Our family loves the tradition of Magic Elves.
Even if my kids know it’s not real they continue to play along because they have so much fun.  Our family elf tradition has some differences to the traditional Elf on the Shelf that is sold commercially.

Our Party Elves

  Our elves are magic Annalee elves and now have expanded to magic Annalee reindeer because the kids sprinkled some magic dust (aka red and green glitter) from the North Pole on the reindeer.  We choose Annalee elves because my parents always decorated with Annalees for Christmas so are special childhood memory for me that I wanted to continue.  Also, they are very bendable and adjustable and you can get different ones as well as different sizes.


Each morning is a scurry of excitement to see what the elves did “this time.” The boys enjoy taking photos of the elves’ mischief and often report their findings via email to their grandparents. They fill out the Elf Adventures Journal to incorporate a little creativity and writing into the holiday season.
Many of my elf mischief ideas came from Pinterest and blog articles however, I also asked the kids what they think the elves might get into and they gave me lots of ideas.  Because the elf on the shelf is so popular now they would swap stories at school with classmates about their elves.  One of their friend’s parents who did not know about Elf on the Shelf called and told me her son wanted “magic elves” at their house too. Continue reading to see what kind of trouble our elves got themselves into last year as well as other ideas and suggestions.

The Mischief and Adventures our Elves had last year:


  • Driving toy car down the stairs
  • Filled lunch boxes with candy and left a note that said, “Enjoy your lunch”
  • Went snowboarding on a toy snowboard
  • Took pictures in the photo booth
  • Had a snowball fight with cotton balls
  • Filled the dog bowl with dog treats
  • Drew Christmas pictures on our whiteboard
  • Played air hockey
  • Took the shoes out of the closet and tried them on
  • Decorated bathroom with toilet paper and left green pee in the toilet
  • Made snow angels flour and drank syrup
  • Cut out paper snowflakes
  • Got into bed with the kids and snuggled
  • Emptied the dog’s toy basket and fell slept with one of her toys
  • Wrote snow day on the bathroom mirror then wrote just kidding under it
  • Set up a day at the beach with beach doll accessories
  • Started a Elf Magic Band from the North Pole- made a Elf Band sign. They played the electric guitars, drums and the keyboard
  • Had movie and popcorn night
  • Decorate the Christmas tree with toilet paper
  • Trapped the boys in their rooms by taping strips of crepe paper and tape across their bedroom doors
  • Zip line between trees
  • Fell asleep in the Christmas stockings
  • Took down paintings on the wall and put up a few of the kids’ paintings
  • Played card and board games
  • Drew funny faces on the kids photos in frames around the house
  • Painted on canvases
  • Played foosball with snowballs (white ping pong balls)
  • Read Christmas stories


Some ideas and suggestions:


Make your elf on the shelf traditions unique to your family.
Make a master list of ideas so you don’t have to think about it each day. With a master list ready, I only spent 5 minutes or so each evening helping the elves get in trouble.
To get help cleaning up I told the kids if they wanted the elves to keep their magic, they would have to help clean up the elves’ mess everyday. They gladly helped clean up.
Let the kids take pictures of the elves when they get caught and maybe put together a photo slideshow or photo book at the end of the season.
Enjoy the Christmas season and remember these are the fun times and traditions they will remember and repeat with their own families someday.

Follow me on Pinterest for more great Winter and Christmas ideas and resources.

Merry Christmas! 

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