GUEST POST FROM MY YOUNGER, BETTER LOOKING, MORE AWESOME, NOT-QUITE-AS-CRAZY BROTHER, DEFINITELY-NOT-AS-BLACK-SHEEP ERIC:

Ah yes, it’s that time again. The time of year we introduce our creepy, voyeuristic cute and sometimes cheeky friend, Elf on the Shelf into our children’s lives. It’s a brilliant strategy really. We parents get to use him as extra leverage for good behavior, while the kids get to wake up excited every morning to discover where he’s hiding and what sort of shenanigans he’s been up to all night long. The possibilities are endless!

Speaking of endless possibilities. There are about a million Elf on the Shelf boards on Pinterest, all gathering cute and funny ideas. The problem is that many of the same tired ideas are being driven ’round the block over and over and over and…you get the idea!

I’m not complaining in the least. I still use Pinterest in a pinch, and who hasn’t been caught out saying, “[email protected]!%! It’s 11:30pm and I haven’t the slightest clue what Elfie is doing tonight!” In fact, tonight I just drew three different minions on some bananas with a sharpie… along with 1/3 of all Elf on the Shelf-ers following the latest craze.

Today I want to share some new ideas I’ve come up with, as well as a few popular ideas I’ve built upon. You’d best act fast with this new material though, because the very act of posting these publicly will undoubtedly get them Pinned up the wazoo, and we’re back to square one!

Now, I must quickly explain two differences between our family’s elf-shelving methods and the rest of the worlds:

  • We have an off-brand shelf elf that we’ve named Milo. He’s more cute than creepy and his body, arms and legs all have stiff wire that make him very mold-able.
  • Our kids can hold and play with him. Guess what, they love him all the more and *gasp* he’s still magical to them!

With that covered, here’s your 2015 list of new Elf on the Shelf ideas:

The Confetti Dangler

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I shot confetti poppers over the chandelier. (Make sure no paper is touching any part of the light that gets hot. Unless you’re going for the epic “burn your house down” kind of surprise!) Then I hung Milo upside down in the middle and left a handful of poppers on top of the T.V. so the kids could have some fun too.

The Great Car Heist

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One of my personal favorites: The kids couldn’t find Milo anywhere and finally gave up the search because it was time for school. Getting into the car however, we discovered that Milo had taken it for a joy ride and parked it sideways in the driveway!

The Epic Gingerbread House Surprise

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Some of my adult siblings and I all received our elves from my mom as a gift a few years ago. We were all around last Christmas which meant that our three cheeky elves were joining forces. This is an epic gingerbread house making station the kids woke up to one morning! TIP: The kids used Graham Crackers and ice cream cones instead of ginger bread. It’s easy for them to get creative, and there’s less baking and mess involved.

Watch the Birdy – The Token Group Portrait

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The kids woke up to the scene of Milo taking a photo of all his new friends. He was soon headed back to the North Pole and wanted a memento. The element of magic I nonchalantly pointed out to my kids, was that he was actually in the picture he had just taken!

The 2nd photo is from the DSLR (and a flashgun which wasn’t in the end scene!) It’s like a Find the Difference game!

Paper Snowflake Flurry

Elf on the Shelf Paper Snowflakes

Milo cut oodles of snowflakes and strung them all around the Christmas tree, then zip lined across his creation using a star my little boy made at play school!

Roller Coaster Creation

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During the time of joint forces, Milo and his brother Otis turned this bad boy into a rockin’ roller coaster! And yes, Otis is covering his eyes and Milo is throwing his hands in the air!

That’s a Wrap!

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This was a fun one and got a good shock value reaction from the kids. You’ve got it…wrap the Christmas tree! This year I’m going to figure out how to wrap myself and “wake up” under the Christmas tree. I’ve never seen it before but you’re all welcome to try and beat me to the punch!

The Master Fort Builder

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My kids love building a base/fort/camp (call it what you will) out of our couch cushions and blankets. Milo surprised them with a new design one morning.

Show & Tell Time

Shelf Elf Ideas - New - In the car seat

Another morning where Milo was nowhere to be found. He was finally discovered in my daughter’s car chair ready to go to school. If you’re the type to get preachy about Elf on the Shelf losing his magic if he’s touched, cover your ears–She took him to school for show and tell. So there! Neener neener poo poo!

Craft & Chocolate Surprise

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!