Elf on the Shelf. A lot of people are calling it stalker-ish and annoying. However, we've had a lot of fun, and success with our elf!
Amanda will be 5 in January, and while she is certainly starting to grow out of whining and tantruming, there are times when she falls back into old habits. Elf has been a saving beacon of hope. We just tell her Elf is going to tell Santa she's being naughty, and wallah! she is ready to be good again.
Also, the fun of finding elf every morning is exciting for our young kids. They wake up ready to skim the house looking for their elf. Even Kevin looks forward to finding where he is today!
Yes, I have had several nights where I wake from a dead slumber, realizing I forgot to move elf. In fact, 3 mornings out of 5 our elf hasn't even moved because (you guessed it), I forgot to move him. But fortunately for us, our kids are easily sidetracked with excuses, and move on quickly.
I just wanted to say I really like this new and fun tradition. And although it's not for everyone, we love it's magical and entertaining value.