I don't push the idea of Santa in my house, but I certainly love the magic of it. So, last year when I kept seeing the "Elf on the Shelf" idea pop up all over, I wanted to join in. There's an actual kit you can buy with the elf and the story, but you don't really need it if you get the basics. (And you can tweak it too. For instance, my kids can touch him, but not play with him.)
I couldn't find an elf I liked and wanted something that either bended or could in some other way hold onto things. I found this little Santa with magnetic hands. He arrived a few days into December (as it looks like he will this year too - I just barely got the Christmas boxes out.) with a note explaining who he was and that he was watching the kids to make sure they were nice.
Throughout the following days until Christmas, Santa's helper would get into mischief or else do good deeds (like bringing them a gingerbread house!). I'm excited to get started this year and I will post a few of my ideas along the way.
Christmas Eve is the last day the elf, or in our case the Santa, is around. The idea is that when Santa comes to your house the elf leaves with him.We had him go out with a kind of last hurrah, toilet papering the living room.