5 Genius Elf On The Shelf Hacks From Parents Sick Of Moving Their Elf


‘Tis the season… for the Elf on the Shelf, that is, and some parents just aren’t feeling it. That’s why we thought it might be a good idea to come up with some clever elf on the shelf hacks for parents. 

While kids adore the little guy’s nightly shenanigans, it can be a hassle to remember to move him every single night. While we may have brought the elves into our homes with the best of intentions, many of us overestimated our ability to remember to move him each night, or to even want to.


There are parents staging their elves in all sorts of award-winning, Pinterest-worthy ways, but we slacker parents could use some sneaky shortcuts to not having to stage them- even for a few days.

For those of you that need a break from the elf, here are a few ways to curb the little creeper’s movements. 

We think these five genius elf on the shelf hacks are pretty clever

Under The Weather

Even elves get sick…. thankfully. Since winter is a big ‘ole germfest for kids, it’s easy to convince them that their elf caught those germs & needs a few days of rest in bed to recover!

Reindeer flu is legit. #yourewelcome. ??

Posted by Kristen Hewitt on Thursday, December 6, 2018

Thank you, Kristen Hewitt. Reindeer flu IS legit, and it’s the one germy mess I’d welcome into my house right about now!

Need A Break? Then Break A leg!

Elves are active little creatures, but did you know that they are also injury-prone? Well, if you need a break from your Elf on the Shelf, then they certainly can be. A cast on an appendage, complete with doctor’s note to prohibit movement for two weeks is the holiday gift that keeps on giving.

Poor Buddy fell and broke his leg, he has strict orders from Santa not to move for two weeks! Parenting WIN!!

Posted by Courtney Davis Boles on Thursday, December 3, 2015

This gem was shared by Facebook user Courtney Davis Boles in December 2015, and it’s had 40K shares to date. There must be many limping elves out there… and apparently many, many parents that need an elfin’ break.

Speaking Of Breaks, How About More Than One?

Yup, I’m guilty of slacker-elf parenting, too. Two years ago, I needed a respite from the nightly elf-capade. Our elf ended up falling down the stairs (ok… maybe he was pushed…?), and was hospitalized. 

He was in critical care, but survived his harrowing ordeal. However, the next few days were also busy around our house, so the elf needed a little more “healing time” in his wheelchair. Cue Break #2!

But between his hospital stay and additional recovery time, I got a six day break from the elf. Sorry, not sorry!

A Little Love Goes A Long Way

Looking for something a little gentler on your little elf? Have him fall in love & get married– then send him off on a sweet honeymoon! This scheme was featured on the parenting blog Baby Sideburns, and it’s awesome. 

If your house is anything like mine, you’ve got hundreds of single Barbies who’d love to get hitched to a cute, gainfully employed dude like Mr. Elf on the Shelf. 

A Permanent Parting Of Ways

Maybe it’s time to let the Elf on the Shelf leave for good. If that’s the case, how about an official “retirement” letter for your elf (and thankfully, for YOU!)? That was mom Christy Hein’s strategy, and it’s brilliant. Her Facebook post detailed the letter that officially dismissed their elf from service forever, and it’s so damn clever!

Posted by Christy Heins on Friday, December 8, 2017

Some of you more enthusiastic parents are probably tempted to criticize those of us who are looking for a break from the elf. Well, you overachievers might now be in the minority; a simple Google search for “break” ideas clearly illustrates how many of us out there are experiencing elf-related fatigue.

Check out the associated search suggestions that are most popular right now:

For many parents already exhausted by the holidays, the Elf on the Shelf has definitely passed its shelf-life!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here