As another season of baking, shopping, and reindeer comes to a close, parents everywhere are breathing a major sigh of relief. But when you're left with holiday stuff on top of holiday stuff, the chaos probably won't seem done just yet. For most parents, this also includes trying to figure out what to do with Elf on the Shelf after Christmas. You already spent the entire month crafting up Elf on the Shelf antics for kids, and now you have to figure out what to do with him? It's like having another child in the house, for crying out loud.
The obvious answer might be to toss him in with the holiday decorations. However, there's a rhyme and reason to taking a different approach. I mean, we all know that holiday planning takes time, so you'll want to give yourself more room to think of awesome Elf on the Shelf ideas next year.
To top it off, there are many clever ways to "send off" the mischievous little elf. According to the toy's official website, Elf on the Shelf leaves on Christmas Eve to return to the North Pole. There, elves spend time with their friends, answer letters, and help make toys. So why not have fun with it? By playing along to the very last minute of the Christmas season, you can keep the holiday magic alive.
1. Pack It With Your Thanksgiving Decor
Let's face it, some of us have the memory of a goldfish, and there is nothing wrong with that. But when it comes to holiday traditions like Elf on the Shelf, it's super important to stay on top of things. Of course, this includes remembering to set him out to begin with! Consider packing him up with fall or Thanksgiving decor so he can show up on time next year.
2. Lock 'Em Up
If you're worried about the kids helping with decorating next year, consider totally locking him up. It sounds harsh, but honestly, how else will the mischievous elf stay away from little wanderers? Maybe you have a filing cabinet or safety deposit box with some room to spare. If not, you can also tuck him away high up in your closet until next year.
3. Donate It
Are your kids outgrowing the magical fun of Elf on the Shelf? Donate the little guy to a local school, charity, or thrift store. You can also hold on to it and donate next year, just before the holiday season. It's a great way to pay it forward and pass on the holiday spirit.
4. Gift It To Another Family
There's a good chance you have a relative or friend with children. If you're all elf'd out after years and years of playing, give it to someone who will need it next holiday season. It'll instantly save someone 30 bucks.
5. Write A Goodbye Letter
Traditionally, Elf on the Shelf leaves a goodbye letter before going back home on Christmas Eve. The general rule is to set this out the night before Christmas, but if we're being real, the holiday season can get really crazy. Don't worry if you need to do it after Christmas. You can type it out or find templates online, but either way, it's an awesome way to keep the festive cheer alive post-Christmas.
6. Send A Postcard
You can also "send" a postcard to your house from the family elf. This is a darling way to let kids know that the magic doesn't have to fade after Christmas. Simply make or print a postcard, address it to your child, and miraculously "find" it in your mailbox.
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