The Lame Parent’s Guide to Elf on the Shelf

My family’s elf made her holiday appearance last year, and was promptly named Christy Christmas by my then four-year-old son.

It was all fun and games until my now five-year -old caught onto my genius (lazy) plan of alternating each night between four different shelves in the living room and kitchen. So now I’ve devised a game plan which has served me well this month so far: divide your nights up each week by the number of easily accessible shelves and/or mantles, then every third (or lets face it, fourth or fifth) night, bring out the big guns. For my son, this generally means COOL STUFF.

I got some cute little Christmas books at the thrift store, some Christmassy candy (sugar highs before 7 a.m.!) at the dollar store, and a fun plastic plate and cup set from Target.

My elf has brought my son one of off these items every third (Or fourth. Or fifth.) night, which has kept the excited gossip going in the morning Kindergarten line up, which I figure is the kiddie version of hanging out at the water cooler.


elf 2


The cup was filled with egg nog and Christy Christmas was placed in the fridge “drinking” it. The plate was set for breakfast on the kitchen table, with Christy hanging from the light fixture above. The books are placed generally leaning against her on whatever random shelf seems convenient, same as the candy offerings.

Voila! No messy naughty elves causing giant messes that not only do you have to set up, but also clean up again the next night.

And don’t get me started on how many times I’ve panicked after being almost asleep then remembering that stupid elf!

So cancel your Pinterest account, block your overachieving instagramming friends and bookmark this article for next year. Fair warning, my friends: don’t set the bar too high. You’ll thank me.

Only seven more sleeps until the elf leaves…er, I mean only seven more sleeps until Christmas.


[box]lana Lana McCarney lives in the heart of downtown Langley, and joined the mommy ranks in April 2009. She is the proud mother of Kindergartener Liam, loving wife of mechanic Sean, and exasperated owner of Chloe the neurotic beagle. When she isn’t busy dodging the “when is the next baby??” questions and working her way through the parenthood maze, she is usually whipping something up in her craft room: Lana loves crafts of any kind, with paper and fabric as her mediums of choice. She went to Bishop’s University in Quebec to study English Literature and Film Studies, but is currently juggling part time work as a retail salesperson, as well as her full time job as CEO of her little family. She is a determined pedestrian and can always be found walking throughout Langley, especially at local family events and craft fairs. Her loves include Marlon Brando, hiking, coffee, thrift store shopping, pink, coffee, polka dots, shoes, and coffee (in any combination).[/box]


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