The most creative Elf on the Shelf ideas for 2019

There are few things about Christmas that inspire as much passion (love and hatred) as Elf on the Shelf. Huffington Post reports that the Elf on the Shelf story dates back to the 1970s and has its roots in a family tradition. 

“Our elf was named Fisbee, and Fisbee of course would report to Santa Claus at night and be back in a different position in our house the next day,” notes Chandra Pitts, one of the women behind the book, The Elf on the Shelf. But when Pitts was a child, Fisbee occupied a fixed spot on the holiday tree and didn’t move. When Pitts herself became a mother, her family elf gained the ability to move at night — but it couldn’t be touched by a child, or its magic would disappear, and Elf on the Shelf as we now know it was born. 

That means it’s up to the parents to make the magic happen themselves, day in and day out, and coming up with fun new hiding places and antics for your household’s Elf on the Shelf can be a daunting task — but these clever ideas will be the standouts of the holiday season.

Elf on the Shelf gets a timeout with help from Elsa

Elf is always looking for a holiday rush. He can tuck himself into a Christmas slipper and slide down the banister, or zipline down a string of Christmas lights while hanging onto a candy cane. But he doesn’t always have to be on his own — Elf can also hang out with friends from your child’s toy box and have plenty of fun, too. 

Elf’s been known to do things like hold a sack race with his friends on the mantlepiece (he’s winning of course), invite your children’s other dolls to an Elf tea, or even throw a pre-Christmas dance-off involving Christmas bauble glitter balls and some confetti. But if Elf gets too naughty, you can count on none other than Frozen‘s Elsa to keep him in line. Having Elsa do a number on Elf (aka freezing him in a cup full of water) is a good way to explain why Elf has to stay put in an Elf infirmary with a doctor’s note for a few days. While he’s recovering from a cold, you get a break from trying to think of new ways to keep Elf entertained.

Elf on the Shelf can bring your kids a snowman… kind of

Elf’s misadventure with Elsa probably means his naughty streak will continue once he’s defrosted, and this presents a good opportunity to have Elf pouring salt or sugar on kitchen countertops to make snow angels (alone or with friends), or using extra large marshmallows to build a fort against other dolls. Fun fact: Did you know Hershey’s also doubles up as Elf poop?

In case your child doesn’t think the Elf on the Shelf is the real deal unless he delivers on proof that he exists, you could always have your elf bring back a souvenir from the North Pole. We don’t know if killing a snowman means you and your elf will have to give up your spots on the nice list, but there’s always next year to try to get back on Santa’s good side. The good news is, Elf’s snowman souvenir is actually a super easy idea to pull off, provided you’re got a couple googly eyes laying around. Just grab a couple sticks from the yard, a carrot from the fridge, and fill up any vessel with water. Instant “snowman”!

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