Free Printable ELF on the Shelf - notes from the north pole. Never want to move that silly Elf again? I've gotcha covered!

This Elf On The Shelf Idea Will Change Your Feelings About Christmas

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Elf on the Shelf is the Christmas tradition that we parents love to hate. Many parents have been really vocal about their annoyances with the little Red Elf and his mischevious ways. I must admit that this year I really dropped the ball when it came to our Elf, Frosty. I forgot to move the Elf for two whole days. My oldest son was devastated, convinced that his little sister must have stolen Frosty’s magic by playing with him while he was at school. I could see my son doubting the magic of Christmas and I didn’t want that stupid elf or my inability to adhere to my “responsibility” as the Elf Mover to be the reason that his Christmas Spirit was broken.

Elf on the shelf printables to dleiver notes from the north pole! Never move the ELF again!

I’m throwing in the towel and changing our ELF tradition. He’s not moving, ever again. I’m not going to frazzle my already all-too-frazzled mom-mind trying to match the Pinterest version of ELF Shenanigans or come up with my own Insta-worthy ELF moments. Hell, I’m not moving that guy ever again.


Why Our Elf Doesn’t Move

Aside from being a general pain in the A** to remember nightly to move him to a new hiding spot, there is also this unspoken competition between parents to come up with the most mischevious, cutesy way for their Elf to ring in the Christmas season. Social media is full of the weighted pendulum of parents swinging wildly between Highest praise for the Elf tradition and resentment for the tiny, magical man.

I did myself a favor by setting the bar pretty low when we first got our Elf, so there is no big Elf display that I have to top every year. My kids expect him to be hiding each morning in a new spot, which is apparently too much to ask of this tired momma. This Elf on shelf idea will change your feelings about him forever! Not into making a big spectacle of the Elf - THIS is your answer.

Notes from the North Pole

Christmas is a season that is supposed to inspire peace, appreciation, love, and goodness within people, not create an overwhelming anxiety based on unattainable expectations for our kids and ourselves. My kid was getting anxiety about the Elf telling Santa that his baby sister stole his magic. My son was genuinely upset that his sister might end up on the naughty list! (She still might, but not for touching the damn Elf!!)

So we changed the mission of our Elf. Frosty the Elf was no longer a mischevious, tattling mythical creature sent to antagonize my children into better behavior – our Elf’s mission was to spread Christmas Cheer.

We picked a place on the mantle that Frosty the Elf could be comfortable because that is where his ass is staying all December long. The kids made him a blanket with a piece of scrap material and they take turn tucking him into bed each night. I explained to the kids how every night Santa sends a note to our family to give encouragement, make us smile, and make us appreciate the peace that should come with the Christmas Holiday.

This Elf on the shelf idea will change your christmas traditions forever.

Being Good People

I have heard a lot of arguments against the Elf on the Shelf tradition, and basically, at this point, we are too invested. The little Elf has been making annual appearances for 6 years at our house and I don’t have the time to create an elaborate tale as to why he won’t return. I’m three kids deep into this game and I’m sick of losing. Like any good parent who cheats at board games, I decided to change the rules – and now this mom is winning Elf On the Shelf. 

It’s not too difficult to tell your kids every day that you love them, but maybe in the hustle and bustle of this time of year you’ve forgotten to tell them how wonderful they are. My oldest seriously worries that he’s on the bad list – like always – even though he is an incredibly well-behaved 7-year-old. I hate for him to doubt himself for any reason, especially that some silly Elf might tell Santa he didn’t eat his vegetables. (No big deal, he never eats them.) I’ve created some cards with little encouragement in case there was an incident. But most of the cards are encouraging and funny.

No more mischief – A New Tradition!

Each morning when the kids wake up the Elf is where they left him. Tucked under his little elf arm is a note. A simple few words of encouragement for the day, a joke about snowmen, or a fun-fact about Elves or Christmas History. To be honest, I expected the kids to enjoy the jokes the most, but they always like to hear the facts. They certainly are my children!

Elf on the shelf printables - FREE notes from the north pole

This is going to make it easier for our family to transition from the Believes in Santa phase, too. We can lead in with all the amazing facts about the Christmas traditions and still keep the “magic” of Christmas alive for the youngest kids.

I have created 24 days of FREE printable cards to use with our ELF, which I am sharing with you because I think that it is high time that we get the trouble-making Elf out of our homes and welcome one who ushers in the spirit of Christmas. 

This Elf on the Shelf Idea will totally change your mind about him! Free Printable to help your ELF bring the Christmas Spirit

So while it might seem that the Elf is more trouble than he is worth – break from the tradition of a mischievous little Elf and welcome the spirit of Christmas Cheer into your home. Want to see more? Sign up to download!

Free Printable ELF on the Shelf - notes from the north pole. Never want to move that silly Elf again? I've gotcha covered!


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  • Elizabeth Voyles December 7, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    This is a fun twist on the Elf on a Shelf. And I like how you involved the kids in making the Elf comfortable.

  • Chasity December 7, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    This is the first year that we have done the Elf on the Shelf. Chippy is a good Elf and sometimes doesn’t move from his spot. He also isn’t mischievous either because knowing my kids, they would try it. Plus, I don’t want the extra cleanup.

  • sar_ii December 7, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    I completely agree! The less mess the better!!

  • Nellwyn December 8, 2017 at 11:26 am

    I have to be honest, I don’t really get the whole Elf tradition. I don’t have kids so I can’t really speak to it but it seems like it stresses out so many parents!

    • sar_ii December 8, 2017 at 6:32 pm

      It really does seem to have many parents streesed out. My mom bought us out elf, so it wasn’t something I sought out. But like I said – ours doesn’t move anymore. And the kids are LOVING all the little notes.

  • Liz Mays December 8, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I think this is a nice little twist on the tradition. I can imagine thinking up creative places to put the elf every night being pretty difficult.

  • Rhonda December 8, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I like this idea way better then trying to come up with ideas to move the Elf. We have two of them actually and this year they didn’t come to visit at all. My oldest was going to be the one coming up with the ideas to move them daily but it didn’t happen. Sometimes unfortunately life gets in the way of our best laid plans. I like how you guys are making new traditions too! Those are the things the kids remember the most!

  • Crystal December 8, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Our elf isn’t into mischief as much as bringing joy. It’s the elf that provides our baking supplies or other holiday goodies. It makes each morning feel exciting.

  • Claire December 8, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Our elf hasn’t shown up yet!

  • Neely Moldovan December 8, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    I do not plan to ever do elft on the shelf. Mostly because I find it kind of creepy haha!

  • Brandy December 8, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    This is a really great idea! I never got into Elf on a Shelf, my kids, in all honesty, thought it was creepy. I do enjoy seeing what others do with this though 🙂

  • sar_ii December 8, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    When our elf first came to visit I went all out, he made crazy messes and did fun stuff, but my oldest was only 3 then and didn’t care if the elf didn’t move a day or 3 in a row. Now it’s all about making everyone happy in the simplest way possible 😉🎅

  • Erica Schwarz December 9, 2017 at 9:36 am

    This is great advice. I’ve never done the Elf on the Shelf thing, and when my FB feed starts getting filled with it, I’m always thankful I never got one. BUT if I HAD gotten one, I would have totally done it your way to safe my own sanity!

  • Annemarie LeBlanc December 10, 2017 at 10:06 am

    We have tried the Elf on the Shelf thing once but it freaked out the grandkids so we stopped doing it. My sister still does this every year, and even if her kids are already in their tweens, they still have fun with the Elf on the Shelf thing. I will send the link to this post to my sister. I am sure she’ll love the idea too.

  • sar_ii December 10, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Thank you Annemarie

  • Kanani December 12, 2017 at 3:51 am

    I like this much better than what I’ve been attempting to pull off. I alwayyyyys forget to move that dang elf and he’s never as cool as the other elve’s on the block. I think I’m doin a complete switch to this method.

  • No Bake Chocolate Pretzel Bites- A quick and easy Christmas Treat December 12, 2017 at 8:59 am

    […] trees, decorating my mantle, wearing big wooly socks, wrapping gifts, writing letters to Santa, THE ELF, starting new traditions, instilling holiday spirit … the etceteras are endless here.  I am […]

  • Pansy Shendo October 18, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    Thanks for all the information on baking it will come in handy for Christmas goodies.


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