I was bumming a little bit when I was watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled that the balloons went up, they weren't very high but they were up.

I was sad because the "Elf on the Shelf" balloon was a no show. I was worried because I thought that it may be the end. However, on Friday, I'm happy to report that our Elf on the Shelf" was back for the 9th year.

Suzie has been part of the Pitcher family since Tara was 6 years old and she loves her as much now as she did in the beginning. She takes pictures and posts them on Instagram with a funny caption.

By now, you probably have heard of the "Elf on the Shelf" but if you're new to this, let me help. Have you ever wondered how Santa could know if you're naughty or nice? It's been a secret for a very long time, but now we know. Santa sends friendly elves to scout for him.

When the elf appears at your home, you quickly must give it a name. Every night while your child is sleeping, your Elf on the Shelf flies back to the North Pole to report to the jolly man himself.

When the child's elf goes to Santa it almost always returns in a different location in your house and the most exciting part is figuring out where the Shelf Elf will show up the next day.

They hang around until Christmas Eve when their job is done until next year. Although Tara has discovered that if she writes a note to Suzie before she goes to bed, she'll stay around until the end of the year.

There's one really big rule - you can't touch the Shelf Elf because they might lose their magic. You can talk to them of course, but they can't talk back.

So one of the big questions is, What do you do if your Elf on the Shelf is accidentally touched? You have three options:

  1. Write a note to your elf or Santa apologizing for touching your elf.
  2. Sprinkle a little cinnamon next to your elf.
  3. Sing a Christmas carol with your family!

There are so many things that you can do with your children with your Elf, here is some of the fun stuff that you can do.

Suzie is looking out of Tara's telescope. I think Suzie is looking for Santa...or maybe the star that the wise men used on that special night in Bethlehem. Welcome back again, Suzie.

We've missed you and are looking forward to more adventures together this holiday season!

[via Elf on the Shelf/Santas North Pole]