Not Elfing around: When Elf on the Shelf isn’t for You


It is pretty rare these days to find a family that doesn’t have their own Elf on a Shelf causing a ruckus during the Holidays. So many started the tradition thinking it would be cute and funny and found out early on that they had committed to something that took time and planning that they were not prepared for.

Some have decided to ditch the Elf all together, while others have passed the duties on to older children.

I personally LOVE our Elf! 

We keep things pretty simple so that moving him doesn’t become too daunting and my kids talk about their Elf Rumple all year long.

However, I realize that I am in the minority these days so I wanted to offer a few alternatives to the Elf that you could try in your house this season! These will give you the same fun family activity with a magical feeling but hopefully less work for you to maintain.  

  1. Santa’s Lazy Gnome: This one is pretty much the same naughty and nice concept as the Elf but it DOES NOT NEED TO MOVE! You can get your own plush gnome and the book for $28.99, you can even choose the design on his little hat! 
  2. Be Kind Advent Calendar: Instead of your kids trying to prove how good they are to an Elf or Gnome this calendar would be a great way to countdown to Christmas all while practicing acts of kindness every day. The one I found is $19.95 and it looks as though it is easily used over and over. 
  3. Santa Camera: Santa no longer needs to send his elves out because he has upgraded to this security camera! And the best part is it is less than $10!!! 
  4. Dwarf in the Drawer: Ok you have met the Elf, but have you met his rival, the Dwarf in the Drawer??? He actually stays all year long and is not a fan himself of that darn Elf on the Shelf! You can grab him from Barnes and Noble for $19.99 {note: I believe the one I found had the plush toy included but I am not 100% sure, I found some used ones on Amazon too}
  5. 24 Wrapped books: Each night instead of frantically trying to hide the Elf while your children sleep. Before bedtime let them unwrap a book and then read it as a family. This lets them open a present EVERYDAY until Christmas, fosters a love of reading, and allows for some meaningful family time. If you visit a local bookstore like Books InkHalf Priced Books or By The Book Bookstore you could find a good deal on some used books and this wouldn’t be a huge budget buster.

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