It's the most magical time of year! It's time for The Elf on the Shelf—one of our favorite Christmas traditions—to leave his cozy spot as Santa's sidekick in the North Pole and resume his important role as your household's naughty-or-nice list monitor. For the unfamiliar: Every year, Santa sends The Elf on the Shelf to scout children's houses and keep tabs on their Christmas season behavior, often leaving a trail of marshmallows and glitter in their wake. There are so many things to learn: whether it's the creative and mischievous situations the elves have gotten themselves into in years past, the awesome new Elf on the Shelf outfits available for your family's Elf, the rules that come with owning one (like choosing a good Elf on the Shelf name), and his daily routine (he stays put during the day, jets to the North Pole to submit his report each night, and then appears in a new spot the following morning). But first and foremost, you need to know this: When does The Elf on the Shelf come to your house? And when does The Elf on the Shelf leave so he can head back to the North Pole? We've got the 411 here.
When Does The Elf on the Shelf Come?
The elves are capricious little guys and gals, and they arrive for the holiday season according to their whims. So if your neighbor's Elf on the Shelf has arrived and you're still waiting, don't worry! Some make their first appearance on Thanksgiving night, and others wait until December. Most of them will arrive during the official Scout Elf Return Week though, which is November 24 through December 1. If your little friend hasn't shown up by early December, it might be worth a note to Santa to check up on him!
When Does The Elf on the Shelf Leave?
By the time Christmas approaches, you might be ready for The Elf on the Shelf to head on his merry way. Cleaning up after the messier elves can get tiresome! Don't worry—your in-laws might overstay their welcome, but the Elf will not. The Elf's job is to report back on the kids' behavior every day leading up to December 25, so he should hitch a ride back to the North Pole with Santa after he's done setting out Christmas presents under the tree on Christmas Eve night. But don't be sad! He'll definitely be back next holiday season.
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