The holidays are responsible for a heap of fun traditions that are enjoyed by kids and adults alike. My favorite is the Advent calendar. Not only does it make the wait for Christmas more jolly, but I also get to punch out a sweet each day along the way.

Now, I’m referring to just one very common type of Advent calendar. However, people have gone to great lengths to make its format more engaging and mind-bogglingly elaborate (in a good way). It’s enough to Google non-chocolate advent calendar to prove that point.

Here’s little Dylan’s adorable 25-day countdown to Christmas, starting with December 1

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

Well, this year, mother of 3 Alyssa Eubert decided to bring her family’s wait for Christmas to the next level by creating her own Advent calendar. It came in the form of her dressing up her lovely baby son Dylan in a tiny elf costume and posting a picture of the adorable Elf On A Shelf on Facebook every day leading up to Christmas. Needless to say, it was a treat for more than just Alyssa, as the internet loved it and it went viral.

December 2: the little elf that’s stealing dad’s wallet

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 3: they thought they ordered “chicken noodle soup”

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

Bored Panda reached out to Alyssa Eubert who elaborated on her idea to celebrate Christmas this way. Alyssa is a labor and delivery nurse and mother of 3 children, Zoe (19yo), Camryn (13yo), and Dylan (6mo) from Pottsville, Pennsylvania, where she lives together with her husband Malcolm.

December 4: never leave markers where little elfs might reach them

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 5: the cute elf may not read, but he can surely melt hearts

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

Alyssa explained that the adorable photos of Dylan have an adorable beginning: “I was walking through Michael’s craft store and saw red and white felt. I brought it home and made my mom make a little hat, gloves, and neck piece. She’s very crafty. We put that little costume on and it made me so happy and laugh so hard at the same time.”

December 6: the elf that wants the entire family to get into the Christmas spirit

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 7: the sneaky elf used flour to make an angel instead of cookies

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

One tiny thing lead to another, and here she was one-upping her own ideas by putting Dylan in various situations, making for some cute pictures. “I started coming up with all of these ideas on what the little elf should do next. I took one picture and everyone loved it. So I decided to do a countdown to Christmas.”

December 8: “rub a dub dub, I see an elf in the tub”

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 9: apparently elfs don’t like Mondays either

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

It wasn’t long until people online noticed and started calling Alyssa’s son an adorable Elf on the Shelf. This is a reference to the 2005 children’s Christmas picture book of the same name. It tells a story of how Santa’s little elf helpers live in people’s homes and watch over them, reporting all the good (and all the bad) deeds that are done back to Santa.

December 10: when Black Friday purchases arrive on the same day

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 11: when the elf doesn’t like to play well with others

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

Apart from it being genuinely fun for her and her family, she also wanted to bring people joy with the lovely elf photos: “There is so much negativity out there in the news and blowing up feeds, I just wanted to make people smile. Also, I wanted to get as many crazy photos as I can before he grows up and is too cool for his mom. Plus, some photos to show at his wedding and in his senior yearbook would be fun too!”

December 12: “BEST DAY EVER!”

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 13: elfs like Christmas lights, but decorating is a whole different deal

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

Alyssa explained that it wasn’t too difficult to make her countdown to Christmas a reality, but there were some challenges along the way: “I don’t know anything about PhotoShop, so these are just iPhone pictures and a cooperative baby… well, at times. Some days, he wanted nothing to do with it. And, yes, someone should have videotaped me sitting him up, making noises, jumping up and down, waving my hands, opening the closed app because I took too long—it was taxing, but well worth it!”

December 14: “I bet you can’t guess what it is by the way I wrapped it!”

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 15: nobody told him that’s not the kid’s eggnog…

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

This is the first year of many, as little Dylan will grow bigger, and Alyssa’s Christmas countdown will only become better with each year: “I thought about next year. He will be on the move, so I’m really going to have to get creative if I attempt it. He doesn’t even sit by himself yet, I really had to get creative with things around my house or prop him with someone’s hand at a close standby.”

December 16: elfproofing Christmas trees is a thing, and they didn’t prepare

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 17: the perfect example of an elf toy-off

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

Believe it or not, Christmas isn’t the only time Alyssa gets creative. Apparently, she also tracks his age in pizza slices: “Every month I take a funny pizza picture. I lay him in a pizza box and put the number of slices to coordinate to how many months old he is. I really should think of a new countdown to Christmas next year since everyone enjoyed it so much!”

December 18: when the garland looks better on the elf than the Christmas tree

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 19: elfs have stunt doubles too, you know, especially handy on lazy days

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

Everyone is looking forward to it! Until then, Bored Panda invites you to check out the rest of the cute countdown below!

December 20: he’s not a miracle worker, if you’re already on the naughty list

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 21: Christmas is around the corner, so it’s OK to go wild with the syrup

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 22: the gift that keeps on giving all year long

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 23: the smart little elf found a spot to eat sweets and to keep the family dog at bay

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 24: “those are some very nice presents you have there…”

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert

December 25: Happy Holidays!

Image credits: Alyssa Eubert