90 ‘Elf On The Shelf’ Ideas That Might Make You Laugh Or At Least Admire People’s Creativity, Shared On This Facebook Page

Santa Claus is always keeping track if you’ve been naughty or nice. But don't think that he's doing all of this all alone. There’s a whole planet full of people to keep track of! So Santa has helpers—his iconic elves who lend him a helping hand, and a pair of watchful eyes.

It’s not unusual for people to have an ‘elf on the shelf’ somewhere in their homes. They work wonderfully as witty decorations, and the elves also keep track of how good you’ve recently been. Don’t let their small stature fool you, no detail slips unnoticed past their honed senses (Legolas isn’t even in the same ballpark as these guys and gals). Every morning, kids rush to check out what the elf has done overnight, and the results are often funny and heartwarming.

The ‘Elfing Around’ Facebook group is a fantastic online community of creative Christmas decoration enthusiasts. It’s a place for “elf on the shelf planning, inspiration, and sharing your fun ideas.” It’s never too late to start planning for next year’s holiday season, so scroll down, check out the best elves and their pranks, and reward them with a big old upvote. The pics are wholesome, hilarious, and filled to the brim with puns! And they'll make your day. Promise.

The co-founders of the Facebook group are Toni, who runs the 'Finding Myself Young' blog, and Holly, the creator of the 'Simplify Create Inspire' blog. Bored Panda got in touch with Toni, and she was happy to tell us more about 'Elfing Around' and why people love elves on shelves so much. Read on for our full interview!

#1 Not My Work. Seen In A Craft Group But Thought It Was A Great Idea!

Image credits: Gonzales Pera

#2 Our Elves Tonight Ironing Out The Wrinkles

Image credits: Rachel Longley Oldham

#3 Not Sure If This Has Been Posted Yet

Image credits: Rivera Natalia

Toni, the co-founder of 'Elfing Around,' was kind enough to answer Bored Panda's questions about the Facebook group, as well as the elf on the shelf phenomenon.

"Holly and I created Elfing Around in 2021 as a way for parents all over the world to easily share their own elf ideas and get inspiration and advice from each other," she said, referring to her friend Holly, who also runs the 'Simplify Create Inspire' blog. Meanwhile, Toni has plenty of blogging experience running 'Finding Myself Young.'

"We had been sharing our own elf ideas on our blogs for a few years already, however, the Facebook group has allowed us to bring people together in a more interactive way and it's grown into a wonderful international community. It's been great sharing our passion for elf on the shelf with so many like-minded parents, however, neither of us expected it to grow as quickly as it has this year."

#4 We Pea'd In Your Pants!

Image credits: Ruth Agnew

#5 Ran Out Of Wrapping Paper & Decided The Elf Had To Leave With A Bang

Image credits: Denielle Lovely Mckoy

#6 I Used A Wrapping Paper Roll And A Glue Gun

Image credits: Racine Renee

Bored Panda was curious to get Toni's take on why people love elf on the shelf so much, and why it's such a popular concept. 

"Kids are only young for such a short period of time and the key for me is to harness their imagination and belief in magic during those years. Elf on the shelf is a wonderful way parents can bring the magic of Christmas alive for their children and create amazing memories they'll look back on fondly once they're grown," she shared with us.

#7 Naughty Elf

Image credits: Brittany Gustafson

#8 Chippy Made Brown-E’s For The Boys Tonight!

Image credits: Kenzie Dykxhoorn

#9 I Added Some Guest Stars This Year

Image credits: Staci Parker Jordan

"As parents we all want to see our kids happy and the joy the kids have each morning getting up to see what the elf's done is priceless and makes all the late nights in December worth it," she said.

Meanwhile, we just had to know if there's a secret to making a fantastic elf on the shelf decoration. "I think the main thing to focus on is to do ideas that will impress your own children because that's ultimately who you're doing the elf for. My best advice would be to follow their current interests and add in an element of [age appropriate] humor," Toni said.

#10 I Did It!! Not The Best But…

Image credits: Becky Hoffman Seidel

#11 Peek A Boo

Image credits: Rebecca Wiseman

#12 Grinch Is At It Again With What He Calls Holiday Spirit

Image credits: Damon James Gyurics

At the time of writing, the ‘Elfing Around’ Facebook group had just shy of a quarter of a million fans—the community has 237.4k members. In the last week alone, 6k people joined the group!

The community itself was started in September, 2021, and has been growing strong ever since. The beauty of the group lies in just how wholesome the content is. We honestly couldn’t stop smiling when we saw how imaginative some of the holiday decorations were. These people are going the extra mile, and sharing their ideas with the world. It’s hard not to feel motivated to do something similar, but with a personal creative twist.

#13 So Clever

Image credits: Alane Bertrand Roberts

#14 Martha And Snoop Dogg

Image credits: Bradley Helton

#15 Our Elf Holly Guards Our Home From The Grinch!

Image credits: Damon James Gyurics

To keep the entire community running smoothly, the administrator and moderator team that runs ‘Elfing Around’ asks the members to follow certain rules. “We're all in this together to create a welcoming environment. Let's treat everyone with respect. Healthy debates are natural, but kindness is required,” they urge everyone to be polite to one another.

“Make sure that everyone feels safe. Bullying of any kind isn't allowed,” they note that there’s a zero-tolerance policy for any degrading comments.

#16 Ouch!

Image credits: Alane Bertrand Roberts

#17 Yesterday Morning We Had “Snow” Angels

Image credits: Nikki Unverrich

#18 Pivot

Image credits: Katelyn Wilkerson

There’s also no room for spam or irrelevant links. The focus should be on elf on the shelf decorations and ideas. Meanwhile, self-promotion and product promotion are only allowed on a specific weekly post. 

“Being part of this group requires mutual trust. Please remember when sharing photos of children that this group is public and other members can then share them. Please also stop and think whether your child would be happy having their photo/video on the internet before posting them to the group. Videos of children obviously upset will not be approved, share them on your own fb page, but not in this group,” the team running the group set some ground rules for all of the other members.

If you enjoyed the pics, be sure to check out the 'Elfing Around' Facebook group, as well as Toni and Holly's blogs, 'Finding Myself Young' and 'Simplify Create Inspire.'

#19 For The Star Wars Crew. The Reaction In The Morning Was Worth It

Image credits: Candie Hensley

#20 Kisses From Heaven. My Daughter Said This Was Her Favorite Thing Her Elf Has Ever Done!

Image credits: Chelsea Mayhew

#21 Found In The Wild

Image credits: Sarah Myers

The idea of the elf on the shelf has its roots in a 2005 American picture book for kids, The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell and illustrated by Coë Steinwart.

The story is about elves who visit children from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, and then return back to the North Pole until the next year. While they’re scouting out people’s homes, they help Santa keep track of who’s naughty and who’s nice. It’s a family tradition started by Aebersold and her twin daughters, Chanda and Christa.

#22 Not Sure Elvin Will Be Allowed Back Next Year!

Image credits: Group participant

#23 Our Elf's Best Hide

Image credits: Group participant

#24 One Of Our Favorites So Far

Image credits: Amanda Marie

Ever since the release of the picture book, the elf on the shelf has become a viral phenomenon and has entrenched itself into pop culture. Though many people focus on making the decorations as beautiful and fun as they can, others hone in on the more humorous aspects of the fad. They make parody decorations in a wide range of settings. Others do their best but end up failing in spectacular ways.

#25 Our Elf Was Up To No Good That Night!

Image credits: Mindy Steighner

#26 Make Sure You Take Some Time To Recover From The Holiday Rush!

Image credits: Stephanie Michelle Little

#27 A Few Days Ago, Tommy Our Elf Cut Holes In My Son’s Boxers

My son was not too happy about that so he cut Tommy’s hat. So for our last day with Tommy til next year, we Tommy gave my son a peace offering with a Grinchmas Eve box.

Image credits: Val Ann

If you enjoyed the photos, be sure to join the Facebook group. And if you’d like to share your own winter elf deco, feel free to do so in the comments, dear Pandas! For some more elf on the shelf inspo, check out Bored Panda’s previous posts right here and over here.

#28 Chicken Wing, Chicken Wing, Hot Dog And Bologna, Chicken And Macaroni, Chillin’ With My Homies

Image credits: Jessica Mattison

#29 Tonight’s Was Probably My Favorite

Image credits: Haley Marie Turmell

#30 Times Are Tough, A Quarter Is A Quarter

Image credits: Pablo Djchino Rodriguez

#31 Good Bye Kevin

Image credits: John Hubery

#32 To Hot In This House So I’m Just Chilling

Image credits: Rossy Bullock

#33 So Apparently Everyone On Here Has Bendable Elves. Ours Just Flop. Where Can You Get Bendable Ones But Still The Same Look?

Image credits: Cali Davy

#34 This Is Just A Table Runner Or Wrapping Paper This Is A Cute Idea As Well

Image credits: Robin Frutchey Navaline

#35 Kissing Booth

Image credits: Ramonita Hernandez

#36 I Need To Post My Other Ones, But This Is Today’s

Image credits: Elisa Swift

#37 Last Minute Desperate Attempt For A Goodbye! Hoping This Is Believable For A 7 Year Old Lol

Image credits: Kahla Ward

#38 No Elves Were Harmed In The Making Of This Scene

Image credits: Jack Proctor

#39 My Boys Woke Up This Morning Not Very Happy With Freddy Mcgiggles. They Said He Got Mixed Up!!! They Wanted The Real Nintendo Switches Instead Opps!!!!

Image credits: Jerri Quinn

#40 Kids Loved This One This Morning!

Image credits: Kiersten Sensney

#41 Taking The Reindeer Out For A Run

Image credits: Kellee Littlejohn

#42 Elf On The Shelf About To Make A Big Mistake

Image credits: Alex Marquez

#43 Left My Husband In Charge! He Did Good He Gets A Point!

Image credits: Leyda Torres

#44 Day 11 Shark Fishing Toilet

Image credits: Terese Anderson

#45 They Went To Work With My Hubby !!

Image credits: Frances Moreau

#46 Hot Stone Massage Time

Image credits: Donna Garrett Metcalf

#47 Love This

Image credits: Matilda Fagerström

#48 We Don’t Use The Traditional Elf On The Shelf But A Vintage Annalee. Her Name Is Marilyn

My hubby is an artist. One of the very first elfing activity in the beginning of the month … He had Marilyn start a painting of herself alongside with Dumbo which is our daughters favorite stuffed animal. Our 5 year old daughter has been asking where the painting is. It is now complete. Marilyn has already hitched a ride with Santa. I think our daughter is gonna freak in the morning

Image credits: Dusti Michele

#49 Tinsel And Faith Arrive On Their First Day

Image credits: John Hubery

#50 Doing This

Image credits: Vanity Svvift

#51 Bucky - Our Elf !!!! This One Went Over Great!!

Image credits: Pam Childs Hollahan

#52 My Twins Were So Happy To Show Rubie And Ruben Off At School

Image credits: Maria Vasquez

#53 I Found Some

Image credits: sSonpdoter3

#54 Yay It Worked!! And Her Elf Was Inside And Had A Note That Said “Brrr You’d Freeze Your Pants Off Out There”

Image credits: Kendra Scott

#55 My Daughter Loved This One

Image credits: Hope Scott

#56 Practicing Some First Aid

Image credits: John Hubery

#57 This One Just Popped Into My Head Tonight And Was Super Quick. Elf Held Up By Luisa

Image credits: Courtney Marie Knickerbocker

#58 Our Final One For The Year Merry Christmas Everyone

Image credits: Bianca Askew

#59 We Use That When The Kids Are Fighting And If They Stay In That Too Long They Might Leave For A Few Days

Image credits: Tom N Jessica Stock

#60 Our Elf, Timmy Blue, And Snoop Dogg Trying To Save Him From Being Taken By The Aliens!

Image credits: Holly Eason

#61 This Went Better Than I Thought.. But He Is Still Trying To Figure Out Where The Body’s Are… He Said But There’s No Blood Anywhere!!

Image credits: Mindy Edwards

#62 Grinch Is Trying To Pack Up Holly

Image credits: Damon James Gyurics

#63 So Creative

Image credits: Donna Garrett Metcalf

#64 I Didn’t Have Window Snow So I Did This Instead With Powdered Sugar

Image credits: Cathy Hawley

#65 Santa Made His Way To The Naves House!?? The App Is Called “Catch Santa” You’re Welcome

Image credits: Meghan Nave

#66 Right

Image credits: Alane Bertrand Roberts

#67 Final Day Before Lucy Yum Yum Went Back To The North Pole She Left My Daughter Some Chargers Because Her Phone Is Always Dead Lol….side Note Am I The Only One Who Gave Their Elf Little Roll Up Elf Feet Lol

Image credits: Karone Edge

#68 My Son Is In The Navy Out On A Carrier So We Dressed Elfie In Uniform

Image credits: Veronica Minor

#69 Returning A Nutcracker!

Image credits: Jon L. Fullerton

#70 Chop Sticks, Dental Floss, Paper Clips, Gold Fish Crackers, And... A Little Melted Tootsie Roll

Image credits: Matthew Drinkwalter

#71 Popcorn

Image credits: Mary Ann Illegit

#72 Our Elf Arrived Very Late... So, Santa Made A Special Exception

Image credits: Ashley Thompson

#73 Grinch Milk

Image credits: Joy Brennan

#74 Christmas Party Time!!

Image credits: Alex Cisneros

#75 Thanks Whoever Posted This Pic Idea Somewhere. My Daughter Is Going To Love It When She Wakes Up

Image credits: Megan Campbell Pureromance

#76 Last Day For My Elves… They Have A Big Announcement To Make For My Kids : They Will Be Parents ! So Excited For Them

Image credits: Gwen Hn

#77 Tonight’s Effort… Santa Sauce

Image credits: Pete Butler

#78 This Year We Welcomed Our Elf, Kringle, Into Our Home. I Couldn't Do Alot Because I Got Sick, But I'm Hoping That I Can Come Up With Alot More Ideas During This Next Year

Image credits: Amy Schiwart

#79 Our Elf Left This Morning And Left A Friend To Stay For The Year It’s Overrrrrrr

Image credits: Micheal Anthony Black

#80 Elf Got Creative

Image credits: Rachel Gosselin

#81 Cocoa Poops!

Image credits: Jenise Hockensmith Stewart

#82 I Thought This Was Clever And Super Easy… “Star-Bucks”!

Image credits: Alicia Berntsen

#83 So What’s Everyone’s Elf’s Name? Ours Is Hank. I Want Sparklefart But That Was Denied

Image credits: A.J. Lescher

#84 Found This At The Goodwill 4yrs Ago It’s Perfect Cause My Youngest His Birthday Is December 27th Tomorrow. He’s So Excited To See His Elf Again Just For A Day

Image credits: Loredana Sargent Cervantes

#85 The Kids Said “Mason Ate Santa’s Cookies”

Image credits: Shaquinta Mitchell

#86 I Came Up With This Idea Last Night

Image credits: Duane Hastings

#87 Grinch Is At It Again! Wants To Make Holly Into Soup!

Image credits: Damon James Gyurics

#88 Merry Christmas To All! The Elf Tree Is My Version Of Elf On A Shelf!

Image credits: Cathy Ashby

#89 This Is The Setup For Today! I Hope My 6 Year Old Daughter Doesn’t Cry On This One!

Image credits: Kara Vaughn

#90 Christmas Eve Is Storytime For Holly And Grinch

Image credits: Damon James Gyurics