The Easiest Elf On The Shelf Ideas For 2019

Christmas traditions can be old or new. The tradition of having a decorated tree began sometime in the 16th century in Germany, when History says Christians started bringing decorated trees into their home. Trees first made their way to America in the 1800s, with the first tree recorded in Pennsylvania in the 1830s in the home of German settlers.

By these standards, Elf on the Shelf is a young tradition, which began when a family decided to immortalize its 1970s Christmas tradition of having an elf watch over the children and report back to Santa, by writing a book and producing a toy. The book was self-published in the early 2000s and sold online, at trade shows, and markets until 2007, when the Elf on the Shelf made its way into all our homes after being spotted in the hands of Jennifer Garner. As of 2017, more than 11 million elves had been adopted all over the world (via Huffington Post).

Adopting an elf for the Christmas season is a huge undertaking, and while Instagram and Pinterest are bursting with complicated and creative Elf on the Shelf ideas, you might just want some downright easy ones when you're short on time. Here are a few super-simple Elf suggestions to get you started — or keep you going if your elf has already arrived with a splash.

Just stick Elf on the Shelf in the tree — it doesn't get much easier than that

Have the children discover Elf has finally arrived to kick off his holiday watch by having him hang out on the tree with the Christmas other decorations. It's the easiest place for Elf to be, and it gives him a great birds' eye view of the room. Have him hang from a tree branch, take a ride on a large Christmas bauble, or tuck him into a decoration, like this vacated bird's nest. Just make sure that whatever Elf is sitting on is sturdy enough to hold his weight.

Make Elf on the Shelf part of your daily routine

Traveling to and from the North Pole to speak to Santa isn't easy, and Elf probably needs a good caffeine kick to get him through the day. With a little bit of help from a K-Cup and a straw, you can set up Elf on the kitchen counter so he can hang out and enjoy a good cup of coffee while he makes sure your kids behave during mealtimes. Not only does this easy idea incorporate your elf duties into your everyday routine, it also gives those wasteful K-Cups one more use before they head for the trash.

Capitalize on Elf on the Shelf's candy habit

If you thought you or your child enjoyed candy, just wait until you hang out with Elf! He'll use any opportunity to crack into the candy jar to eat whatever sweets are on offer. All you need is a tub, jar, or bag of your favorite sweet treats, and you'll be able to give Elf the sugar high of the season. If you're really feeling fancy, you might even want to leave a few empty wrappers around to make Elf's candy binge more believable. The only question is: Will all this sugar keep him nice or turn him naughty this Christmas?

Easy adventures for Elf on the Shelf

Elf's been known to enjoy a few thrills when he's visiting your home, and one of the things he enjoys most is playing with a roll of toilet paper. Once he's tucked into the roll there's no telling what he'll do. He's even been known to take joyrides by rolling down stairs, or cover Christmas trees in toilet paper. Making sure the kids catch Elf before he really gets into trouble also saves a busy mom and dad from having to cleaning up as a result, or hey, a TP-covered tree is whimsical, too.

Give yourself a break by having Elf on the Shelf catch a cold

Even the biggest Christmas fans agree that the holiday season can be a bit overwhelming. So your children (hopefully) will understand if Elf needs to take a sick day to get over his cold. The setup is a little more elaborate here, but once he's all settled, you can take a break for as long as it takes for Elf to get better (and that could take weeks). 

All you'll need is a doll bed — toy visitors and pretend sickbed snacks are optional, of course. And if you don't have a bed, set him up in a chair and give him a printed sick note for your children to find. Hope you feel better, Elf!