elf on the shelf ideas

Elf on the Shelf: A Must-Read Letter to Your Child

Elf on the Shelf is a common way for parents to encourage kids to “be good” before Christmas. The threat is that if kids are “naughty” according to the Elf, there’s a risk that presents might not come at Christmastime.

However, as many parents strive for more positive approaches to parenting, they’re questioning whether there’s a way to continue the Elf tradition they’ve used in years past—but spin it in a more positive way. As a conscious parenting writer and educator, I applaud that!

What will your kids think if the Elf on the Shelf changes his tune, though? Or goes away entirely?

First, it’s fine if he goes away. Every family celebrates differently. If your kids are attached to him, though, or if you want to proactively try a different approach, one possibility is to mark the change by including the Elf in the process!

One fun option is to share a letter from the Elf about what he’s doing differently this year. It’s a great way to balance a tradition (if it is one for your family) with a new spin that your child is sure to embrace.

Elf on the Shelf
Pin this!

Elf on the Shelf: A Letter with a Positive Parenting Approach


Dear ______,

This is ________, your Elf on the Shelf from last year. Do you remember me? I remember you! I really enjoyed surprising you by showing up in different places around the house every day. It was fun when you found me. You have such a wonderful smile and you smiled at me each time you discovered me.

I want you to know I’ll still be around this year. Hooray!

One thing will be different, though. Last year, your Elf on the Shelf checked to see if you were being naughty or nice and reported back to the North Pole every night.

I’ve realized something since then, though. I know that like all kids, you’re always doing the best you can. I appreciate that.

So, I won’t be reporting anything back. Just keep being you; keep doing your best. You have a good heart. 

And while you’re doing your best to be YOU—because you’re good enough exactly as you are—I’ll be doing my best to surprise you!

Do you think you’ll be able to find me? I’m going to be extra tricky this year!

See you soon.


Your Elf on the Shelf


You might also like:

8 Great Tips for a Greener Christmas
Family and Holidays: 6 Ways to Find Joy
Top Stocking Stuffers for Kids and Kids at Heart

Follow Us

Pinterest  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

Shop With Us

When you shop with us, you help us support important charities. See many of our favorite children’s booksparenting bookstoys and gamestravel necessities, school supplies and homeschool supplies, holiday fun, and wellness-related items. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. However, pricing (including sale prices) and shipping are still from Amazon. Once you click the checkout button from your Dandelion Seeds cart, it’ll direct you to Amazon to complete your purchase.

About the Writer

Sarah R. Moore is a published writer, positive parenting educator, wellness advocate, and world traveler. Her work spans the globe, reaching readers on six continents and appearing in publications such as The Natural Parent Magazine, Scary Mommy, and Macaroni Kid.

She has been certified by the Raffi Foundation for Child Honouring.  She wholeheartedly recommends the course for parents, educators, and all others who influence the lives of children. 

She also holds BA / MFS degrees in Journalism, French, and Media/Arts/Cultural Production. Read more about Sarah here.