It’s that time of year again where that relentless, pesky elf makes an appearance. Whilst I’d like to say that my parenting skills are top-notch, we all know that come December, it’s pretty much elf who keeps the kids in line, and does 70% of the heavy lifting.

As much as I love seeing the joy on the kids faces when they discover what elf has been up to, it can be yet another thing that adds to what feels like the never-ending parental mental load in December. To help lighten the load and uncomplicate your elf journey this year, I sat down and brainstormed a bunch of ideas with a few friends. Here’s our top 24 ideas that we came up with (in no particular order) for Elf on the Shelf this Year:

  1. Elf arrives – in a parcel, mailbox, parachute in the garden, under the Christmas tree or on a model aeroplane because yes, we all carry model aeroplanes in our handbags.
  2. Elf is hiding in the cereal box or kids bowl/plate drawer.
  3. Elf makes a snow angel out of cupcake decorating sprinkles or flour on the bench.
  4. Elf smears toothpaste on the bathroom mirror and leave a note blaming the bath toys. Lipstick or lip gloss could work too if, like mine, your bathroom mirror is already smeared with toothpaste courtesy of the kids.
  5. Elf arranges kids favourite writing materials to write a letter to Santa.

  6. Elf hiding on top of a lunchbox in the fridge with a half-eaten sandwich. Make sure it’s a good one though with biscoff, because we all know the late-night sandwich legitimately happens (in my house anyway!)

  7. Elf has drunken half of Mum’s morning coffee ( a real life disaster).

  8. Elf is fishing in the toilet – a skewer, tooth pick or lunch punch stix work well. Then add some string or dental floss. I prefer to tack down with blu-tack to avoid the great 2020 disaster of Elf ending up in the toilet. Don’t worry, we definitely raced out to get a new one after that.

  9. Elf is playing a board game with an invitation to join them to play.

  10. Elf reading to their favourite toys or the newspaper if you still get one delivered (yes, this does still happen). If anyone wears glasses, pop those on too.

  11. Elf is perched on a bench or under the Christmas tree with an update letter from Santa and Rudolph.

  12. Elf builds a gingerbread house out of a ginger spice jar and two pieces of bread. This one may need a note to explain it.

  13. Elf is abseiling from a light fitting or ceiling fan.

  14. Elf sits in the front seat of the car pretending to drive.

  15. Elf re-decorates the Christmas tree with toilet paper – an oldie but a goodie.

  16. Elf sits at a desk writing out Christmas cards for the grandparents.

  17. Elf is playing with playdough (or pizza dough for the older kids) along with a note inviting them to join in.

  18. Elf rides down the hallway on the kids bike/scooter.

  19. Elf is watering the indoor plants (or, if like me, what used to once upon a time be a thriving plant but now looks more like a shrivelled prune).

  20. Elf is making Mum a coffee with the coffee/tea machine/sachet/instant/plunger/however you get your caffeine fix.

  21. Elf is putting the washing machine on (we can dream right?)

  22. Elf plants candy canes in the garden.

  23. Elf is checking that the BBQ gas bottle is full.

  24. Elf leaves (finally!) – ideally with a nice goodbye note but, let’s be honest, we’ll probably all just scribble something at the last minute that says, “See you next year!”

November 30, 2022 — Michelle Leach

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.