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Ah, the The Elf on the Shelf — the bane of so many parents’ holiday seasons. Maybe you have a love-hate relationship (or, OK, a hate-hate relationship) with the wily little guy. But chances are, your kids love him. And hey, the internet loves him. He’s basically the best thing to happen to holiday mischief since Santa himself.
Although it can be fun to come up with your own creative ideas for where to place the beloved/dreaded elf (and we encourage you to do so) it can also be a little… exhausting, to say the least. And nowadays, The Elf on the Shelf has so many accessories — Elfie’s even got his own pets — to keep this yearly activity fresh and exciting. Elfie can almost give Barbie a run for her money. So here are more than two dozen easy The Elf on the Shelf ideas to inspire you (read: ideas you can totally copycat) to get you through the holidays when your creative juices have been sapped by shopping.
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A version of this article was originally published in November 2012 and was updated September 2020.
A little background on our elf
The premise behind The Elf on the Shelf is that Santa sends a special elf to your house to keep an eye on your children throughout the holiday season — you know, to make sure they are behaving. At night, when everyone is asleep, the elf — what with his magic powers