Parents the world over are gearing up for a big day at the end of the year: December 24. Not because it's Christmas Eve, but because it signifies the last hurrah for the Elf on the Shelf. 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.
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.
1. 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.
2. 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 stationary will do the trick, too. Make sure you get a friend or relative to write the note though, lest the kids recognize your handwriting.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
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