Happy holidays, readers!
We've updated this story (which is still so useful) to make sure it shows you products available to buy in 2017. We hope you enjoy it! For gift guides published this year, be sure to check out:
- Cheap Christmas Gift Ideas That Are Still Extremely Thoughtful
- 25 Quirky, Cozy, and Canadian Christmas Gifts Under $20
- Secret Santa Gift Ideas Under $30 That Are Cool AF
We've also included a few survival tips for the holidays below.
One of the best things about the Elf on the Shelf tradition is that there are no concrete rules (besides moving the little scout every night, of course). That means your family's elf can arrive and leave on whatever day you choose.
Generally, Santa's scout bids farewell on Christmas Eve. After all, come Christmas morning, his job of watching the kids to make sure they're on their best behaviour is over.
The official Elf on the Shelf website explains that the elves must return to the North Pole on Dec. 24 because "toy making begins almost immediately" for the next year. Not only that, but the elves may have to undergo new training for their scout missions and tend to the reindeer.
But again, everyone's family traditions are different and you may choose to have your scout fly back to the North Pole on a different day. For some, that means Christmas night so the kids can enjoy the company of their elf for a final day.
So how does the elf say good-bye? There are so many ways! Some pack their bags.
Some bring presents.
And some leave magic dust.
Flip through the slideshow below for more creative ways your scout can say good-bye