Does the thought of an elf sneaking into your house every night to make a mess while you sleep kick your OCD into overdrive? Me too, but my kids love their little elf! So, what’s a mom to do? Today I am sharing my favorite completely mess-free Elf on the Shelf hiding spots so your kids can have fun and you can have your sanity.
Last Minute Elf on the Shelf Hiding Spots
Ok, let’s get real here for a second.
I simply do not understand the messy Elf on the Shelf ideas that you see all over Pinterest.
- First, you have to go to the store and buy all the items involved in the nightly mischief. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have extra money to spend during the holidays.
- Second, you have to be insanely creative on the daily in order to come up with new shenanigans every night.
- Lastly (and this is the part that blows my mind) YOU have to clean up the mess that little sneaky critter makes – every morning!
Sorry, but this busy mama ain’t got no time for that!
That being said, my kiddos absolutely love their elf (his name is Squiggles).
Without fail, they start asking about his day-after-Thanksgiving return each year as soon as Halloween hits.
In order to keep this fun family holiday tradition going I needed to come up with some funny Elf on the Shelf ideas that don’t require adding another task to the holiday to-do list.
Elf on the Shelf Hide-n-Seek
This is how the Elf on the Shelf works in our home:
- No, silly pranks.
- No disasters to clean up.
Each night the elf is moved to a different location in the home.
Simple and neat-freak approved!
In the morning the kids cannot wait to wake up and discover where Squiggles has hidden after his return from his nightly journey to the North Pole to report back to Santa.
The key is to have him hide in hysterically funny spots around the house.
The idea is to keep the Elf on the Shelf tradition creative and fun, but no clean-up required.
What’s the Deal with Elf on the Shelf Anyway?
The most simplified explanation comes straight from the book that accompanies the elf:
The scout elves are dispatched into your home to keep an eye on your kiddos during the holidays and report back to Santa regarding their behavior.Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition
Easy-peasy! So, why have we made it so complicated?
There is nothing in the book about the elf making a mess or causing mayhem during the night.
But you know what? The simplified elf on the shelf idea is a super-fun and easy tradition to help make the holidays magical for your kids.
In fact, my oldest has begun to ask to inevitable questions about Christmas and the Elf on the Shelf has kept her in the world of “it’s possible” for just a little while longer.
The Best Places to Hide your Elf on the Shelf
Here’s the deal:
- You’re a mom
- Your days are already packed with to-do lists, work and kids activities
- At the end of the day you are exhausted
You know what you need to be doing at night in the weeks leading up to Christmas?
Not scurrying around your house setting up some elaborate scheme.
Trust me on this one – just move the elf to a funny spot and the kids won’t complain one bit (unless you have already set the bar high with craziness and treats – then you’re gonna have to slowly wean them from their expectations).
Your kiddos will be amazed to find your family’s elf in one of these no-prep, can totally shove him in at the last-minute hiding spots:
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1) In the butter dish
2) Under a wash-cloth “blanket” in the freezer
3) Tucked into the end of the toilet paper roll
4) In the utensil drawer
5) On top of the ceiling fan blades
6) Popping out of the top of a backpack or lunchbox
7) Wrapped through the handle of the milk jug
8) Inside the box of cereal
9) In their underwear drawer
10) Hiding among their stuffed animals or other toys
11) Sitting inside a remote control car
12) Hanging from the rear view mirror of the car
13) Holding on to the Christmas Tree Topper
14) Hiding in the branches of the Christmas tree
15) Inside the mailbox
16) Placed in a sandwich bag with the bath toys
17) Tucked between the cushions of the couch
18) In the kitchen utensil holder
19)Inside the toothbrush drawer
20) Buckled into the carseat
21) In the opening of a tissue box
22) Peeking out between the window blinds
23) In a shoe
24) Hiding in their favorite mug or sippie cup
25) Hanging from the top of the shower head
What if the elf doesn’t move?
Inevitably there will come a morning when you wake up and the elf is still in the same spot. In that case simply offer the following:
- He must have been really tired and couldn’t make it all the way back to the North Pole
- Mommy fell asleep on the couch watching TV last night and he couldn’t leave because I was in the room.
- You were SO good yesterday he didn’t have anything to report back to Santa.
- He must not be feeling good.
- The weather outside made it unsafe for him to travel.
Don’t forget the basic Elf on the Shelf rules
- Don’t touch the elf, or he/she will lose his magic. In our house we have “gloves” that allow the adults to pick up the elf if he falls or to remove him from a hiding spot if he gets stuck. Kitchen tongs also do a great job of keeping the magic alive.
- Each night the elf is supposed to move. Not wreck your house, just move. Our elf has never made a mess and I promise you if you start the tradition that way your kids will be just as excited to discover his hiding spot as they are to find Cheerios all over the floor.
Are you a visual person? Here are some more funny Elf on the Shelf Hiding Spots
There you have it mama! 25 Super Silly places to hide your elf, without the clutter and chaos to clean up.
Where are your favorite Elf on the Shelf hiding spots?
Let us know in the comments below and we will add them to our list!