Dad shares hilarious photos of his real-life Elf on the Shelf

Whether you love or hate (or love to hate) the popular Elf on the Shelf Christmas tradition, one family's real-life version is sure to spread some holiday cheer.

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Alan Lawrence is a dad of six in Paradise, Utah, who has been photographing his youngest son, Rockwell, as a tiny human-sized elf since December 2015.

If you’re unfamiliar with Elf on the Shelf, the story goes that Santa Claus sends these elves into homes with children to find out whether the kids have been naughty or nice. Overnight, the elves get into all sorts of mischief, before eventually settling into a new part of the house (or a new shelf).

In the morning, it turns into a fun hide-and-seek game for the kids in the morning.

In Lawrence’s case, Rockwell or “Rock the Elf” has been up to no good from the very start. During his first visit, Rock hogged up all the syrup, got in the way of nap time, jammed cookies into the VCR and even toilet-papered the Christmas tree.


And every Christmas since, Rock the Elf has made his way back to taunt Lawrence some more. Here he is last year, ready to wreak havoc.

But this year, Rock managed to escape the North Pole much earlier than he was allowed to, so an angry Santa Claus stripped him of his elf certificate and sent Elmer the Elf (a toy Elf on the Shelf) to re-certify Rock and “keep him in line.”

It doesn’t really look like it’s working, though. Rock the Elf is out of control. Lawrence documented some of the hilarious chaos on YouTube:

All of Lawrence’s photos and videos are posted to his website, That Dad Blog, where he shares his “joys and challenges of being a father,” including his experiences raising their second youngest son Wil, who has Down syndrome and “the ability of flight.”

Last year, he and his wife launched, a site where the family sells special calendars featuring delightful photos of their blonde haired boy in flight at Disney World, on the beach, over canyons and more.

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Credit: Michael Loccisano

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Credit: Michael Loccisano

Proceeds from the calendar sales go to two popular Down syndrome foundations, Reece's Rainbow and Ruby's Rainbow.