Some may find it unsettling to have a doll watch your every move, but an Elf on the Shelf is SO much fun.
You know that Christmas Day level of excitement? You get to see this every morning as your child tries to find their elf.
Our son named his elf Reese, and he arrives the day after Thanksgiving. We (and the collective retail world) feel this particular date marks the official start of the Christmas season.
I've noticed quite a few families enjoy the use of their elf as a behavior modification tool, or a physical reminder of Santa's watchful eye.
Our scout elf is definitely watching, but we don't ever use the phrase “Reese/Santa's watching.” We prefer to use the same techniques year-round to keep our child on the straight and narrow (timeout, privileges taken away, and so on).
Our elf is purely there for fun, and a great way to enjoy the days leading up to Christmas.
1. The elf got into the sprinkles and made snow angels.
2. Reese took a wet erase marker and drew on your photos! "Reese wuz here"
3. Your child's LEGO friends aren't too happy about Reese's return, and have tied him up. One of the rioter's signs reads, "Anthony is OURS! Find a NEW best friend!"
4. The elf took mom/dad's car for a joyride. Fun Fact: Your neighbors will think you came home drunk and unintentionally parked on the lawn.
5. Reese got into the candy stash and binged on sweets. Like the washcloth pillow?
6. The elf replaced the stockings with your kid's underwear!
7. The elf didn't think your milk was festive enough and turned it red.
8. Reese brought a present! The Polar Express book and a freezing, cold Jingle Bell from the North Pole.
9. The elf packed your kid's lunch, but you find out it's not their forte. He packed croutons, pickles, cornbread mix, tomato paste, snow cone syrup, and cat food.
10. Reese is found zip-lining to the Christmas tree, and brought The Elf On The Shelf movie!
11. You've been TPed, while sleeping!
12. The elf feels exhausted from all of the mischief, and decided to take a marshmallow bath.
13. You and your pets have been Elfed!
14. Reese has been practicing for his Cirque du Soleil auditions.
15. The elf stayed up late, playing video games and snacking on Beaver Nuggets.
16. Bath time!
17. Reese made mini pancakes!
18. Our talented elf made snowflake cut-outs of himself.
19. The elf is found in the manger, cradling baby Jesus.
20. Hot air balloon ride!
21. "Be Good" - spelled out with M&Ms.
22. The elf used a marker to write a note on the mirror.
23. Reese brought a present: The Elf On The Shelf Ornament!
24. Snowball fight! Note: These are too hard to throw at anyone/anything. When you make and then freeze them, they turn rock hard. My husband called it an assassination attempt. Haha!
25. The elf is dangling from a light fixture.
Most of these took five minutes to pull together and used supplies we already had on-hand—leftover Halloween candy, toilet paper, etc.
Others took a little more preparation—purchasing a book, movie, ornament, helium-filled balloon.
Last year, we noticed a few keepsakes (The Polar Express book, The Elf on the Shelf movie/ornament) were missing from our Christmas collection, so the elf graciously brought these.
Normally, Reese isn't a gift giver; he’s just there for mischief and fun.
If you are on the fence about using a calendar and don’t know if you want to get that involved with the whole elf thing, I cannot recommend it enough.
Your elf activities are more enjoyable and stress-free when you don't have to randomly think of something at the 11th hour. It's also much easier to plan the purchase of supplies (when necessary) ahead of time.
I created my own calendar for with 25 new activities here:
What will your elf be doing this Christmas season?
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