I think this tradition was invented to throw parents over the edge right before Christmas. Here’s the thing: we never did the Elf on the Shelf tradition in our household. I thought I had enough to do that I couldn’t be bothered to put up the elf every night of December.
When my son was introduced to the Elf on the Shelf at school (thanks guys) he couldn’t understand why all the kids would be talking about their elves and we didn’t have one. So, I let him in on Christmas’ first secret: the elf is fake. I knew he was a good kid and wouldn’t spoil the fun for others. And I needed a good “out” so he didn’t feel like he was missing out.
Two years ago, everything changed when he found out “certain truths” about the big man from the North Pole. And that’s when I decided to start this tradition. At least he knew we were the ones doing it, so if I slipped up and forgot it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Because there is less pressure, I find it more enjoyable to set up.
So, leave the guesswork to me – here’s your 24 days of Elf on the Shelf.
Fishing in fishbowl. We have a Beta fish so our mischievous elf will be fishing for him. He can also fish for Goldfish crackers.
Marshmallow. With markers I will make a mask of Marshmellow for our elf and add some more marshmallows.
Hershey kiss. Wrap the elf in foil and shape it into a giant Hershey Kiss.
Snow angel. Sprinkle a cookie sheet with sprinkles or flour and lay your elf down to make snow angels.
Relax. Put your elf afloat in the bath with pool toys. Maybe he’s even drinking a summer drink or wearing sunglasses.
Caught! Roll up the elf in toilet paper and make it look like he’s being pushed by LEGO people or other little bonhommes.
Relaxing. Lay him in a hammock made of towels on a towel rack.
Elf-abet soup. Put the elf in a pot and let the Grinch stir it.
The next day he ties up the Grinch.
Draw an elf reflection in bathroom mirror using eraser markers so when someone looks in the mirror they will have pointy ears and a festive hat or scarf.
Hang him on a mirror or shelf with a sign that says “the floor is lava” and see if your child can get to him without touching the floor.
Play tricks. Support your elf with a tube of white toothpaste and a few separate Oreos as if he’s trying to make a joke.
Drink maple syrup with a straw.
Oops! He poops! Let him stand next to a row of chocolate chips.
Place him in a homemade “kiss booth” and spread Hershey Kisses around him.
Playing games. Set up Jenga with mini Kit Kat bars.
Cut toilet paper into paper snowflakes.
Make a scaled down version of a Twister board for your elf.
Draw minion faces on bananas and place your elf next to them with a Sharpie.
Have a good time. Put him between two pieces of toast.
Set up a little makeshift lemonade stand and make it look like your elf is being naughty and peeing in the cups to make the lemonade.
Make it so that he climbs gift arches against a wall.
Give him a cozy place and put him curled up in tissues.
And for the last day, do a scavenger hunt. Hide some candy canes around the house and attach a note to your elf challenging them to find them.
A full-time work-from-home mom, Jennifer Cox (our “Supermom in Training”) loves to cook healthy, do craft projects, family outings and more, and share with readers what she knows about an (almost) superhero mom. .