18 Elves That Made a Spectacular Return to the Shelf

As soon as Thanksgiving is over our Instagram feeds will quickly become flooded with photos of the Elf on the Shelf. Every year, some parents go above and beyond to kick-start the beloved Christmas countdown. From elaborate and encouraging rhymes to candy-coated scenes, the Elf on the Shelf seems to be back and better than ever!

In honor of annual #ElfReturnWeek, here are some of our favorite ways that families have welcomed this holiday helper back onto the shelf in years past.

Hanging Out

This little guy certainly blends in with the rest of the ornaments.

Skiing Blunder

This little elf gave a whole new meaning to the term "crashing the party."

Go Undercover

They could pass for Pokémon, right?

Elf in the Box

This little guy is making his holiday debut.

Surprise Elf

Nothing like sneaking up on a friend to kick off the holiday season.

A Morning Pick-Me-Up

The best part of waking up is an elf in your cup.

Dear Friend . . .

This little guy left a big note for his family.

On Dasher. On Dancer . . .

Looks like someone borrowed Santa's sleigh.

Sneak Attack

It seems some toys are a bit jealous of this holiday helper.

A Sweet Return

Was this guy on a sugar high?

An A+ Elf

Even Santa's helpers have to master Common Core math.

A Jarful of Joy

Let's hope he wasn't stuck for too long.

Caught Red-Handed

A bold statement from such a shy creature.


Looks like Charlie made a few new friends.

TP the Tree

Someone made a little mischief upon his return.

A Movember Surprise

We "mustache" what Marty did to this family portrait.

Tardy For the Party

When Busy Philipps realized she forgot to put out the elf, she made up for it with some sweet gifts.