11/16/2016 04:45 EST

Elf On The Shelf Rules For Newbie Parents

Help has arrived.

New to the Elf on the Shelf tradition, but too embarrassed to ask how this thing works? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here are 7 rules for Santa's devilish little helper. But, really, you can do whatever you want.

1. He or she needs a name. And usually these are very silly (think Twinkle Toes).

2. He or she arrives whenever the heck you want. Some parents start after American Thanksgiving. Others start when their tree goes up. And others start on December 1.

3. He or she moves every night while the kids are sleeping. (Set an alarm on your phone, because you will forget.)

Looks like Twinkie the elf is in troubl #elfontheshelf

A photo posted by Sue Crowe (@crowesue) on

4. He or she watches over the kids all day. And reports back to Santa on their behaviour at night.

Something exciting is in it way! Can you feel it? #elfontheshelf

A photo posted by *mramie* (@pittman.miranda) on

5. The kids can't touch their Elf. Otherwise he or she will "disappear."

Co-conspirators! #elfontheshelf #labrador #labradorretriever #labsofinstagram #puppies

A photo posted by Lab pups (@labpupsdotcom) on

6. The Elf doesn't move or speak while the kids are awake.

7. He or she leaves before Christmas.


A photo posted by Choc OH lat (@chocohlat) on

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