Elf on the Shelf

15 Elf On The Shelf Christmas Eve Ideas

Because it’s his grand finale.

Originally Published: 

Parents all over the world are gearing up for a big day at the end of this week: December 24. Not because it's Christmas Eve, but because it signifies the last hurrah for the Elf on the Shelf. Thank God, right? The only thing parents want for Christmas right now is some Elf on the Shelf ideas for Christmas Eve.

However, whether tucking away the elf for another year makes you feel sad — or breathe a sigh of relief — one thing is sure: Figuring out what to do with your Elf on Christmas Eve is huge, because it's supposed to be your Elf's final appearance for the year. And of course he has to go out with a bang — especially if you’ve been ramping up their antics all season long. This last day’s got to be out of the park, right?

The Elf on the Shelf returns home to the North Pole on December 24 in order to answer letters, train, and care for the reindeer, according to the Elf on the Shelf's official website. Although your family can certainly decide to keep the little elf around for longer, it's the recommended time to send him home for the year. And that means the elf's final appearance is often his most memorable and fantastic.

If the pressure for a super-awesome final elf pose is leaving you stressed, then this list may provide some inspiration. Just remember, the most important part of your elf's final night in your home on Christmas Eve is that your kid enjoys a final moment of holiday magic, it's worth all the effort. Then you can finally shutter him up in the back of your closet until next year.


Candy Cane Seeds

OK, this idea is precious. Pose some tic-tacs or peppermints as candy cane seeds — a final parting gift from the elf — and have them "grow" a candy cane garden in the morning. It's a super creative option, plus your kid gets some sweets in exchange for the elf's departure. It isn't the worst deal and it'll keep them from feeling sad that their seasonal friend is gone.


Goodbye Note

Whether it's with Cheerios, marshmallows, or gummy bears, leave your kid a fun holiday message from the elf. It's a sweet — pun intended — way to say goodbye. If you don't have the counter space for a lengthy message, a goodbye letter handwritten on some festive stationery will do the trick, too. Make sure you get a friend or relative to write the note though, lest the kids recognize your handwriting.


An Official End of the Holiday Report

This report is really cute for folks who use the elf to ensure their kids stay “nice” throughout the holiday season. This person created this mini report card for the child with a box for naughty and a box for nice. Obviously, you should pick nice, and add a nice goodbye note for your kiddo for your Elf on the Shelf Christmas Eve idea.


Secret Messages

Whether you check out the Spot of Tea Designs website and use the links she shares to the free printables or you make your own with your Elf saying “goodbye” at the end of the message, this hands-on activity will add even more fun and magic on Christmas Eve. Hopefully you can make one that’s better than “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine” like on A Christmas Story. This Elf on the Shelf Christmas Eve idea will be a hit for many years to come, especially for older children.


Parting Gifts

It's only polite for a houseguest to get the family a hostess or parting gift, right? Right. This elf has the right idea and is leaving some tiny edible treats for the family to enjoy, long after she's gone.


Goodbye Kiss

Place your elf high atop a light fixture, ceiling fan, or even the Christmas tree — as close to the North Pole as you can get. Prop them there before your kid goes to bed, and tell them that you're helping the elf get a head start back home. Make sure your kid gets a chance to say goodbye to the elf from afar.


Get Punny With It

Not only does your kiddo get a special sweet treat for breakfast on Christmas Day, but you can use this Elf on the Shelf Christmas Eve idea as a clever way for the elf to say their final goodbye. “Donut Worry, I’ll be Back” would be a cute way to say goodbye, even if this note is being used for the beginning of the elf’s shenanigans.


Backup Posse

Have your elf decorate a bunch of things with googly eyes. The surprised-looking baked goods in this pic are hilarious. You could put the eyes on just about anything for hysterical results, and it sends the message that even though the elf is leaving soon, he or she's made plenty of friends who will keep an eye out while he's gone.


Buddy The Elf Inspo

For this Christmas Eve Elf on the Shelf idea, you decorate your elf’s set-up like a scene from the movie Elf. You can include on the board that your elf loves Santa so much and he misses him so he has to go back to help him.


Leave Ingredients To Make Santa Cookies

This Elf on the Shelf Christmas Eve idea is super cute, fun, and easy. Have your elf leave all the makings of Christmas cookies to leave for Santa Claus. You can even divide up the dry ingredients you’d need in containers to make holiday baking as stress-free as possible. You can also include reindeer snacks as well, like carrots, celery, tomatoes, and other produce. You can’t leave them hungry!


Bedtime Reads

How adorable is this little reader? Staging your elf with a book is always fun and cute. We love the idea of having a final bedtime reading with the elf. Perhaps, since its his last night, your kid will let the scout elf pick the book for a change. For extra credit, use super tiny books.


Elf-Sized Treats

Have your elf cook up some elf-sized party favor bags for your kiddos. Tell them that she wanted to leave a thank you present for letting her stay at the house all season long. These tiny marshmallow bags are adorable, but mini muffins, donut holes, or even tiny pancakes would also make a great impression. Let your imagination go and whip up a whole meal of tiny foods.


A Frosty Farewell

For a bit of an elaborate Elf on the Shelf Christmas Eve idea, purchase this printable from the official Elf on the Shelf website, grab some spray snow, and use a window in your home that’s easily visible to your child. Spray the spray snow over the printable and it looks like your elf made a stealthy escape back to the North Pole.


Elf On The Shelf Goodbye Poe

Are you having writer’s block when it comes to your Elf on the Shelf Christmas Eve ideas? The elfontheshelf.com website has got you covered. They include a goodbye poem printable for you to use to help them say goodbye.


North Pole Virtual Meeting

This Elf on the Shelf Christmas Eve idea includes a North Pole virtual meeting with friends telling them he’s on his way home. Timely in the age of a pandemic, use this downloadable image from elfontheshelf.com of a zoom meeting with other elves. Somehow have your kid figure out that they’re discussing your elf’s travel arrangements for coming back to the North Pole.