Elf on the Shelf mania grows: Ideas for the lazy, haters and other religions

You can find thousands of Elf mischief ideas on Pinterest.

You can find thousands of Elf mischief ideas on Pinterest. I hotlinked the photo. It will take you straight to Pinterest.

I know there are some serious Elf on the Shelf haters out there but the phenomenon continues to grow.  According to news reports more than 6 MILLION copies of the book have sold with a 70 percent growth in sales since it was released in 2005. In fact, the Elf is even getting a new book  – a birthday edition. The birthday edition comes with a cupcake outfit for the Elf but no Elf.  You must buy the first one to get the elf.

Whether you love the Elf, hate the Elf, or just tolerate the Elf, there are plenty of ideas for Elf mischief out there. Here are some helpful links depending on how you feel:

Pinterest is literally full of hundreds, if not thousands, of ideas for parents. You can search “Elf on Shelf ideas,” “Elf on the Shelf funny ideas,” “Elf on the Shelf for toddlers ideas,” and many, many more.

This one is for the lazy Elf on the Shelf parents (or possible haters who are gutting through it for their kids). They call it Elf on the Shelf for Slackers. You’ll find advice like: If you forget to move the elf, tell them he didn’t move because they must have been naughty. They need to try harder.

Here are 10 ideas from the AJC

This one goes out to the Jewish folks who might feel left out. A NRP article looks at the Mensch on the Bench.

For the haters: Why I hate the Elf on  the Shelf

42 comments Add your comment

DB

December 5th, 2013
11:49 am

Well, I confess to being one of the Elf haters :-) When it started up when my kids were in K and 2nd grades, several of their friends were bragging about the gifts the Elf brought, etc., etc. and for me, it was just a huge turn-off. My first reaction was “Geez, MORE presents?!” (It’s not as if my kids suffered from a lack of Christmas presents!) Of course, my kids thought getting more presents was A Good Thing, and wondered why we didn’t have an Elf. I explained that I thought it was unfair to expect the elves to work overtime at their busiest time of year — and besides, they were good kids, and didn’t need an elf keeping an eye on them all the time and running back to Santa Claus to tattle on them. :-) In our house, elves became something that was only at the homes of children who were naughty and needed someone to keep a stern eye on them. :-)

I see the clever little antics that people have dreamed up for their elves, and I applaud the creativity. If a family enjoys it and it adds to the fun of the season, hey, go for it. I’m not that creative, and Christmas was always a busy time for me in my work, so the creativity only gets spread so far :-)

malleesmom

December 5th, 2013
12:04 pm

agree w/ DB. so glad my girls are past that stage.

Kat

December 5th, 2013
12:18 pm

We plan to tell our children after this Christmas, but before going back to school, the truth about Santa. If they don’t pick up on the fact that the Elf isn’t real either, then I have no idea what to think.

The funniest Elf idea I’ve seen is him making a Snow Angel in flour. Our Elf is in love with Periwinkle – Tinkerbell’s “cold weather” sister.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 5th, 2013
12:21 pm

Michael is usually in charge of our Elf but he is back and forth on biz — I am not nearly as creative as he is with it especially not late at night — This morning our elf was making coffee for me with the french press — lilina wasn’t very excited about it — Friends on FB say i need to task the big kids with being in charge of elf madness — problem is I put them all to bed at the same time so they can’t really come down to do it — I could get a list of ideas for them —

Read the slacker ideas if you didn’t — very, very funny!!

A

December 5th, 2013
12:34 pm

Another elf hater here. So glad my son knows the truth about Santa.

WitchyWoman

December 5th, 2013
12:59 pm

I think the elf idea is cute. Most people that I know don’t actually give gifts from the elf I have never heard of what DB mentioned (those folks were insane..lol). I think it’s a cute idea and I see nothing wrong with letting kids enjoy a little magic. They ARE kids and isn’t that what being a kid is about? As for the Santa thing, I just told my daughter that she was free to believe or not. I asked her which gave her more joy, and she said that it is more fun to imagine that there is a Santa. So even though she knows the truth, she still creates Santa scenarios. I want her to enjoy her childhood…not try to make her into a little adult. Many kids these days have lost the joy and innocence that comes with just being kids. More and more adults try to push them (kids) into being little adults cause in many cases they (the adults) are bitter and disillusioned with life.Not just about Santa (not a big deal), but almost everything. I often wonder if it makes them feel better about themselves to steal their children’s joy. I mean what’s the point of taking away that little bit of time when a kid’s imagination and dreams have no boundaries. You are only a kid for 18 years. You are an adult until you die.

A

December 5th, 2013
1:20 pm

My child is 11 and we only just “officially” told him the truth about Santa although it seemed he had suspected for a while. We did tell him that the idea of Santa and the spirit of giving is still important, so it’s not like we’re trying to kill all the magic out of this time of the year. That said, even when he did believe, I’m glad he never expressed an interest in the elf.

missnadine

December 5th, 2013
1:33 pm

I think it crazy that people spend like $30 on this made-in-china item. This sort of thing should have been made in the US, which maybe would justify the price tag. Wasn’t the idea from a Georgia mom? I realize everything is cheap and made in china these days, but I think this item should/could have really stood out as being made in the USA. I like the ones where he is trading money for drugs, passed out by a liquor bottle, and all the other ‘naughty’ ones.

missnadine

December 5th, 2013
1:38 pm

for the record… my comments above were not meant for kids, ie, the more scandalous poses… I hope that was obvious.

yuki

December 5th, 2013
1:41 pm

I avoided this thing until yesterday! My son is in Kindergarden and I guess has been hearing the stories about his friend’s elves…so I decided to join in. I wasn’t sure if he would be excited about it or not, but he is. This morning, our first morning, Alfie was on the computer looking at Scooters (something my son has asked for from Santa). He couldn’t believe his eyes….he kept asking “did he turn on the computer all by himself?” He was excited and that’s all I care about! I’m actually enjoying trying to think of things to do with Alfie now, and there have been great ideas on facebook and lists like the one above!

Patrick

December 5th, 2013
2:06 pm

My parents never did Elf on the Shelf. It wasn’t around when I was still in the “Santa Claus” years (1980s). One thing they did do was Report Cards from Santa.

I remember one school year some of the other kids in my class were receiving report cards from Santa. They were graded on things like “Being Nice to Your Brothers/Sisters” or “Cleaning Your Room”. The grading system was very similar to the grading system used by the school at the time. I went home and told my parents that other kids were getting report cards, and could they call or write Santa and ask him for one.

They went into action, and that year I got one with grades in things like “Cleaning Your Room”, “Doing Your Homework” and “Leaving The Cats Alone”. He would then write a note at the bottom, telling me where I needed improvement. I later found out it was my grandmother doing it. The attorney she worked for at the time was in on it as well. He’d sign them, “Santa Claus” and mail it off. He’d also called me a time or two, pretending to be Santa.

Teacher, Too

December 5th, 2013
2:07 pm

I’m Jewish, but I love the Christmas season. I have an elf in my classroom– my middle schoolers love to see where my classroom elf is going to be each day.

Becky

December 5th, 2013
3:02 pm

We have one and my two aren’t that thrilled over it..We’ve had it about 2 years, so they were nine when he showed up..Ours doesn’t make messes or anything, he just moves around the room watching them..

@missnadine..I agree with you, I would of never paid $30.00 for the thing..I lucked out and found mine (with the book) at the Goodwill for $2.92..That was about all I was interested in paying for it..Then last year, someone gave me another one (still in box/brand new) that they bought at a yard sale for .25, so it’s going to KY this year for my nieces 20 month old son..

@Patrick..That sounds great..

Maude

December 5th, 2013
3:03 pm

My grandkids loves the elf! Presents no he doesn’t bring present he just hids in a difference place every night. It is a wonderful way pass the time until Christmas

catlady

December 5th, 2013
3:15 pm

My elder daughter, at about 7, said,”I think God and Santa are friends?” Hoping to get across the idea,of a spirit, I said, ” but Santa is a man.” Her eyes got big and she said, “Do you mean God is a,woman!?”

My son, about 8, asked, ” So there really isn’t a Santa?” “Not in the way you have been thinking about him,” was my reply. He thought for a bit, then asked, “Does this have any effect on the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy?”

FCM

December 5th, 2013
3:24 pm

Rose has the same bedtime as Lili…I admit I am surprised. Our elf was apparently found “hiding” in my office and moved to the kitchen shelf (that I seldom use) sometime around July. I went to see if the elf was around and could not find him. My children then admitted to moving said elf. The 11 yo said she thinks he lost his magic b/c they moved him. I told her she might be right and how sad.

Honestly, she admits to no longer believing in Santa. Oldest said she still believes. I think oldest just wants to keep the idea of Santa alive…and Santa always brings good stuff (like the Wii). I give “boring” stuff like clothes and books. I tried explaining it is about your heart and becoming an elf….it worked for the older not the younger.

Mark

December 5th, 2013
3:30 pm

If you want to to have some fun with it OK fine. Why not tell them the truth about CHRISTmas. It’s when God gave the greatest gift of all Jesus.

Royce

December 5th, 2013
3:48 pm

Christmas is for Pagans

Barbara

December 5th, 2013
3:56 pm

Much like God, I tried to give my son away as a gift. Unfortunately, there were no takers at the office Christmas party.

DJ_Superstar

December 5th, 2013
4:41 pm

I just found out that my 7 yo now knows that there’s no Santa. We were talking about him getting presents from Santa and he says “There’s no Santa, it’s the parents who give presents to kids on Christmas”. WHEW! I told him not to spoil it for other kids in his class. :D

missnadine

December 5th, 2013
5:33 pm

here is the STFU parents site’s take on this subject.. seems like some parents have gone a bit nuts… http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/14597400662/holiday-countdown-day-5-adventures-with-the-elf-on

@Becky -you did luck out! I love a good value :)

Elfie

December 5th, 2013
6:30 pm

TIME FOR ELF ON THE SHELF TO GET DIRTY!!!! http://elfontheshelfafterdark.blogspot.com/

Aimee- Pretty Frugal Diva

December 5th, 2013
7:06 pm

Jen

December 5th, 2013
10:31 pm

I like doing my shelf elves and the kids enjoy finding them. I however do not like the mischief. WHAT? It makes no sense to expect the kids to behave when the thing reporting to Santa about their behavior is NAUGHTY. Certainly gives impression that Santa doesn’t care how the kids behave…and even reinforces bad behavior. SO…no naughty stuff. We sometimes see a mess if the elves are getting a snack, but never do they trash the house or throw TP on the tree…

Mayhem

December 6th, 2013
7:00 am

I never understood why any parent would take the joy out of Christmas, by telling a child there is no Santa, that he isn’t real. What kind of parent does that?

As far as I’m concerned, Santa is real. He is alive and well! Anyone who tells their child otherwise, should get a lump of coal in their stocking!! It’s wrong, just wrong,

motherjanegoose

December 6th, 2013
7:45 am

We did not do Elf on the Shelf, as I do not remember it being around when my kids were small. Back then, I was teaching every day and had plenty of other things I was creative about. My assistant would breathlessly enter my room and say, ” OK what are we doing today?” December was a whirlwind of activity.

My husband got me a beautiful key with Santa’s name/picture on it, at Macy’s. It is really an ornament. I am showing it to the children, along with a rhyme I made up about Santa’s magical key for the front door. In case you do not have a fireplace. They are quite interested in it too!

I think Christmas is already magical and love seeing the excitement in children’s eyes!

@Mayhem

December 6th, 2013
9:26 am

Maybe because some people don’t believe in that crap! If you believe in it, fine. Don’t judge other people.

Becky

December 6th, 2013
9:46 am

@missnadine..I refuse too buy things like this brand new.. :) I look for them at “junk” stores..

@MJG. Yes, Christmas is magical..Love this time of the year..More than the children at times..Plus this year, we have a new baby, so that makes it really exciting..Nolan Charles was born 11/27..

motherjanegoose

December 6th, 2013
10:25 am

@ Becky congrats!

homeschooler

December 6th, 2013
10:50 am

@ Mayhem. I Completely agree. My kids totally know “the truth” about Santa but they will never ever hear me say he’s not real. He is real. He’s everywhere. He’s in pictures and in Children’s minds and hearts all over the world. He’s the spirit of giving.
I told my son there was no tooth fairy (long story) and he actually teared up. He was almost 10!! I know he knew already but something about me saying it made him so sad. No way am I taking away the magic of Christmas by admitting that I put the gifts out. There is no need for it.

As far as the Elf. I came so close to buying it when it first came out and have been eternally grateful that I did not. I have so much going on I would forget to move the darn thing and my kids would be constantly disappointed. Also, I would want to top all of the wonderful, creative ideas and there would be so much pressure. Nope. Glad that’s a tradition I passed up. But I think it’s great for those parents and kids who enjoy it.

FCM

December 6th, 2013
11:54 am

We were at Barnes and Noble and right next to the Lego table (which my child was sitting at) was a stack of the Elf on the Shelf boxes. They were in the line at the register too. All boxes clearly had an elf and a price tag.

Now for those who have not seen the TV Show of the Elf….it clearly states you “Write Santa a letter asking for an elf….” and the rules. The book (inside the box) also clearly states how to get an elf.

My youngest looks at the stack and says “Why would they have those things in a box for sale? The elf is SUPPOSED to be from Santa.” So way to go B & N!!!

A

December 6th, 2013
1:05 pm

@Mayhem, we had the Santa talk with our 11-year-old because we thought many of his friends might already know the truth, especially ones with older siblings. We didn’t want him to be the only 5th grader who still believed (in Santa, not the spirit of Christmas) and as a result might get laughed at. When we told him, it looked like he already knew or had suspected, so no harm done. He was still excited about putting up our tree and everything, so I don’t think we killed the holiday spirit.

The one who replied to Mayhem

December 6th, 2013
1:54 pm

It’s not like we told our son that Santa doesn’t exist. He found out from his friend’s older siblings. But he does know that he’s not supposed to spoil it for his friends/classmates/younger brother.

What rubbed me the wrong way is the fact that I was being judged for what I might have done or not done based on what I believe. So, there …

Patrick

December 6th, 2013
5:10 pm

MJG – Your key reminds me of what my mom used to tell me. I remember the very first year I learned about Santa Claus, I think when I was five, fretting that Santa wouldn’t visit because we didn’t have a chimney for him to come down, since all the TV shows I had seen and the stories I’d heard involved Santa coming down a chimney. My mom told me Santa has a magic cane that he uses that can unlock and lock any door, gaining him access to any house, trailer, apartment, or other living space that was sans chimney.

motherjanegoose

December 6th, 2013
7:11 pm

@ Patrick…cute! Yes this pretty key is quite fascinating to the kids. I love to see their reaction when I show it to them. I also have a plastic toothbrush that has Santa’s picture on it. I got it at Dollartree. I have a rhyme that talks about Santa having to brush his teeth after eating all those cookies. This week, I am showing it to the kids and I say, ” What will happen to Santa if he does not brush his teeth after he eats so many cookies?” Best answer, ” He’ll get a fever?” It is always fun!

SEE

December 8th, 2013
6:30 am

The toothfairy in our house is somewhat forgetful…and he never has any cash on hand. He once had to write a kid a check and put it under the pillow. Considering my track record with the toothfairy…I’d better not even try this elf on the shelf.

Kat

December 8th, 2013
2:17 pm

@SEE – You and me both. But to write a check? hahaha. One time, we got by on a technicality. She put the tooth under a pillow, but it wasn’t HER pillow.

Sk8ing Momma

December 8th, 2013
9:11 pm

Really, Theresa?! It appears that you deleted my response. So much for expressing one’s opinion. Hence, there’s further support on why we never taught our children about Santa — It appears that there are just some things that acceptable to discuss just as there are some “acceptable” lies. Incredible.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 8th, 2013
10:03 pm

Ski8ing momma — I don’t know what you’re talking about. I haven’t deleted anything. I haven’t look at the blog in three days because I am grading final projects for the university. I don’t see anything unapproved in the comments cue and I don’t see your name in the spam cue so I have no idea what’s happened to your comment but I didn’t touch it. And it doesn’t look like anyone from the staff did either.

motherjanegoose

December 9th, 2013
9:34 am

@ Sk8ing….I looked at the blog a few times, over the weekend, and did not remember reading your post either.
Does anyone else remember reading it? Did you see it posted? Sometimes they do not post. Who knows?

Sk8ing Momma

December 9th, 2013
12:50 pm

@ Theresa – Please accept my apology! I typed a response that I was certain I’d submitted. Apparently not. Please forgive me…My feathers were ruffled for no reason. :)

becky

December 12th, 2013
2:22 pm

I have and elf on the shelf for the first time this year, my son is in kindergarten. I have a lot of friends that also have them and enjoy checking out the creative things their elves do. I am however having a hard time with the gifts? why the heck should your elf, who is just suppose to report to Santa on whether you have been good, so he can bring presents, then bring you a gift? I have a friend whos elf got her son a bunk bed and a jersey from his favorite team, as well as a movie night, and a gingerbread house? I feel like this ruins it! Then he tells his friends and ruins it for the family who is just having fun with it…never mind the fact that your kid ends up getting all his gifts before Christmas day. I am just feeling really frustrated with this.