Elf on a Shelf: Creepy or Cute?


vintage 1950s elf on a shelf retro pixie christmas ornament

I've never had an elf on a shelf but in the age of Pinterest, we all know about them. This little freaky 50s pixie moves around your house at night, getting into mischief and in the morning, the kids get a kick out of finding out what he was doing while they were asleep.

The original elf was made in the 50s and 60s and was a knee-hugging funny little pixie. Some people just set them out to look cute and some parents blamed the elf on a shelf for unwrapped Christmas presents that they forgot to stick under the tree.

vintage 1950s elf on a shelf retro pixie christmas ornament

Then in 2005, the Elf on a Shelf book came out with a story about the retro ornaments.

I never thought I'd be the mom to wait till the kids go to sleep and arrange some silly scene with the elves getting into trouble but when we got our vintage elves from grandma, I set them up in the fridge eating grapes, sitting in a bowl. The kids woke up in the morning and laughed hysterically at the sight and I admit, I was kinda hooked on them, just because they made my kids laugh so much. Some nights our elves are comfy enough where they are and some nights they end up in crazy places, I never put them in messy situations of have them holding a fishing pole over the toilet seat because they're old and that's a disaster waiting to happen.

Elf on a Shelf in our house is more of a hide and seek game and its funny enough to the kids, just seeing them in different places than they were left. You can get lots of great ideas for Elf on a Shelf on Pinterest.

Stay tuned on Thursday for my no-sew pattern and tutorial for making your own retro felt knee hugging elves.

DIY no sew retro elf on a shelf free tutorial and pattern

 Also check out last year's mischievous 1950s pixie ornament tutorial

make 1950s elf christmas ornament tutorial

 What do you think about Elf on a Shelf? Creepy or Cute?


  1. I grew up in the 60s, and the Elf on the Shelf was not as big as, say, Etch-a-Sketch. Having tried to stay awake for years on Christmas Eve to be "Santa" (I'm the oldest mom on the planet), I need my sleep!

  2. When Elf on the Shelf became 'in' again, my grandma commented she remembered them from the 60's. She thought they were kind of creepy. Each time I mosey through Macys home goods to get through the mall during this month, I always see them, and I kinda cringe. I find them sort of cute, but mostly creepy.

  3. Seriously cute in my books. Though I'd venture to guess that some of my fellow Canadians must have had the Elf on the Shelf tradition before the web came along, it wasn't until a few years that I first discovered this charming holiday imp and all the merry mischief associated with him through the good ol' interwebz. One of these days I'll have to find (likely buy from a US seller online) one for my own holiday decor - they're too kitsch and adorable to go without forever now that I know about them. :)

    ♥ Jessica

  4. I think they're actually quite cute although I have surprised myself by thinking that because I often find these kinds of vintage ornaments to twee and/or creepy for my tastes. It's a sweet idea to amuse the children!

  5. Elves on the shelves sure have come a long way. I first found them in the knitting and crafting world many years ago and was sad when they became so mass produced. I did not know the origin of the cute little things. It was my perception that they were supposed to be hand made, I look forward to your tutorial. The tradition may not be rooted in the idea of hand crafted, but there's no reason we can't steer it in that direction.

    She Knits in Pearls

  6. While I do love kinda creepy stuff, including Christmas decor (I have an extreme passion for the Dream Pet reindeer), I am rather creeped out by the Elf on the Shelf, though I do believe the original version is much more endearing than the new one that you see at the stores today.


  7. I was sort of amazed when I first heard about Elf on the Shelf, my grandparents had two elves that they always hung up on the bannister. I had no idea other people had ever seen elves like ours, even less so that there was a whole game associated with them!

  8. Totally creepy! I wish they weren't, but I can't understand the whole 'Elf on the Shelf' craze.


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