But one mum has finally had enough of the Christmas tradition after the elf's naughty behaviour encouraged her son, Miles, to misbehave.
Lynn Heinrich posted to Facebook, explaining that one evening her elf on the shelf prank went badly wrong.
She said: 'Last night I did my motherly duty of moving the damn elf. So I was feeling creative and I got shaving cream and sprayed it all over the bathroom mirror and filled one of the two sinks with shaving cream and left a little notes that said, "Miles did it" and Angel the elf was holding the pencil and had his arm around the shaving cream.'
However, after being falsely accused of spraying the bathroom, Miles got his own back on the elf after worrying that he would get in trouble.
Lynn explained: 'Miles woke up before me and went to the bathroom and apparently got scared s******* that he was going to be in so much trouble that he needed to cover his tracks. Soooo my son, apple of my eye, the monster I was on bed rest for 5 months for, that I went through 21 hours of labor for and took 3 hours to push his huge ass head out, well he decides to frame the elf.
'So he gets a magic marker, black to be exact and draws squiggly lines all over my bathroom walls.'
But if that wasn't enough, the 'mastermind' Miles also wrote the phrase 'you are ugly Lynn' with the marker and gave the marker to the Elf. Lynn admitted that even though her bathroom was covered in black marker pen, 'you have to give him credit there'.
'He is smarter than the dumb a**** on Snapped or I Always Got Away With It.'
But despite Miles managing to outsmart the elf, Lynn added: 'Anyway so now because of this Mother F%^$%$& elf I have to paint my bathroom again. I mean how can I yell at him without telling him I know he did it b/c I did the shaving cream.'
'So to whomever the friggin genius was that came up with Elf on a Shelf, you're an asshole and I hope the elf murders you in your sleep! #ElfOnAShelfFail'
Fortunately, Lynn posted an update saying she wouldn't have to paint the bathroom as the maker managed to come off with soap and water. That's a relief!