Fret not my fellow Elf’ing mom, I have come to take the pressure off you with a few very simple Elf shortcuts for tired moms… like me and you!
Elf on the Shelf Shortcuts for Tired Moms
“Mama! MAMA! Something is REALLY wrong! Wake up!” Those words and the concern in his voice jarred me out of my otherwise comfortable sleep. My first thought was (of course) “who threw up where!?” – but apparently our emergency was of a much more serious nature!
Our elf… Our elf on the shelf had apparently “forgotten” to report to Santa that night and was found by the kids in the exact same location as the morning before. This is highly unacceptable elf-behavior – at least if you are 5 years old. When you are 40-something, you prefer to sleep… obviously!
Note to self (and you better take my advice too): Elf on the Shelf shortcut: set an alarm on your phone to go off EVERY DAY in the month of December at 10:00 pm… reminding you to MOVE THE ELF!
It is that “Elf’ing” time of year again!
There is enough parental pressure to produce the perfect Christmas presents, winter-themed school snacks, family Christmas cards, ugly Christmas sweaters, happy holiday memories before you even consider the elf’ing Elf!
Those of us who introduced the Elf on the Shelf tradition to our kids a few years ago, kick ourselves each and every year around this time… What cute, adorable, mischievous shenanigans is the little elf’ing Elf going to do this year?! Of course, cute elf outfits and accessories add a bit of magic to the elf antics – and they can be used from year to year.
(This post was originally published in December 2016. It was updated for accuracy in December 2020.)
One thing is certain “same old, same old” does not cut it – especially not if you are the type to get caught up in the social media oversharing of Elf activities in your newsfeed starting immediately after Thanksgiving.
Fret not my fellow Elf’ing mom, I have come to take the pressure off you with a few very simple Elf on the Shelf shortcuts, tips, and tricks!
I start my Elf planning in November, but our Elf does not appear until December 1. I can only do 25 days of Elf’ing fun. Some of my friends start right after Thanksgiving, but that is taking motherhood to a whole new level, one that I can’t achieve right now.
Growing up in Denmark, my mom had a cute Christmas tradition, it was sort of an Elf on the Shelf, the Danish way – and it’s what made me want to continue some Christmas elf magic for our kids.
Our family’s Elf is not always mischievous on a Pinterest-worthy level. He is actually rather practical, which are some of my more genius elf-moves, if I must say so myself.
Elf on the Shelf Shortcuts for Tired Moms
Before you start on your elf journey, be sure to print these adorable Elf planner pages and stickers from Sunny Day Family. You might as well go into this as organized as possible.
- Have the kids build the Elf a house, a fort, a home-base in a central location of your house.
- LEGOs are great for this project. They can also decorate a shoebox or create a winter wonderland scene on a shelf in the living room.
- The point is for you to have one location where the Elf can be found (when all else fails – because some nights things WILL fail!)
- This is a great season-opener for the Elf! The kids are involved and you don’t have to turn to Pinterest – yet!
- Let the Elf help you bring out the Christmas decorations.
- Our Elf brings the kids their Advent calendars on December 1.
- One day he magically appears on the bookshelf with all of our Christmas books from prior years.
- He decorates our small table-top Christmas tree.
- He leaves new ornaments for the kids once the Christmas tree is in place.
- See what I am doing here, slowly chipping away at the Elf appearances by having him do things I would have done anyway.
- Good deeds towards family members.
- Have the kids write a letter to the Elf, giving him ideas of nice things he can do to the other family members.
- This idea involves the kids, helps them think of kind things their siblings or parents would appreciate. Best of all – it knocks off a few more days of your Elf’ing chores.
- Perhaps the Elf could change the toilet paper roll for mom, which she always complains about. He could line the shoes up so dad doesn’t have to do it. He could find the matching hair bows for his sister’s school uniform or even make the lunches for school the next day.
- The Elf can bring stocking stuffers!
- I no longer fill the kids’ Christmas stockings with small trinkets and candy on Christmas morning. Instead, I use those items throughout the month when I need a quick idea for the Elf.
- The kids will find the Elf in his home-base some mornings – and instead of having done something genius, he will have a small gift for them. (This is when the house they built for him at the beginning of the month comes in handy.)
- By small gift, I mean SMALL gift – a new pencil, a little snack, craft projects, a cool eraser, a book – you get the idea. I shop for these things in November, so I have them ready throughout December.
- THIS is the one Elf shortcut that saves my sanity several times! I no longer have to wrack my brain for cute things he can do at 10:30 pm when I am ready to go to bed…
- And… when all else fails – I turn to this post with 200+ Elf on the Shelf Ideas, Activities and EXCUSES! I have a big Elf on the Shelf board on Pinterest and I add to it every week – so follow it for continued inspiration!
Do me a favor – share your ideas with me; we are all in this Elf’ing thing together!