It’s not often that new holiday traditions come around. But Festivus, the red Starbucks cups, and Elf on the Shelf have fairly recently all become part of the holiday season. That last one can be a bit of a mixed bag, as it prompts children to behave but also demands creative ideas from parents for days, even weeks, on end. So if you find yourself struggling, here are a few inspired ideas from celeb parents for Elf on the Shelf to keep you going when you’ve run out of things for your little visitor to get up to each night.
First, a primer just in case you’re one of the few who haven’t run across this novel idea. The Elf on the Shelf was born from a book written in 2004 by a mother-daughter team to memorialize a family tradition, according to HuffPost. As it began in the family of Carol Aebersold, the elf was mainly a Christmas ornament that stayed on the tree, but her mother did tell her that he reported to Santa. Wanting to find a project they could work on together, Aebersold suggested to her mom that they write the story of a “scout elf” who comes to watch a family for Santa and flies back to the North Pole to report back each night.
In 2007, Jennifer Garner was spotted carrying an Elf on the Shelf kit, according to Good Housekeeping, and well, things took off for the book.
But since the elf flies back to Santa each night, it’s supposed to be in a new place come the morning. Kids wake up ready to find out where their scout elf is hanging out for the day. And coming up with those ideas can be taxing during an already hectic time of year.
So let’s see how these celebrity parents handle things with their kiddos and elves.
Busy Philipps is unarguably the master of the elf. In 2018, she’s already had her elves enjoying a spa day, doing acrobatics, and making snow angels.
In 2017, she also held the fifth annual elf race with competition fierce between the elves, bobbleheads, and other toys.
Alyssa Milano pulled inspiration from the sky as her elves rode a Tonka helicopter to retrieve a Christmas tree.
Actress Monica Potter also went the snow angel route, noting that she used flour to make the snow. It could be messy, but it’s a quick and easy idea for snow-loving little elf who’s missing home, right?
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Sarah Michelle Gellar’s elves rode a train back from the North Pole, and arrived with a little note telling the kids how much they were missed during the night.
Tori Spelling made a mess of things, using chocolate frosting to create a Christmas message with some bathroom humor. She opted for food a second time when she used cotton candy and marshmallows to create a Hawaiian theme to welcome her elves back from their yearlong vacation.
The oldest Kardashian sister once welcomed her elf back from its time away by just letting it show up on the light fixture. But another night she let her elves get up to a little mischief, playing pool while the family slept.
The eldest Jonas brother let his elf drive back from the overnight Santa visit, arriving in the morning in one of his daughter's toy cars.
Vanessa Lachey kept things simple, but probably hard for little eyes to find. They surely looked a long time on the lower levels before they thought to cast their eyes this high.
Melissa Joan Hart
It's true that toys have their own life at night, so Melissa Joan Hart's elves commandeered one of the household's decorations to hitch their ride back from the North Pole.
Earlier this month, Jimmy Kimmel lamented being three nights in and already out of shelves to put the elf on as well as ideas. "Tonight I'm just going to duct tape the elf to a Roomba and let it move around itself," he said during Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He did pose a good idea of a service that comes to your house and moves the elf for you!
It may not be the breeziest tradition to keep up with, but don't despair. There are creative ideas just like these across Instagram, Pinterest, and the all over social media. And the looks on the faces of little ones as they discover their elf each day surely makes the hard work all worth it. Happy Elf-ing!
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