Parents: This is the Best Elf on the Shelf Hack

This Elf on the Shelf idea wins Christmas.

By: Amanda Mushro

Photo by: Amanda Mushro

Amanda Mushro

Like most parents, I have a love/hate relationship with the Elf on the Shelf. I love that my kids wholeheartedly believe in the elf’s magic, and that they excitedly wake up every morning to find their elves in another silly spot in our home. What I don’t love is waking up at 3 a.m. in a panic because I forgot to move the elves, or feeling like our staging is sort of lame when I see some of the super creative things other parents are doing with their elves.

However, since this may be the last year that my oldest believes in the magic of this season, I am all in for making it extra special, and I have the best Elf on the Shelf hack. This one will delight your kids, is super easy to pull off and will have you feeling like you won Christmas.

Any kid will tell you that touching the elf is a major no-no; the elf loses their magic and you may end up on Santa’s naughty list. Of course, this makes kids really want to touch the elf–or maybe just give it a quick hug or high five–but the fear of the naughty list usually wins out. However, what if there was a way your kids could take their elves with them for one day without risking their magic?

To pull off this hack, I grabbed two plastic food containers that just so happened to have a festive design. These became our “magical containers” straight from the North Pole—or you know, Target. Then I popped the elves inside, and typed up this letter for the kids:

A little reindeer told us you are going on a super cool adventure today, and we want to come, too! We came up with a plan so that you can take us along. We’ve sealed ourselves up in these containers. Now you can pack us up and bring us everywhere you go. Since you aren’t touching us, you aren’t ruining the magic. How cool is that! We are the smartest elves ever!

We can’t wait to see all the fun things and cool places you take us to! Let’s get going!

I planned this for a day we would be out doing Christmas activities so the elves could really have an adventure. When my kids found the letter and the elves in their magical containers under the tree, the elves never left their side for the rest of the day.

The elves sat on the table next to my kids while we had lunch at a restaurant, and the kids even held up their containers so their elves wouldn’t miss a minute of any of the light displays we passed.

Photo by: Amanda Mushro

Amanda Mushro

Finally, before the kids went to bed that night, my son whispered, “I hope you had a great day with me because I had a great day with you. I hope we can do it again.” See–moments like that are exactly why I love the elves.

It’s important to note that both of my kids usually act like they’re incapable of carrying anything for long periods of time—their coats, their book bags or a random rock they found–but they both carried their magical containers all day long. I worried they would set them down and that the elves would goners, but the kids were super careful, and their elves were never far from them. Honestly, it was a Christmas miracle.

So, before the elves head back to the North Pole, give this hack a try. Then sit back and watch the Christmas magic unfold. Even though the elves will get all the glory for this amazing adventure, we know who the real keeper of the magic is in your home and we will keep your secret for you.

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