30 creative ideas for the ‘Elf on the Shelf’

St. Louis Post-DispatchDecember 17, 2013 

LIFE HDY-FAM-HOME-ELF 3 AK

Ben, the elf of the family of Bianca Murphy, was found reading a Christmas story to a group of stuffed animals (foreground) in their home, December 12, 2012 in Copley, Ohio.

KAREN SCHIELY — MCT

The Elf is on the loose.

“Elf on the Shelf” creator and author Carol V. Aebersold has said that she’s surprised how far her own family’s tradition has spread. The original “Elf on the Shelf” has sold more than 6 million copies since 2005. Her book spawned a website, ElfonTheShelf.com, which gets more than 2 million visitors a month. A holiday TV show, “The Elf on the Shelf: An Elf’s Story,” aired on CBS for the third year in a row.

We scoured all forms of social media to find the most creative approaches to the Elf or the Mensch.

These ideas might inspire parents to do something a little less stressful than shopping among crowds, a little more fun than cleaning before entertaining.

Keep in mind: The goal is to make a little (or big) person smile. The Elf or are meant to help foster that sense of childhood holiday magic.

1. CREATE A VIGNETTE INVOLVING OTHER CHARACTERS

•  GI Joes, Army Men or “Star Wars” figures can be used to tie the elf around an indoor tree, like a hostage.

•  Barbies can be posed in a YMCA dance sequence with an elf.

•  The elf might be found playing cards or board games with stuffed animals, having tea with dolls or hanging out with Barbie in a boat, spa or dollhouse.

2. MAKE MISCHIEF AROUND THE HOUSE

•  Rest him on picture frames and draw silly faces on picture glass, using erasable marker, of course.

•  He might be found hanging from art work or wrapping an entire toilet shut.

•  He could be propped against a wall, erasable crayon or marker in hand, with writing on the walls.

3. LEAVE A WATCHFUL MESSAGE

•  Spell out “Be good” in green and red M&Ms next to him.

•  Leave a message with toothpaste on the sink with him holding the paste or on a toothbrush.

•  Pose him with crayons, paper and a personalized drawing left behind.

4. HATCH SOME HOLIDAY PRANKS

•  Catch him TP’ing the tree.

•  Find him hanging on the stocking holders with undies left in place of socks.

•  Surround the elf with toys that have been taken apart, Legos unassembled.

5. PUNK THE CHILDREN

•  Discover a red-colored nose in the morning with note to look in mirror.

•  Find the elf writing a naughty list with letters starting with children’s names.

•  Catch him in the sock drawer, putting mismatched pairs together, with every pair of socks mismatched.

6. COOK UP FOOD FOLLIES

•  He might be chilling in a tub of marshmallows filled in the sink to look like a bubble bath or in a bowl of marshmallows in the kitchen.

•  Find him sneaking in the pantry in the cookies with a trail of crumbs on his face.

•  Use a roasted marshmallow and a tooth pick in front of a candle to have him making s’mores.

7. MODEL GOOD BEHAVIOR

•  Pose him surrounded by a big stack of books, reading.

•  Find him wrapping gifts under the tree.

•  Have him doing chores: Folding doll clothes, doing dollhouse laundry, setting up doll dishes, washing dishes.

8. EMBRACE THE OUTDOORS

•  He can be rock climbing with pieces of putty on the wall.

•  Have him fishing with gold fish crackers and homemade rod and string.

•  Fill cookie sheets with powdered sugar or flour and have your elf make snow angels in it.

9. ENCOURAGE FAMILY FUN; HAVE THE ELF SUGGEST GAME NIGHT ACTIVITIES

•  He can be playing Yahtzee, Monopoly or other board games.

•  Sit him in an “Angry Birds” catapult, on a dart board, playing at a pool table.

•  Have him holding the Wii remote in front of TV.

10. CELEBRATE THE MEANING OF THE SEASON

•  He can be reading the Bible or Torah.

•  Your elf could be placing baby Jesus in nativity scene.

•  He could light a menorah.

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