It’s nearly December and that means it’s time for the Elf on the Shelf to make his grand reappearance!

Your Elf’s grand return to the house after a year in the loft (cough, cough, I mean at the North Pole) can be really exciting for the kids.

Last year was the first time we had ever done Elf on the Shelf and it really did make December fun.

One of my favourite things about Christmas as a child, apart from the presents, was the actual build-up to the big day.

Having the Elf adds a little sprinkle of magic for the children every day. They love waking up and going to discover what the Elf has got up to overnight.

There are tons of daily ideas for Elf on the Shelf over on this post to tide you through to Christmas Day.

But for day one I thought I would share some fun ideas for welcoming back your Elf on the Shelf.

If you don’t yet have an Elf on the Shelf, you could still use these ideas to introduce the Elf to your kids on December 1. It’s a really fun tradition that the whole family can enjoy.

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How to welcome back the Elf on the Shelf

If you’ve done the Elf on the Shelf in previous years then you’re probably pretty good at coming up with daily ideas for his antics.


But what about the big day one, when he arrives back in the house to say “Hi” to the kids for another month of December?

Some children may be too young to remember the Elf from last year, while for others it’s nice to make a big fuss out of his return to kick off the countdown to Christmas.

To welcome back your Elf on the Shelf, I suggest trying a letter that you can read with or to your children that explains what the Elf is here to do.

I have a free printable Elf on the Shelf welcome letter you can download right here. Simply add your child’s name!

Elf on the Shelf return letter printable Elf on the Shelf return letter printable

Simply print it off and roll it up into a scroll and tie with a ribbon or pin it on the wall or fridge somewhere close to the Elf.

Click to download the letter here:

Ideas for Elf on the Shelf’s return

North Pole breakfast

Serving up a delicious breakfast makes it feel like a real celebration when the Elf on the Shelf returns to your home.

A North Pole breakfast is a special feast served around Christmas time. Many people choose to do it on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but you could try throwing one on December 1 to mark the Elf’s return.

Essential food to serve at a North Pole breakfast includes waffles or pancakes with maple syrup plus many people serve sweet treats such as marshmallows too.

Get creative with how you serve the food. Why not try making snowman marshmallows or serve cups of milk with candy canes sticking out of them for a splash of festive colour?

There are some fab North Pole breakfast ideas over on Good to Know.

Don’t forget to get some festive napkins and a table cloth to make the breakfast table look bright and fun.

Texting Santa

While a letter from the Elf can help explain his arrival, you could also try using some modern technology!

Sit your Elf up with your phone in front of him and some text messages on the screen between him and Santa as if he has pinched your phone to let Santa know he’s OK.

If you change your partner’s name on the phone to “Santa” then it will show up on screen as a conversation with Santa.

Try writing the following exchange:

You: Hey Santa, got here safe. Kids all behaving well so far. I’ll report back tonight.

Santa: Ho Ho Ho. Wonderful news. Do not forget to spread lots of Christmas joy while you are there! All is good here. The presents are nearly finished and the reindeer are getting ready for their big flight.

You: See you soon boss!

Popping out of a present

Have a gift box under the tree (if you’ve put it up, if not put it on the breakfast table) and have the Elf popping out of it with a label on the side of the box saying “I’m back” or “Guess who’s back?”.

Inside the box you could put your letter from the Elf.

Secret message from Santa

I love this idea for welcoming back the Elf! It’s perfect for older children and gives them a fun activity as part of Elf’s return.

Give the kids an envelop featuring a coded message from Santa, delivered by the Elf, that they need to decode and read.

You can try this coded message printable from Over The Big Moon.

Throw a welcome party

The day before December 1, get your kids to help you decorate the house to welcome back the Elf.

You could make your own bunting together, using templates such as this one from Activity Village.

Simply get your kids to decorate the bunting with paint or pens and write “Welcome Back”. If your Elf has a name then add that to the banner too.

You could also blow up some balloons in festive red and green colours, and add a few streamers to the ceiling and walls.

Your children can also create their own posters with pictures of the Elf to put on the walls to welcome him back.

When the kids are asleep, place the Elf among all of the party chaos, with a party popper or whistle in his hand to show him enjoying the fun.

Elf on the Shelf return ideas plus free printable letter from the elf Elf on the Shelf return ideas plus free printable letter from the elf