The elves are back! Most Elf on the Shelf elves return to their families during what’s called Scout Elf Return Week, from Thanksgiving to Dec. 1, and they often arrive with some fanfare, from floating in on a hot-air balloon to riding in on a reindeer-pulled edible chocolate sleigh.
Here’s how some of Long Island’s elves – who magically return to the North Pole each night through Christmas Eve to report on whether the children in the house are being naughty or nice – showed up this year.
Just like Santa has helpers, the elves have their own team on Long Island to aid them in their arrivals and antics. Here are some:
Alyssa Guidice of Hicksville, owner of A Pound & A Half Cookies and Cupcakes, makes elf cookie cakes for $25 each, apoundandahalf.com.
Kristen Zingales of Wantagh sells post office scenery and paraphernalia for $28 on her Facebook page at Celebrate In Style.
Stephanie Saverese of Long Beach sells printable cutout scenes for $5.99 and created the turkey disguise at her Etsy store, Yellow Cow Studio.
Melinda Space of Hicksville, owner of the Facebook-based Thems The Breaks Chocolate Shop, makes chocolate sleighs for $10 and breakable chocolate boxes that come with a little wooden hammer.
Regina Dixson of Ronkonkoma and Cindy Munoz of Farmingdale rent yard signs that say “You’ve Been Elfed” for $55 for 24 hours at Yard Card Mothers on Facebook.
Kelly Burdewick and Josephine Genua of Wantagh sell a pre-made kit for $40 that gives the elves antics for 24 days; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laurie Ferrara of Seaford offers an elf balloon for $60 at her Facebook page Balloons by Laurie.
Pancake the Elf showed up at the Hegarty home in Levittown this year with a surprise - three baby elves! Just like the Hegarty family, which includes Brielle, 9, and twins Kyleigh and Brayden, 5, Pancake's elfin children are Snowflake and twins Candy Cane and Buddy, says Donna Hegarty, 42, a legal secretary. The elves appeared on a shelf near the family's white-brick fireplace on the morning after Thanksgiving, with a banner that read "I'm back."
Rose Walker, 70, a Nassau County legislator who lives in Hicksville, has two elves that come to her house to keep an eye on her grandchildren Brady, 6, (left), Lucas, 9, Alexis, 11, and Aiden, 13. This year, elves Sparkle and Connor arrived back on Thanksgiving. "They were just so excited," Walker says of the children.
"He showed up downstairs with a new pet!" says Cobbe McCue, 9, of Massapequa Park, who looked all over to see if his elf, named Charlie, was back yet. "I couldn't find him upstairs, but I found him downstairs." The pet in question isn't a live animal, it's a stuffed animal Arctic Fox. Charlie himself showed up inside of the belly of an enormous elf balloon that Cobbe popped immediately. "He thought the elf couldn't breathe in here," says dad Steve McCue, 51, who is semi-retired. Charlie also brought a few toys and candy.
Dylan McKie, 11, of Hicksville, discovered that his elf had returned on Dec. 1, sitting in a sleigh made from chocolate pulled by reindeer. "Little things like that just get the kids so excited," says his mother, Danielle McKie, 46, an administrator for an accountant.
The Reynolds family's elves arrived back at their Wantagh home with an entourage. The Reynolds have three elves - Charlie, Violet and Snickers - who report back to Santa on whether the Reynolds boys - Owen, 10, and twins Sean and Liam, 12 - are being naughty or nice this holiday season. This year, the elves arrived with a post office backdrop, a nutcracker and a mailbox for the boys to put their letters to Santa so the elves can bring them back to the North Pole. "It's such fun to see their faces," mom Marybeth Reynolds, 46, a speech language pathologist, says of the arrival of what the family calls the Christmas Crew. "It brings a little magic and joy to the start of the season for us."
Adrianna Allocco, 9, and her sister, Alessandra, 6, discovered their elves, Jazzie and Blubblegum, under the family's Christmas tree in their Massapequa Park home - and, this year, they arrived with a third elf, a reindeer, baby elves. Balloons and chocolate treats in a breakable box.
"Every year, our elf comes back in a hot-air balloon," says Heather Haverbusch, 40, a sonographer from Massapequa who has two children, Alison, 10, and Ryan, 5. Last year, the family's Elf on The Shelf, named Willie McGee, arrived in the dining room; this year, he arrived on the morning after Thanksgiving near the family's front window. The elves traditionally arrive between Thanksgiving and Dec. 1, Haverbusch explains.
Sisters Laila (left) and Makayla Toal, ages 6 and 10, discovered their Elf on the Shelf, Sparkles, on the kitchen island of their Holtsville home inside of a clear balloon. A note told them to look outside for a surprise - and the sisters posed for photos with a lawn sign that said, "You've Been Elfed!" After 24 hours, the sign magically traveled to the home of another elf on Long Island.
Maura LaManna's family elf arrived incognito on her dining room table on the morning after Thanksgiving. "The elf had a turkey costume on," says LaManna, 44, a nurse from Long Beach who has two children, Anthony, 9, and Jackson, 6.
Mason Gonzales, 5, of Williston Park, was thrilled when his elf, named Jack, returned for a second year, bringing him a gift - a brownie cookie cake that read "Surprise -- I'm back." "He's starting to learn how to read," mom Cinthia Gonzales, 38, says of Mason, who is in Kindergarten. "He immediately saw the word 'back.'" Mason has a younger sister, Mia, who is 1, but she's too young to understand the elf tradition - yet.