01 December 2020 12:35

Over the pat few years, a new Christmas tradition has started becoming popular called Elf on the Shelf.

You either love it or hate it, but the Elf on the Shelf craze is back. If you don't already know what it is, then you're probably one of the lucky ones, as each December the pesky little elves cause havoc in homes across the country. The Elf on the Shelf craze started in America but has now become a tradition in the UK too. But as much as children love seeing the mischief the elves bring, parents can often find themselves tearing their hair out trying to think of new ways to bring the characters to life. The idea is that the elf has been sent to spy on children and report their behaviour back to Santa.

And to prove it's real, once kids are safely tucked up in bed, mums and dads put the elf in different locations in the house so he pops up somewhere new when they wake up in the morning - usually having been up to mischief during the night. While many families use the official Elf on the Shelf merchandise, there are many other versions available from pound shops and the like, so it's a trend that's become accessible to all. But what starts off as fun in the countdown to the big day can soon become a chore for mums and dads as they struggle to come up with new ways of bringing their elves to life. That's why we're here to help with ideas from our own Manchester families. Our mammoth gallery shows the cheeky elves getting up to all sorts of shenanigans - from photocopying their bottoms to covering the living room furniture in wrapping paper.

Swipe through the gallery here to see all 100 Elf on the Shelf ideas and don't forget to show us what yours have been up to. Share your pictures on our Manchester Family Facebook page. It's December 1st, which means Elf on the Shelf is officially back for 2020. If you want to take part in the popular tradition, here are 15 places that you could hide your elf. After a long year dominated by Covid-19, it seems like people have been keener than ever to get into the Christmas spirit, and everyone's been excitedly waiting until December 1st to start their Christmas countdown.

The big day is finally here, and the festive season has officially begun, which means so has Elf on the Shelf. As well as Advent calendars, Elf on the Shelf has become a popular way to get your children excited for Christmas and count down the days until Santa comes to visit. What is Elf on the Shelf? Over the pat few years, a new Christmas tradition has started becoming popular called Elf on the Shelf. The trend all started with a 2005 American Children's book called The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition by Bell Chanda and Carol V. Aebersold. The story is about a scout elf who was sent by Santa to check whether the children were being naughty or nice. Then, a doll of the elf in the book was created, and parents began bringing the character to life in their own homes. Every night in December, parents hide the elf doll that children believe has been sent by Father Christmas in different places around the house. Then, children will find it when they wake up. The tradition has now become popular in many countries around the world and is a fun way to get your children excited for Christmas and bring a little bit of festive magic. 15 Elf on the Shelf ideas If you're thinking of doing Elf on the Shelf for your children this year, here are some places where you could hide the elf doll every day… 1. Elf on the Shelf eating the cookies 2. Elf on the Shelf doing the laundry 3. Elf on the Shelf self-isolating 4. Elf on the Shelf in a hot air balloon 5. Elf on the Shelf in a marshmallow bubble bath 6. Elf on the Shelf in a delivery bag 7. Elf on the Shelf in a car 8. Elf on the Shelf climbing the wall 9. Elf on the Shelf wrapped in toilet roll Elf on the Shelf on the Christmas tree Elf on the Shelf taking a selfie Elf on the Shelf in a boat Elf on the Shelf sanitising his hands Elf on the Shelf in your shoes Elf on the Shelf doing a face mask This content could not be loaded In other news, Francia Raisa and Selena Gomez feud explained: Kidney donor speaks out against Saved by the Bell organ joke! IT'S that time of year again as Santa's cheeky elves return. Parents, teachers and anyone else crazy enough to bring back the elf this year will need some inspiration to create a little bit of magic for the kiddies. Traditionally the Elf on the Shelf is a bit of fun in the run up to Christmas, encouraging children to behave themselves. The elf was invented to watch over your child to see if they have been being good or naughty and then reports back to the north pole to tell the man in red. Although the tradition was intended for this purpose, people have gone out of their way to turn the elf into a rogue character, a candy deliverer and eater, a glitter bomber, there's so many out there that the list is endless. It's all a bit of fun and the tradition has taken over homes across the world over the past few years. That's why we want you to share your Elf on the Shelf ideas to give us all a bit of help. Naughty elves and magical elves are all welcome, extravagent and creative elves, too. Jade Ellison runs Elegant Events and said that this year she has been inundated with hot air balloon style orders for the elves to return in. She said: "I have been so busy with the orders, it has certainly been the busiest year yet. "Parents have had time to bring back the elves and take it upon themselves to make it as magical as possible and why not, it has been a tough year for the kids, it's a great way to get them to smile." Here's a few to get you started and you can upload yours at the bottom of this article. Have your elf watching a movie, easy enough! A bubble bath always goes down well. Cheeky elves leaving a message with veggies. This fella got caught in the bows whilst wrapping presents. Riding on a reindeer is how these elves travel.