Elf on the Shelf is as polarising as Marmite. You either love him or hate him (or her).  Whatever your thoughts on the matter, millions of Elf Scouts come from the North Pole every year as Santa’s eyes and ears (to report back on good and bad behaviour). Think of him as a dangling carrot and stick for your children. And we’re not ashamed to say that we’ll take any form of bribery to get us to Christmas Day without losing the plot. Plus our kids love him and can’t wait for his magical return every year.

But, it’s a HECK of a lot of work to manage this extra 5 inch house guest. We can’t count how many times we’ve woken up in horror whisper screaming ‘DID YOU MOVE THE ELF??’. (If you are very new to this whole elf on the shelf lark, there’s a pretty self explanatory vid below and this is the elf to buy as it comes with a great story book).

So – in true Morello Life style, we thought we would inspire you with a whole months worth of Elf on the Shelf ideas so that you don’t have to think about it.  You can call on any of these inspirations for the midnight ‘move’ no matter how tipsy you are from your Christmas Party drinks.  Note: after a few years of Elf’ing in our houses, we’ve gotten seriously bored or lacklustre elf moves like hiding in the pasta jar, sitting behind the milk carton in fridge. Yawn. Our elf is returning this year with a biker jacket and an attitude. Luckily he gets the boot on Christmas Eve.

Two important rules on your elf’s behaviour: 1. your children lay one sticky finger on him and the magic evaporates (use a pair of tongs/chopsticks if you really need to move him in front of your children) and 2. he only moves when everyone is asleep in the house – so GET TO BED!!!. Oh and no 3. once you’ve started this tradition, there’s absolutely and utterly no going back! (more’s the pity)

Here’s the tame elf video. He’s of no relation to our elf.

W H A T S O E V E R.

Naughty Elf on the Shelf ideas

  1. Bathroom Sink: Elf happily finds himself in a ‘jacuzzi’ filled with fluffy marshmallows, with his arm slung around two glam Barbies.
  2. Selfie Stick: Gather the teddies, beanie boos. Elf has his remote control buzzer on the camera for the toy Christmas selfie. Make sure to get some amusing photos on the phone / camera.
  3. Absailing goes wrong: Get a piece of rope and have your elf absail from a height in the kitchen, ending up splat against the kitchen window (stick him with a bit of blue tack). Doubles up as a safety lesson for your kids.
  4. Tissue Tastic: Get an entire box of tissue paper and rip it to shreds. Push your elf in the middle of the box with just his arms out holding a nail scissors.
  5. Frozen Elf: create a snow suit for your elf out of cotton wool (wrap around with sellotape). Shove him in the freezer with an open carton of ice cream and a spoon. He’ll spend the night with double chocolate chip smeared all over his face.
  6. Elf the Chef: Why not let your elf make some breakfast pancake batter over night – give him a propped up cookery book, a kitchen aid. Throw around a generous amount of egg and flour splatter to make this realistic.
  7. Elf the Plumber: Wrap up your kitchen taps with Christmas wrapping paper and tape the spout closed.  Shove a spanner in your elf’s hands.
  8. Boys night in: Your elf of the Shelf needs a rest every now and then. Gather around some action men or Rupert Bear if you’re stuck. Give him a mini bag of popcorn and Maltesers. Prop up the remote and put an action movie on pause just before your kids come downstairs.
  9. Elf the Stud: Fashion a pair of sunglasses out of tin foil, grab a hareem of barbies and send him on a road trip in their pink car for a ride (maybe they could get stuck going out the cat flap)
  10. Hot air Balloon ride: String a pair of pants (y-fronts if you have them) to a balloon and suspend it from a light fitting – grab a pair of Sylvannian binoculars to complete your elf’s dizzying ride.
  11. Elf The Vandal: Have your elf add a handlebar moustache to the family portrait (with a washable pen obvs) – he’ll be the one hiding behind the picture.
  12. Christmas Tree Helper: Don’t forget to thank your elf for his DIY toilet roll decoration around the Christmas tree.
  13. Elf the Superhero: Sometimes an elf just wants to save the world. Create a Spiderman face and attach to your elf’s face. Then have him hang upside down by strings from light / clock/ door handle whilst completing his ‘mission’.
  14. Elf the Cracker: Stuff your elf on the shelf into a Christmas cracker with a note saying ‘these just crack me up’.
  15. The Hostage: stick your elf with tape to the wall by his arms and legs and tape his mouth. Line up army figures/ super heroes / Beanie Boos who are interrogating him.
  16. Disco Elf: Create pom poms by wrapping tinsel around your elf’s ankles and wrists. Bend him in a ‘Staying Alive’ dance move – add soundtrack/disco globe if to hand (other toys can join in).
  17. Prankster Elf: Have your elf hunched over an old toothbrush in the bathroom squeezing chilli paste (or tobasco sauce)  on it.
  18. Poop time: Even elves need ablutions. Chocolate M&M’s do the job. Plenty of bandwidth with this one. Think you can use your imagination.
  19. Shopaholic Elf: With a ransacked handbag and credit cards littering your elf, place him at your laptop ready for some retail therapy!
  20. Toilet paper orbing: Squeezed into toilet paper roll, give your elf a bit of a push down the stairs, rolling a whole lot of toilet paper with him.

Add all or most of these to your elf’s visit this year and we’re sure he’ll be back for more.

If our elf has a bit too much attitude for you, you’ll find some tame ideas for littler kids on Pinterest…