We are here to explain everything you need to know about Elf on the Shelf, the Christmas 2018 holiday tradition you need in on — if you're not in already that is. 

Elf on the Shelf in a Tree
Credit: Goodmoments/Shutterstock

If you have yet to get onboard with Elf on the Shelf, you still have time to do so before Christmas 2018! According to Elfontheshelf.com, your elf should be making its arrival—or comeback—from the North Pole between November 24 and December 1. That means there are still many days to brainstorm fun ways to ensure your kids make the nice list this year with Scout the elf.

Owning a scout elf has become a staple in many homes and parents have made it their duty to come up with cute and funny ways to stage the doll overnight in order to surprise their kids in the morning. Besides becoming a social media sensation as users share the brilliant and often mischievous ways their scout elf makes themselves at home, the franchise has expanded to multiple scout elf dolls, elf pet dolls such as a reindeer and a Saint Bernard, multiple books, a letters to Santa set, a clothing collection for the dolls, multiple animated Christmas specials, and even a giant balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Elf on the Shelf may be a newer holiday tradition, but its high popularity doesn’t make it any less important to little boys and girls getting excited for the most wonderful time of the year. Derived from the Carol Aebersold and her daughter, Chanda Bell’s, book The Elf on the Shelf published in 2005, the “scout elf” is a stuffed doll that sits around the weeks leading up to Christmas to observe your children’s behavior. As told in the book, every night the scout elf flies to the North Pole to report all naughty and nice behaviors to Santa.

So what are you waiting for? It's time to start elf planning!