Santa's Little Helper: 9-Month Old Is the Real Life 'Elf on the Shelf' - and It's Adorable

9-month-old Esme Cope dresses up as the "Elf on the Shelf," hiding in different places around her home to spread holiday spirit.

A real-life “Elf on the Shelf” is hiding around San Diego this Christmas, and the 9-month-old helper is truly adorable.

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Gabi Cope dresses up her daughter Esme as the popular Christmas character — complete with the red suit and pointy hat — and captures her adventures on social media each day.

They involve her hanging from ceilings, hiding in bags and throwing rolls of toilet paper under the tree.  

And Esme could not be better suited for the role.


"She is such a happy baby; it's rare for her to be fussy, she's always smiling," Gabi told "One way I like to describe her is having such a big personality for being such a little person.”

She added: “It makes life with her so entertaining and 'Esme on the Shelf' has just added to her fun."

Elf on the Shelf, the Christmas tradition where a scout elf watches kids during the holidays to report their behavior to Santa Claus, is designed to keep children on their best behavior to stay on the "nice" list.

When little Esme was only a newborn, Gabi found her passion for photography and launched her own business a few months back. 

She had told her husband that although Esme is too little to know the story behind "Elf on the Shelf," she wanted her little girl to play the part.

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She has been posing adorable pictures throughout the month and typically Esme doesn’t mind the fun project. But she appears to have an issue with the elf's hat, which is a bit too small and sometimes makes her fussy.

Their main goal for this adorable project is to spread joy with others with a daily photo, but also bring a little holiday cheer with the elf costume and silly poses.

If you want to follow Esme and her Christmas adventures, check out her Instagram page by clicking here.

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