Today I was rummaging around the attic looking for a last-minute Halloween Costume when I happened upon a frightening sight! Yes friends, there IS a Monster in my closet who goes by the name of “Elmer” AKA the Elf on the Shelf! This is the thing of my nightmares. Something I NEVER wanted to be a part of but alas I jumped on the ol’ Elf on the Shelf Bandwagon last year and I can’t get off the ride despite the fact that I REALLY want to!
Elf on the Shelf Survival Tips
This year I have a plan of attack (and survival) for navigating “Elf on the Shelf” season that will hopefully keep my sanity and yours intact!
Devise a plan of Attack
Start planning and start NOW! December will creep up on you quick with the creepy elf in tow. Start a Pinterest Board and get a jump on pinning Ideas for “moving” the elf. Stay ahead of the game and you will save yourself the trouble of scratching your head at midnight looking for a creative spot to put the little devil in red.
Feel free to raid my Getting Over My Fear of the “Elf” board for ideas and inspiration. I’ll be sharing some of my own Elf on the Shelf Ideas toward the end of this post.
If you can convince your child that elves like to be fashionably late you are golden! A good friend of mine starts her Elf on the Shelf Regiment on her son’s birthday December 11th. 12 days of Elf on the shelf is a much easier pill to swallow than 24. The 12 days of Christmas just got re-named “the 12 days of the Elf'”…I can handle that!
If you have over achiever friends who like to start the Elf shenanigans on the first of December, try telling your child that THEIR elf is far too busy making all the awesome toys Santa is bringing them and will arrive as soon as he puts the finishing touches on the new bike/pony/or other hot item that you may or may not be able to find after black friday If all else fails, avoid any and all contact with Elfing Over achievers until mid December.
Don’t Panic if you “Forget” to move the Elf
Everyone is entitled to a break once in while…elves included. My wise friend (the one who starts her Elfing mid December) “forgets” to move the Elf regularly. Her son and my son are BFF’s. We were having a playdate one mid December afternoon when my little guy (nothing slips by him) noticed that “Elmer” was in the same spot that he was the day before. When he asked his buddy why the elf hadn’t moved, his friend replied simply, “Oh sometimes he does that.” Well said kid, well said.
Needless to say, I used this situation to MY advantage on the evenings I “forgot” to move the elf. It’s like a modern rendition of “Frankie Goes to Hollywood” only this time it’s Elfie Goes to Hollywood…”Relax, don’t MOVE it!”
Keep Elves out of High Traffic Areas
As much as I love the Elf on the Shelf Fishing in the Toilet or Taking a Marshmallow Bath in the sink be mindful that NO ONE can touch the elf or he will “lose” his magic. This will be a problem if you have only one bathroom.
I thought It would be fun to have our Elf Elmer play my son’s Skylanders game. However, this turned out to be a bad idea. Upon finding the elf sitting atop the “portal of power” and holding the Wii remote, my son became angry with the elf and yelled “Thanks a lot Elmer! Now I can’t play my game!!”
But wait…it gets better! As soon as my son had (loudly) voiced his displeasure with Elmer’s latest antics the Elf keeled over ON CUE freeing the portal and the remote.
At this point my son turned to me with a face of pure terror and said “I swear, I didn’t touch him Mommy!” I just shook my head… for fear if I spoke I would not be able to control the laughter that was bubbling up inside me. I can’t make this stuff up!
Keep the “Elf Notes” to a Minimum
I had the bright idea that the Elf on the Shelf should leave clever notes. Not just any old note, perfectly elf sized notes written on Christmasy Scrapbook paper. This was a BAD IDEA! Channeling your inner Elf and writing tiny notes (hello hand cramps) late at night is EXHAUSTING! Not only that, but I had to destroy the evidence by depositing the scraps in the garbage can outside for fear that he would find them and know that I was the elf. I know this because, he noticed when “the elf” changed stationary patterns because he “ran out” of that particular paper.
If you are going to write notes at all, write them sporadically. This way there will be NO disappointment on the days the Elf arrives sans note…or runs out of his famous stationary.
Use the Elf to Banish Bad Behavior
Don’t be fooled by your elf’s sweet/scary grin. Eleves can be quite menacing and you can use this to your advantage. If the kids are acting up and the threat of the Elf “watching” isn’t enough to quell the offending behavior it’s time to execute the “elf on the shelf power play”
After an evening filled with whining and misbehavior our elf showed up the next day with a box of Candy Coal and a passive, aggressive threatening message. My son was oddly delighted by the “gift” of Candy Coal so you may want to try the real deal In any event sometimes a not so gentle reminder that the elf is watching is in order.
Use a Decent Camera to Document your Elf’s Antics
This is my final tip and although it may be obvious it wasn’t to me last year. After going to all this trouble to begrudgingly pose the creepy elf in creative ways you MUST use a decent camera if you plan to document your “Elf on the Shelf Experience”. Stumbling around late at night trying to take pictures on your iPhone just won’t do. Learn from my mistakes people
That being said please enjoy my (bad) photos of our Elf on the Shelf ideas from last year. Hey, they aren’t great, but you get the idea. When using these ideas please take better photos…and send them to me…J/K…no I’m not
Let’s start with the SCARIEST bad iPhone photo first shall we?
Elf Above the Mirror (he wants your soul)
P.S. Have you ever scrubbed copious amounts of toothpaste off of a mirror? Yeah. Not. Fun.
Elf on the Shelf Decorating Cookies
This seemed like a good idea at the time, but guess what? Red Cookie icing on a white countertop left to marinate overnight takes about a bottle and a half of Clorox to scrub off. Just so ya know…I should have known…DOH!
Elf on the Shelf watching “Elf”
Elf on the Shelf Likes Star Wars
The Elf on the Shelf Taken Hostage
I’m sure you’ve seen this one before…the old Lego guys against the elf routine. However the next night…
The Elf on the Shelf Gets Even
You know what they say, “Revenge is a dish best served cold!” Even more so when it is served with a crappy iPhone photo that makes creepy, vengeful elves even MORE frightening!
The Elf On the Shelf Gets Crafty
Don’t be afraid to use your elf to your advantage. I used Elmer to create and write about a craft project here at Plucking Daisies. I worked him pretty hard. You can check out the fruits of his labor in this post written by Elmer Himself…The Elf on the Shelf Gets Crafty.
It’s time to start honing your Elf on the Shelf survival skills. He (or she) will be back before you know it. Hope you found my tips helpful…remember to stick to the plan and everything will be ok!
If we all put our heads together we can beat this thing…it’s about to get Merry out there…so be-wary! What are your go to methods for surviving “Elf Season”?
Have a mischievous day!