagram user put it: 'And just like that the dreaded Elf on the shelf is back...25 days of torture and sudden runs out of bed in the cold mornings because "sh!!!t I forgot to move the e**ing Elf.. Quick before the kids get up!!!"#joysofparenting #christmas #elfontheshelf.'

While the first week will be a breeze, it can be a challenge keeping your ideas creative for the entire month. So we've compiled some easy and funny Elf on the Shelf ideas that your kids will love this Christmas.