I was reading on the hot tips message board that I follow for good online deals and I read one where they were discussing Elf on the Shelf. I wish I had found this years ago when the kids were little. It has become a great holiday tradition for many and the parents have fun with it.
He moves around during the night and sometimes does mischievous things. Some of the fun things that elves have done are:
Toilet-papered the living room
Switched the collars on the dogs
Wearing a doll dress and sitting at a little tea party set
Head first in a VCR
Left a cereal trail down the hallway
Ate some cookies and left a crumb trail
Floating on a boat in the dogs water bowl
Changed the language on the TV to spanish
Turned the couch upside down
Sprayed silly string in the kids room while they were sleeping
Built a pyramid of Dixie cups in the middle of the living room
Each night he nibbles another piece off of the gingerbread house
Of course you can have one that just perches in interesting places and is not mischievous. For example they can be found hanging in the chandelier, on top of the doorbell, on the entertainment center, in the table centerpiece, on the fireplace, or sitting reading a book. It is great for keeping the kids motivated to be good and gives them something to look forward to each morning. I plan to get this one day when I have grandkids.
It can be found at many places or you can just buy an elf and make up the story yourselves. Here is a link to the storybook and elf. Elf on the Shelf