What mischief is your Elf on the Shelf up to this year?

Upsidedown Jingles compressed

Just a few of last year's epic efl battle between Coco and Jingles. Adventures and photos by my friends Sue and Pete Fritts.

Jailed Coco compressedGumdrops Jingles compressed

Last year I shared with you the epic battle between Coco and Jingles, my friend’s Elves on the Shelf. I keep harassing my friend to send us more photos of their hijinx but she reminded me that Jingles only shows up the last week before Christmas so we have to wait until next week!

In the meantime, my husband has been doing a pretty good job helping our elf be mischievous. His latest adventures include:

  • Caught hanging from the top of a kitchen cabinet with a chocolate wrapper on his foot breaking into the cabinet for more candy.
  • Caught inside the refrigerator with his arms and legs wrapped around the Cherry 7-Up trying to get his fix.
  • Caught sneaking out the front door holding Walsh’s DSL in his arms.
  • Caught outside the back door on Barbie’s white horse with Jessie from “Toy Story” making a romantic getaway.
  • This morning, I found him holding onto the steering wheel trying to make a break for it in the minivan.

(I need to take photos but we’re always running out the door for school when we find him.)

I can’t wait to see what he does next. Michael usually places him after I go to bed so I am surprised too by what the elf accomplished during the night.

The other thing I’ve noticed this year is that I don’t think the Elf on the Shelf is as popular in other states. Some friends have no idea what I am talking about.

What has your Elf been up to? Have your out-of-state friends heard about the Elf on the Shelf? Share you Elf adventures.

46 comments Add your comment


December 16th, 2010
12:16 am

holy crap the suburbs are lame. is this what passes for fun these days?


December 16th, 2010
12:22 am

My elf is 60 years old this year. He is the original version of the elf in your pictures and belonged to my grandmother, then my mother and now me. He just sits in our tree watching over everything! I wish my grandmother or mother had thought of marketing the whole Elf on the Shelf deal! If you want something great, fun, and free that will make a BIG impact on your child, check out portable north pole.com! Fantastic!

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Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 16th, 2010
12:56 am

I wrote this last night for today so it’s a morning behind — Wednesday morning Michael videotaped on this little video memo recorder thing in our kitchen the elf “stealing” coke and chocolate. It looks in the video likes he’s walking lugging this little can of coke — the 90 calorie ones. The kids totally bought it — too funny!! Michael is planning next week to have the elf upstairs playing the wii and will have a mii the elf created of himself on the screen — too cute. he wants to somehow leave the elf on the toilet but we’re afraid he’ll fall in.

JATL — my mom has two elfs with very similar faces and bodies — look pretty much the same — that she put out every year when we were little –


December 16th, 2010
6:20 am

Michael should lay him face down on the edge of the toilet, worshipping the porcelain god like a he’s had a little too much eggnog!


December 16th, 2010
7:39 am

we never did elf on the shelf…but honestly-what a fun game for the whole family….my kids would have loved it…i just never heard of it lol….sure it is cheesy…but its something that the whole family participates in and enjoys and builds some hilarious memories from what i read….people who think its stupid and lame need to just skip this days post…really….go suck on a lemmon instead to help your sour mood—plus youll get some good c vitamins while youre getting your sour fix. let people have fun. theres not enough of it these days…especially fun the whole family has together!


December 16th, 2010
7:45 am

Glad y’all are having fun with this. We never did it here as it became fashionable after my kids were too old for it.

JJ…this is OFF topic but I passed the Honey Baked Ham on Lawrenceville Suwanee on my way to Fed Ex packages and they still have a **hiring** sign hanging up. Does your daughter want a job while she is home for the holidays? May not be much but it is something. I thought I would pass it along. My guess is that others would be hiring too?


December 16th, 2010
7:59 am



December 16th, 2010
8:30 am

We always have this “secret” gift that passes around the family every year. It a stuffed animal SOAKED in an ungodly cologne that reeks (sp?) and it has stayed in the family as a gag gift for 20 years. Everyone always seems to ferget who had it last year and it’s always a surprise when it gets opened. We close it up in a ziplock so the smell doesn’t get out. But it’s always fun to watch the faces of new people in the family when they see and smeel it.


December 16th, 2010
8:32 am

@ Jeff…that is funny! Have a Merry Christmas!


December 16th, 2010
8:53 am

@TWG -I think the elves that look like this started in the late 40s. Do you still have the ones your mom put out? The one I have has one of his legs safety-pinned on! My oldest asked about that and how he got back to Santa. I told him he called Santa every night while we were asleep. The portable north pole site cemented it all with the oldest. He’s a believer and in complete awe!


December 16th, 2010
9:04 am

@ JATL…I just read your comment ( on a previous blog) about EVERYONE giving just a little bit
( to help those in need) and thank you for it.

I was at a meeting years ago and over lunch a teacher told me about her daughter, who had a new girl in her class. Her parents were meth addicts. When they removed her from the home, she came only with the clothes she was wearing. The other kids ( 2nd or 3rd grade) made fun of her as she only had 3 outfits to wear ( what social services provided). The daughter asked her mom if she could share her clothes with this girl, to make her feel better. The sweet generosity really touched me. I spoke with the lady who hired me and relayed the story after lunch. We passed around a shoe box and some ( in tears) only gave a quarter, all they had in their coat pocket BUT we took up $100 and the Mom was going to go to Target to get the little girl with no clothes, some new things.

When I got home, I told my daughter ( then 14 or so) the story and she said, “let’s go through my things and see what I could send.” We had a nearly new furry dress coat and I wanted that to go to the little girl who saw the need for her friend. We packed up some nice. outgrown clothes and shipped them to Minnesota.

Love and kindness can multiply, in interesting ways.


December 16th, 2010
9:21 am

I think this is more for the adults than the kids! I guess I could get in to trying out clever ideas, even if the kids don’t get the humor.


December 16th, 2010
9:36 am

My boys absolutely love Elf on a Shelf. First thing they do when they get up is go hunting for him. Can’t do anything else (I gave up trying) until they find ‘em. He even has a name – Junior Mint. I have no idea. Came home one day and that was his name.

Thanks for some new ideas as to where he can go!


December 16th, 2010
9:44 am

We have stuffed penguin we would steal from my grandparents house every year (we’ve had to get creative in how we sneek it out) and then we email pictures of it in little hand cuffs for drinking too much liquor or a picture of it in Time Square celebrating New Years (photoshopped of course!) Then we put it under the tree at family christimas (usually early January) and my grandmother will open it.

It’s been great fun and she’s even got an album of it’s “highjinks” over the last five years.


December 16th, 2010
10:04 am

Our Elf (named Elfie, very unoriginal) has been hanging from the pot rack, sitting at the top of the tree, sitting on the top of the windowsill, sitting in a pot hanging from the pot rack, and other fun places. My kids really enjoy this. And, their behavior is pretty good to boot!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 16th, 2010
10:27 am

JATL — I think my mom still has them (I am kind of wondering if my bro has at least one because he has always loved them.) they are in excellent shape because we were not allowed to touch them!! they stayed on the bookshelves or on top of the TV cabinet –

Kat –Despite the fun we’re having with the elf – i am not getting great behavior from him — I need a more intimidating elf.

Rose is waivering back and forth on Santa this year but that elf footage she said she believed. so who knows. this may be her last year. Walsh is totally in though!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 16th, 2010
10:28 am

Wayne — that’s a good name — they’ve been trying to think of a name for ours (we only got him last year) and so far no luck. they keep suggesting harry potter — I’m like clearly that doesn’t work.


December 16th, 2010
12:06 pm

This is a totally creepy thing to do to your kids. An elf that watches them? Yikes.


December 16th, 2010
12:23 pm

I am not a fan of the elf. I feel it’s enough to keep up with Santa for the kids. Plus, last year I remember seeing a friend’s photos of all the mischief the elf was causing, like messing up the house. I don’t have enough time to clean up after an elf – the kids are enough!


December 16th, 2010
1:01 pm

I want an Elf. This sounds hilarious!
The two year old could catch on and would love it.
Thanks for all the ideas.


December 16th, 2010
1:52 pm

I think this is probably one of THE Dumbest things I have ever heard of.


December 16th, 2010
2:06 pm

On a break, so I have a few minutes to chime in:

My ten year old son has had an elf for the past several years, and he loves it. Our challenge is finding places that are out of the cats’ reach, as they tend to chew on poor Hercules Jr. (I know, weird name for an elf). Herc isn’t naughty, but he has gotten a little mouthy this year. He leaves notes with messages like “Bet you can’t find me, nyah, nyah, nyah”. We have as much fun thinking of new hiding places as our son does looking for him each day.


December 16th, 2010
2:13 pm

I with ya JJ

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 16th, 2010
2:23 pm

I really wasn’t in until last year — and I’m not letting the elf mess up my house – I have friends that do that — but they love looking for him every morning and it’s just a little something fun — they don’t focus so much on him watching as finding him — I think you can play it however you want. emphasize whichever parts you find fun!


December 16th, 2010
2:28 pm

I think it’s what you make of it. The kids love tracking him down, and what’s the harm in that? Although I was a little taken aback this year when the oldest wanted to leave a cookie and a little glass of water for him so he wouldn’t get hungry. I had to take a bite of the cookie (it was big, and Junior Mint is tiny) and dump the water. Other than that, it’s cool.


December 16th, 2010
2:37 pm

We don’t have one, but I think it could be pretty cool..We have trinket boxes that “Santa” snaeks in during the night and leaves candy (only if they’ve been good)…My husband started this when they were about 3 and at 8, they love it..Might get me a elf this year as they just got “elf” pj’s and they are so excited over them, so the elf might go over real well..

Ohio Muffin

December 16th, 2010
3:07 pm

Photius—-Amen :-)

Jim Bob Cooter

December 16th, 2010
3:17 pm

It is sad that so many people think they are too cool and too busy to have a little extra fun with their kids.


December 16th, 2010
3:19 pm

My kids loooooooooooooove the elf. My husband is the one that usually moves him and it’s the funnest thing to try to find him in the morning!

To all the boohooers: sorry you think it’s dumb. A lot of us are having good family fun with it. so :P

Atlanta Native

December 16th, 2010
3:46 pm

I never had heard of this before this year. I thought it would be a stupid pain.
I was wrong, it has been fun. We have had the elf:
- huddle in all the blankets with logs, newspaper and matched strewn about
- cover the entire downstairs toilet in aluminum foil
- bake cookies and leave a horrendous mess
- leave messages spelled out in Legos, with a trail from the Lego box to the location of the message
- TP the Christmas tree
At first I did not like the idea, but have had fun pretending to be furious at the messy elf.


December 16th, 2010
3:48 pm

We have had a garland bungee jumping elf, elf pulling down and sleeping in the stocking like a sleeping bag, paper airplane making and flying (10) airplanes, drawing self potrait elf along with a Happy Birthday Jesus card, elf playing board games with other stuffed animals……the list could go on forever!

Old School

December 16th, 2010
3:53 pm

Christmas 1972 was my husband’s first as a teacher (6th, 7th & 8th grade Social Studies). One of his students gifted him with a bottle of Devil’s Potion aftershave. He re-gifted it to his brother and so began a continuing re-gifting every Christmas since. It has been disguised in fireplace tools, a camping lantern, and various other “gifts”. It is still in the original box and original volume. The color is still a clear light amber and the aroma is not bad!

It’s our favorite family Christmas tradition and beats any elf hands down!


December 16th, 2010
4:08 pm

@Old School..I have a Christmas card that I gave to my sister about 10 years ago..Funny thing is that I didn’t sign it..? So every since then it goes back and forth..

@Jim Bob Cooter..Amen..The only thing about the Elf that I’m not sure I’m in agreement with is him making a huge mess..Christmas should also be about having fun with the little ones..Heck, I made suger cookies a couple of weeks ago with the girl..She had a blast, I’m thinking it’s cheaper and easier to buy them..BUT, by gosh, I will do it again next year if she wants to..:~)


December 16th, 2010
4:08 pm

Elf stole the car one year. Wife and kid could not find elf so had to go to school, went out to the garage to go to school, no car. Wife did the panic thing. They opened the garage door and car was park half on drive and half on grass. Elf at the wheel

Also used to play cards with all the other stuffed animals. Elf got suckered when Pooh had pocket kings.


December 16th, 2010
4:56 pm

My bad Mom of the week moment…..Earlier this week we were in the car and my 5 year old said that the Elf was DEAD. It had not moved in 2 days. She suggested we try CPR.


December 16th, 2010
5:32 pm

I remember when you post about this last year. Man you got some nasty comments from some serious Scrooges. Glad to see them absent this year. You had more pictures also last year. The were great. My daughter is still at the “believer” age so it’s been fun. It was a toss up whether or not she would still “believe” but Whitney has her convinced. She actually got married this year to another elf her friend has………………….

Christmas elves are fun.


December 16th, 2010
5:35 pm


Excellent. I think I see grand theft auto by elf at our house in tomorrow’s future……………


December 16th, 2010
10:33 pm

Can’t remember whether I posted last year or not, but never heard of the Elf on a Shelf until T wrote about it last year. Is it something relatively recent or is it regional? My boys grew up in South Florida and no elf there that I knew of…the Three Kings was huge though. Kids leave straw for the camels and treats for the Three Kings


December 17th, 2010
7:30 am

This is the first year of the elf for our family. So far, so good. The behavior hasn’t changed that much, but if she has a really rough day we just don’t move him. He then leaves a note on her writing board that he’s giving her an extra day because Santa will be upset to hear she has been bad. No mess making yet as I don’t know if she would get it, might try it next week since there will only be a few days left till Christmas.

It has been fun though. Merry Christmas everyone.


December 17th, 2010
8:03 am

My daughter’s elf Fern went fishing in the aquarium one night using a child’s fishing pole. Fern also spelled out a message to my daughter with Christmas M&m’s.


December 17th, 2010
8:20 am

I guess I’ve been hiding under a rock because I literally just heard about this Elf on the Shelf thing last weekend. It does sound fun and cute but my son is now past that age. I’m definitely going to see if I can find one for my niece in the next couple of years (she’s 2 months old right now) so she can enjoy the fun and maybe help her parents start a tradition in their family.


December 17th, 2010
8:54 am

We don’t do the elf-didn’t hear of him until this year and my kids are 10 and 20. Maybe I’ll do it anyway! But a few years ago we did have a doll of sorts that we named Joey. Joey lived at our cabin that we share with the rest of my husband’s family in Jasper. Every time one of us would spend a weekend at the cabin we would leave Joey in an interesting place. (chillin’ on the bed with a beer, stuck in the sofa cushions, laid out on the kitchen counter surrounded by bags of junk food, etc.) The next people to come up and spend a weekend would look forward to finding Joey and seeing what he had been up to. Silly? Maybe..but who doesn’t need a little silly in their lives from time to time!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 17th, 2010
12:19 pm

I have a new blog up — sorry I was slow this morning — my 3 year old is sick and i was holding her! snotty nose, cough and unhappy!



December 20th, 2010
4:25 pm

After our elf usurped the angel on the tree a few years back….and boy did that not sit well with my eldest who knocked the tree down getting him….our elf became very civil.

This year he was hiding in a stocking the night after we put them out. He spent some time in each childs room getting to know the new house. There was mild concern (from the children) about him showing up as we moved last June.

Last night he supervised a party of tweens and teens. He seems to be recovering by leaning against the Blue Ray. I am sure he will get into something before he leaves…he usually does. However the kids do look for him daily just to see where he has gotten.

Hmmm horse outside..that sounds like a plan. I have a feeling he will do that this week. OOOOOO I also think he will have to go in Barbies tub for a bit. He is a hard working elf and bound to need some down time. uh oh the creativity just kicked in…that elf is going to be trouble this week…i just know it.


December 21st, 2010
1:30 am

got a note from 8 year old asking if Donnie the Elf could please bring back pix of him and Santa hanging out tonite…and another of his toys being put together….crap…