December has arrived and so has Elf on the Shelf - the creative new craze where parents use elf dolls to tell their kids Christmas stories.

The viral trend originated in the US in 2005 but has since made the trip across the pond.

The Elf on the Shelf story was created by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell - and was based on their own personal Christmas tradition.

The story goes that Father Christmas sends out pixie elf scouts each year to visit little boys and girls across the globe and check if they have been naughty or nice.

Every night in December, when the kids have drifted off to sleep, parents pose the elf which comes with the book in various locations around the house.

The authors are keen to stress that elves can not be “bought”. Instead they are “adopted” from adoption centres - like Poundland and John Lewis - over the festive period.

And the trend even comes with its own #elfonashelf hashtag.

But some cheeky parents have taken the opportunity to place the elves in hilarious, compromising or crude positions, sharing photos of them online.

One parent recreated a scene from The Voice complete with makeshift microphones and plastic cup thrones.

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(Shan The Elf)

In another photo an impudent elf is seen trapped in a jar after letting one rip.

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In a third picture two elves take a dip with tiny inflatable rings and minuscule snorkelling goggles.

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In an adorable video Thunder and Bolt, two micro pigs training to work as 'therapy' animals in a hospital, give an impromptu ride to an elf who appears to be holding on tight for his life.

Here an elf is found doing a light spot of kitchen abseiling using an impressive makeshift harness.

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(Credit Jennifer Linch)

And while the little festive figure allegedly drops by with the sole purpose of checking little boys and girls are heaving - it seems the elf is also prone to bouts of bad behaviour. Here he’s seen gorging on pizza and beer.

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(Credit Rebecca Gabbitas)

Another scout elf has caught a cold in the lead up to Christmas and needs a bit of down time to make sure he’s fresh for the big day.

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(Shan The Elf)

Being sociable creatures, it’s no surprise elves have been captured playing games together while munching on takeaway noodles.

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(Shan The Elf)

The elf has also been know to don a disguise or two. Here one appears to be doing its best Spiderman impression. Sadly he hasn’t yet found his Mary Jane.

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(Credit Shelley Craig)

In a scene reminiscent of Toy Story, one unfortunate elf has strayed into unfamiliar territory and finds himself taken hostage by plastic green army men.

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(Attached photo - credit Tim O’Donovan)

Another cheeky elf named Marshmallow is caught in the act of making an edible snow angel.

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(Attached photo - credit Amanda Moore)

And another seems to have completely misjudged the festive season, mistaking Halloween for Christmas and donning its best clown outfit in a homage to the film 'It'.

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(Attached Photo -credit Alana Drummond)