22 Last-Minute Elf on the Shelf Poses for Forgetful Moms

Liz Alterman | Nov 21, 2018 Home & Garden
22 Last-Minute Elf on the Shelf Poses for Forgetful Moms


Families who celebrate Christmas know that having an Elf on the Shelf® can be a lot of fun for kids and adults alike. It can also be completely stressful. After all, finding the Elf on the Shelf® a new, clever place to sit or pose or do something ridiculous to make kids laugh or sweet to make them smile night after night can quickly turn into another time-consuming task that lands on parents' ever-growing holiday chore list. Even if moms and dads start out excited to figure out new, funny, creative ways to set up the Elf on the Shelf®, the allure can fade with the hustle and bustle of the hectic season. 

After all, there are so many other seasonal to-dos that have to come first, right?

There's gift shopping to be done, tree trimming, making sure the perfect photo is taken for the ultimate holiday card, etc. Not to mention ALL. THE. BAKING. And now, on top of all of that, parents are expected to come up with the most magical spot for a doll!

The thing is that if Mom forgets to move him after the kids are asleep, she may find herself racing around before they're out of bed to stick him in just the right spot. And let's face it: It doesn't help that he's not very easy to work with.  

Still, it's Christmas, and parents feel that pressure to keep the magic alive. (If only for a few more years!) And kids really do like waking up every morning to see what trouble the little guy has gotten himself into. 

For that reason, it can be incredibly helpful to have "lazy" setups in mind. In other words, the kinds of Elf on the Shelf® poses that can be done in a pinch, sans too many props or using simple everyday household items. Here are 22 last-minute Elf on the Shelf® options for the truly tired parent. 

  • Elf® Sends a Fax

    Elf on the shelf fax
    Liz Alterman

    In case things don't work out in Santa's workshop, it's good for the Elf® to have some office skills. 

  • We Know Elves Love to Bake!


    The Elf® understands how much baking the holidays require and is ready to pitch in. He's definitely going on the "Nice" list this year!

  • On the Keyboards ... an Elf®

    Elf piano
    Liz Alterman

    Perhaps your tiny musician will agree to practice without a fuss if the Elf® is watching!

  • Elf® Enjoying a Midnight Snack


    Don't blame the Elf® for getting hungry! Sitting around looking cute all day is hard work! 

  • An Elf® Who Wants to Make Dinner ... I'm in Love

    Elf cookbook
    Liz Alterman

    Oh, Elf®, roast a chicken dinner and I'll never say creating a new pose is a burden ever again!

  • Everything Else Is in My Purse, Why Not an Elf®?

    elf in purse
    Liz Alterman

    There are Cheerios, toy cars, a billion receipts, and a bunch of pens in my purse -- why not an Elf®? (Sure would be nice if he left some cash in the wallet!) 

  • Special Delivery -- There's an Elf® in Your Mailbox

    elf in mailbox
    Liz Alterman

    Parents who have a little helper who loves to get the mail will love this pose. It's a treat to find the Elf® hiding amid all those catalogs, isn't it? 

  • Elf® Chilling Out in the Freezer

    Elf in freezer
    Liz Alterman

    Let's face it: With all the time he spends at the North Pole, the Elf® is no stranger to a chilly climate. It's fun to reach for some ice cream and find him staring back at you. 

  • Where's the Elf®? He's Gone Fishin'


    Elves need a little rest and relaxation amid this hectic season. Fishing is a great way for your little guy to unwind. 

  • The Elf® Takes a Bath


    Who doesn't love a nice, soothing bubble bath around the holidays? Marshmallows make it an even sweeter experience. 

  • Elves Need Naps Too

    elf nap
    Liz Alterman

    Traveling back and forth to Santa can take its toll. An afternoon nap in a fluffy tissue box sounds good to any elf. 

  • The Elf® Sees Those Who Are Eating ...

    elf on the shelf
    Liz Alterman

    Have some finicky eaters? Perhaps they'll be more inclined to eat those peas with the Elf® watching! 

  • The Artist Elf® 


    This hilarious set-up works with bananas ... or any other fruit that is around the house.

  • The Elf® With a Snowman 


    If there's snow on the ground, pull together this quickie snowman setup, which is sure to get rave reviews.

  • Caution, It's an Elf® 


    Extra gift wrapping supplies can make for a funny, hurried Elf® "crime scene."

  • Elf® With a Sweet Message 


    All this scenario needs is some Reese's Pieces or M&Ms, and the Elf® can send them a sweet message.

  • "Campfire" Elf®


    This cute scene requires just mini marshmallows, a toothpick, and a lit candle. 

  • Elf® With a Note 


    Who wouldn't love a grateful Elf® holding a handwritten note? 

  • Yoga Elf®


    Maintaining daily meditative practice is very important -- even for your Elf®!

  • Legos Elf®


    Of course the Elf® loves playing with Legos -- and looks super-cute in this setup, too. 

  • Grocery-Shopping Elf® 


    If you're planning on picking up a bunch of sweets anyway, this grocery shopping scene is a multitasker. 

  • Elf® Kisses 


    All this smile-inducing pose needs is a gift tag, a jar, and some Hershey's Kisses. 

christmasdecorating decorating holiday decorating

More Slideshows