and elf on the shelf perched in a Christmas tree
Forgot To Move The Elf? Here Are 15 Reasonable Excuses To Save Face

by Kristina Johnson
Originally Published: 

Waking up in the morning to find that your 'Elf on the Shelf' hasn't budged is a major facepalm moment for a parent. Since it supposedly flies off to the North Pole every night to give a report on your child's behavior to Santa, it won't go unnoticed if it ends up back in the exact same spot as the day before. When your kids start asking questions, you'll need some excuses for a lazy Elf on the Shelf on hand to explain the fluke.

Don't beat yourself up too much if you happen to find yourself in this dicey situation. Given how much other stuff you've got going on during the holidays, the elf is bound to slip your mind once in a while. Plus, coming up with new Elf on the Shelf ideas and setting up those elaborate scenes every night is a lot of work.

If anyone touches the elf when they're not supposed to, it loses it's magic and won't move until Santa gets an apology. But if you know your kid isn't the culprit, your guilty conscience probably won't let you pin it on them. Luckily, there are plenty of other plausible reasons why your elf might not have moved.

Here are 15 excuses to get the magic back on track.


It Found A Comfy Spot

Courtesy Elf on the Shelf

Most of us have that one place in our house where we love to get cozy and relax, whether it's a certain spot on the couch, a squishy armchair, or even a big comfy bed. Elves are no different — sometimes they find a spot that's just too comfortable to move from, or in this case, one that they just had to return to.


It Fell Asleep

Flying back and forth to the North Pole every night takes a toll on an elf. Sometimes they just need to sleep in a bit and catch up on their rest.


It's Sick

Cold and flu season can strike elves, too. Anne Arundel Medical Center can give you an elf doctor's note to explain exactly what's going on.


It Moved *Just A Little*

Are you really sure the elf didn't move? Maybe you're just not looking closely enough. You should probably check again.


It Had Nothing New To Report

No news is good news, right? Assuming your kiddo is on their best behavior, your elf won't have much to report to Santa, so no need to make the trip.


It Wanted To See If You'd Notice

Elves can be tricky little fellows, and I wouldn't put it past them to pull a fast one on your kiddos and stay their in same spot *on purpose* to make sure everyone's paying attention.


They Ate Too Much Candy

Everyone knows the main food group in an elf's diet is candy. But it's easy to overindulge and get a tummy ache, which means they need a sick day.


They Had The Day Off

Elves are super hard workers, but even magical beings need a day off once in a while.


They're Sleeping In


Did your kids wake up extra early and take the elf by surprise? Maybe they should go back to their rooms for a while and let the elf finish resting before it makes a quick and speedy early morning trip to the North Pole and back.


There's Bad Weather

Safety first — when there's bad weather at the North Pole, the elf's gotta stay put. When he or she gets the word from Santa that the storm has cleared, they'll be back in action.


That Spot Has The Best View Of The TV

From classic holiday films to seasonal baking shows and nostalgia-heavy Christmas cartoons, there's so much must-see TV during the month of December. Why would your Elf want to abandon the best seat in the house?


They're Playing A Game Of "Pause" With Another Toy

While everybody was sleeping, your Elf got into a rousing game of "Pause" with a few other resident dolls and figures. He's been waiting for Peppa to hit the pretend "play" button for hours now.


They're Low On Magic


Perhaps someone in the house accidentally touched your Elf, and he can't get moving again until his magic is restored. (Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to do just that: Even a sprinkle of cinnamon will do it.)


Your Elf Is On Strike

Until your child completes some essential task that you want completed, that is, like cleaning up her room. (Pro-tip: You can use this excuse more than once in a season.)


They Need A Snack

You can't expect an underfed elf to be moving around all night. This one can even be a two-parter, as the next night's pose could involve a plate of carrot sticks or apple slices.

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