ORLANDO, Fla. - It's officially December, which means it's time to dust off your shelves in time for a visit from your child's favorite elf.
If your child doesn't already have an Elf on the Shelf, they've probably asked for one -- or they will once their friends start talking about their elves' shenanigans at school.
The Christmas tradition for children has been around for a while now and has become wildly popular in the last few years.
Throughout the month of December, a child's magic elf visits your home to watch over them and report back to Santa regarding their behavior. The elves make their presence very known throughout the few weeks they're visiting by pulling all sorts of pranks and funny stunts, with help from some dedicated parents, of course.
If you're looking to get creative with your Elf on the Shelf this year, we have everything you'll need to make sure your child is entertained and eager to wake up to their elf each day.
Guide: 25 Days of Elf on the Shelf
Day 1 -- Elf makes its 2018 debut.
You'll want to make sure your elf comes in with a bang -- or like a wrecking ball -- with some of these ideas:
Day 2 -- Elf enjoys a break from North Pole temperatures.
Your elf is basically realizing its getting to take a monthlong vacation at your expense. Who wouldn't kick back and relax over that?
Day 3 -- Elf found fishing like a true vacationer.
Your elf may be taking this vacationing thing a bit far by breaking out a pole and bait inside the house, but your kids will definitely get a laugh out of it.
Day 4 -- Elf enjoys last day of vacation.
A lazy river in your bathroom? A golf course on your counter? Yes and yes.
Day 5 -- Elf brings back gift from North Pole -- or at least tries to.
Your elf is pretty bummed after a few days of vacationing to find the snowman he brought your child from the North Pole melted in its luggage. Oh well, it tried.
Day 6 -- Countdown to Christmas.
The elf is really there to help get your child in the Christmas spirit. What better way to get excited than with a countdown to Christmas. Just be sure to keep up with it until the big day.
Day 7 -- Giving is better than receiving (this one's for you, parents).
Your child is probably asking for tons of new toys this holiday season, and you're probably looking to get rid of their old ones first. Your elf has just the idea to teach your child the importance of giving -- and to help clean out your toy room.
Day 8 -- Let the games begin.
Christmas is getting closer, and it's time to kick it up a notch with some of these pranks. Give your child a fair warning, though.
Day 9 -- Elves rule, kids drool.
Harmless and hilarious: let your child wake up to this message from their elf.
Day 10 -- Breakfast surprises.
Did your child think they were getting their favorite cereal for breakfast? Someone beat 'em to it. Try the eggs. Oh, wait. They got those, too.
Day 11 -- Toilet paper tumble.
Your elf couldn't pull off a better prank today because it got stuck in a mess. Just means they'll have to do even better tomorrow.
Day 12 -- One dedicated parent.
If you or your significant other is willing to let an elf cut your hair, this is the ultimate prank. If you're not, you may want to go with something less extreme, like letting the elf cut up an old T-shirt.
Day 13 -- Elves can be sweet, too.
Take a break from the pranks for a day and go with a few fun surprises for lunch. You'll be able to brush up on your gift-wrapping skills, while your child gets pumped for their visit from Santa in a couple weeks.
Day 14 -- Elves and friends.
Your elf is getting comfortable, even making a few friends along the way.
Day 15 -- Family photos.
OK, your elf is getting really comfortable -- like, wants to be included in your family photos comfortable. Maybe you'll edit them in during their stay.
Day 16 -- Wait, your elf can do better.
Moms, it may hurt to do this, but if your elf wants to freshen up with your makeup to get a better picture for you to frame, you may just have to let them do it.
Day 17 -- Enjoy this "elfie."
Your elf went the extra mile, doing their hair and make up just to get the perfect selfie. You've got to help make the final product happen.
Day 18 -- Winter break is here.
Is it your child's last day of school for this semester? If so, the elf should wish them well. If it's earlier or later in the month than this day, just swap this idea with the one from that date.
Day 19 -- Time to play.
School's out and it's time to enjoy the off time with some winter fun and games. Any of the following will do, since they're all loads of fun.
Day 20 -- Five days until Christmas.
Christmas is less than one week away, which means it's your child's last chance to get in the spirit. They'll need cookies, cards, Christmas classic -- the whole shebang.
Day 21 -- Elf has had too much fun.
After 20 days of fun, your elf may be feeling under the weather. Just let them rest and give them whatever they need to help fight that winter bug.
Day 22 -- Can't keep elf down.
You thought the shenanigans were done? It's not over 'til the big man climbs down the chimney. Check out what your elf did overnight.
Day 23 -- Last night before Santa comes.
It's your last chance to buy cookies for Santa before you have to leave them out tomorrow night. Your elf has something to say about the ones they tried.
Day 24 -- One last game of hide and seek.
Tonight is the night your elf will have to tell Santa whether your child has been nice or naughty, but first, find them one last time. Hint: to better hide them, their face is brown, green and spotty.
Day 25 -- Merry Christmas and good bye, elf.
Santa has come and the elf must go. It's been a special gift for your elf to be able to look over your child this holiday season. Unwrap the gifts, including the elf, and leave your child with something to remember them by until next time.
Some other hilarious options that can be swapped with any of the ideas listed above are embedded below.
If you still need more inspiration, consider using ideas from the calendars listed below.
Forget to move your elf?
If your elf forgets to pull off a prank or move from their spot one night, don't worry. Elf season can still be saved. Read the following list of reasons why an elf may not have moved overnight:
Have a creative idea you want to share with other Elf on the Shelf-ers? Post a picture and explanation in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be included in this story.
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