5 Highly Inappropriate & Traumatizing Elf On The Shelf Ideas

This Elf On The Shelf thing, have you heard of it? My mom says she had an Elf that watched her and her sisters before Christmas growing up, and apparently it’s made a resurgence because you can now buy your very own Elf, complete with book in commemorative box from Target.

Of course, that’s where I got ours, being the cliche suburbanite that I am.

Okay, so the deal is this Elf is to watch the kids every day (from about Thanksgiving until Christmas) and report back to Santa every night. That’s how he knows if they’re naughty or nice… so the tale goes.

Oh, but it’s not that simple.

Because we all know that “Christmas Magic” doesn’t just happen on it’s own without the help of Elf Mom and Elf Dad.ย And really awesome Elf Parents don’t just move the Elf every night so that the kids can look for it the next day. Really awesome Elf Parents come up with really creative, cute, funny things for their Elf to “do” every night. There are TONS of ideas out there. Some are quite elaborate and messy.

But what if you want to move beyond simply “creative” into “traumatizing”? What if you want to really give them something to talk to their future therapist about?

I present to you…

5 Highly Inappropriate & Traumatizing Elf On The Shelf Ideas

Elf on a Bender
He’s sick of Santa not believing in his dream of becoming a Vegas Showgirl, so he drowns his sorrows in your mom and dad’s booze and pills and plays hookie from work.

Closet Crossdresser Elf
ย Oops! You caught him playing in your mom’s lingerie.

Hangover Elf
He woke up in a pile of lacy satin with a raging headache and had to make a mad dash for the john. (Bonus for creativity if you make the puke look like peppermint swirls.)

Crime Scene Elf
Blitzen got word that he was on his way to murder Santa, so he had to gouge his eyes out with his antlers, throw him to the floor and step on him.

Toe Tag Elf
Because nobody from the North Pole is going to claim a cross-dressing elf who drinks too much, has a pill problem, and tries to kill Santa.

Since I am nothing if not a really awesome Elf Mom, I had HUGE plans for all the adorable, creative things Jake (that’s what we named ours) would do every night. Oh yes, I was going to post a picture every day on my Tumblr blog (the one I abandoned 3 months into my 365 project). I was committed to seeing it through… until I 11:35 pm the first night.

Now, every night before I drift off to sleep, I sit straight up in bed in a panic. “Ugh, that fucking elf,” I huff as I throw the covers off of me and go to move him to another boring spot. The good news is my 3.5 year old doesn’t know any better.

It occurred to me last night, that I might have more fun with Jake if I could do things with him that would really make me laugh. It should be obvious to you all by now that I am immensely sarcastic and probably not best suited for motherhood in this respect.

Oh well.



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  1. Props for shooting out of bed before you drift asleep. I just got this comment today, “Mom! Nicky (our Elf) hasn’t moved in two days!” My reply: “Hmm… He must really like that spot!”

  2. Hilarious! Loved this! Now I am thinking of all kinds of funny things I could do if I had bought one. I know I would end up doing the exact same thing as you…getting out of bed, annoyed, having to move him to someplace not at all creative! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I googled about this Elf on a Shelf thing because I was curious about getting it for my one year old and came to this post. And now I love your blog and listed it in my blog roll. You are awesome!! Can’t wait to catch up on previous posts and hear more from you.

  4. Have you seen the book “elf off the shelf”- its about an elf that gets fed up and does all these naughty things- these pics remind me of it!

  5. Love! I have to say, the people who are creating messes so that they can say the Elf did it strike me as being pretty loony. What parent has time to create and clean a mess just to blame it on a stuffed Elf? So confused!

    Your ideas make much more sense.

  6. I can one up ya if that’s possible! My daughter is only 9 months, so this is the last year for us to have that extra bit of fun with elf before more appropriate hiding spots and scenarios will be played out ๐Ÿ™‚

    We set up elf on the kitchen counter in a bed made out of dish towels with a polar bear stuffed animal. My husband attached a cigarette to his hand and I filled a shot glass with glitter and put it beside him. We placed a condom on the other side. It was quite the scene- my mom banned everyone from the kitchen until it was cleaned up ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I’ve always wondered about Elf behavior. I mean, they are SUPPOSED to be working but it looks like they are taking advantage of the time off from toy making to turn Christmas into Elf Spring Break.

  8. I’m definitely doing this when the youngest stops believing. Might even trade off nights amongst the family to spread the creativity around a bit.
    Loved this post!

  9. This morning we found Googley Bear (yep, that’s our Elf’s name, some is obsessed with Monsters Inc. right now) hanging from my sons dresser with underwear thrown all of the room. He thought it was hilarious and kept telling me that Googley Bear made a mess and that there were underwear hanging from his bed.
    It’s a lot of fun, but I also forget about that damn elf every night and have to figure something out right before I go to bed.

  10. My friends and I have been taking “creative” pictures since last year…and having a BLAST! I am often late for work, or blow off grading papers, or go to bed really late, because I am planning out photo shoots for our Elfie. Cant. Stop. Laughing…. I can try to send you a link to my album if you’d like to see the fun we’ve had!!

  11. The hurling elf may be my fave EVER. I don’t do any of that creative shit, like someone said – why make a mess that YOU have to clean up? We do move him every night, though – and if I forget, tell the kids maybe they were naughty & he decided to give them another chance. Yah. Part of my post today is about how crazy much my boys are into said elf this year. They’re 6 & 4. Totally believing my lies.
    Lies! All Lies!!

  12. OMG, loved the CSI elves.
    That would also be a good way to keep kids from grabbings snacks in the fridge.
    Watch out… there’s an elf watching… in the fridge.
    At least he’s used to the cold, right?

  13. I love the IDEA of the Elf on the shelf and LOVE the creative scenes you depicted with the elf. I don’t have an elf and don’t want the responsibility of having yet another thing to remember each day. I was the worse tooth fairy, so trying to remember to move and re-pose a figurine every night, would probably take me over the edge. My son actually read about this Elf in his Diary of a Wimpy Kid “Cabin Fever,” and the way the book depicted the elf kind of freaked my son out as they had the elf looking in the shower and hiding in different places that seemed a bit creepy. I think the ELF could turn into something that might scare smaller kids. I was relieved that he was kinda scared of the concept, YEAH! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. And that is why that creepy little elf won’t be spending the holidays with us. I could just imagine walking up and going for my moodstabilizers in the cabinet and find that bass turd holding the pill bottle.
    So yea, no elf in this house

  15. Jill,
    Awesome! I’ll be posting this on our facebook page, Parents Against Stagnant Elves, which I encourage you to join so you can share Jake’s whimiscal escapades. In fact, we have several like-minded Elf Parents out there already with similar ideas.

    Merry Christmas to all. Enjoy the 2011 Elf Season

  16. Too funny!
    Now for those of you that “forget” to move your elf….just explain that must be a “FAVORITE” spot! LOL
    Heck if they believe in the Elf, they’ll believe he has a favorite spot!

  17. Kristin! OMGosh!
    Clowns freak me out. I thought that would be it. No, now they bring along … The Elf on the Shelf …
    I’ve never heard of him, nor seen him until now. He’s creepy!! Dolls that have cloth bodies and plastic faces seem to be real creepy.

    I LOVE your photos! And I will be watching your site for more disturbing images. loll

  18. Great blog! And would love to be a little more extreme with the elf. Today, while the bigger kids were at school, we caught our 2yr old with our elf “Randell”. She apparently pulled it off the banister where he was ended the morning after sliding down it all night. Anyway, I think I traumatized her because I acted all shocked and said “your not suppose to touch him”. Well, she just broke into a screaming, tearing fit, fell to the floor and wouldn’t talk to me all day. We are headed out of town for Xmas and our elf is bringing the Barbie rollerbag with him. Too much creative fun.

  19. That is so HIIIIIIIIIIlarious. If I ever embarked on Elfing, I would have to do it tongue in cheek. Right now, though, our family traditions dance card if pretty full.

  20. This makes me glad I was straight up with my son (7yrs), and will be again with my daughter (19mo) about the historical Santa and told the truth. No elves to be a pain in my ass and no trust issues from the kids when they figure it out later. Plus they dont get hateful about not getting everything in the toys-r-us mailer every stinkin’ year. The boy knows where his presents come from, knows money is tight and is cool with it. He’s planning on saving his own money for that stupid gameboy thingy. WIN!

  21. Tracy,

    From the other side and in no mean tone!! Maybe I’m the odd Mom (and Dad) out there that didn’t have to deal with children that wanted everything out of the Toys R Us. Nor any problems with trust because we let them believe in Santa. My kids are 18 now. WON! lol We made it through it all ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy Holidays All!

  22. Thanks for the laughs!! Very clever Elf ideas, us parents need to laugh! Parenting is not easy so any time you can turn something into a joke or laugh about it, it makes it easier to get through the crazy times!

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  24. Ha! Even my 11-year-old daughter realizes that it’s creepy to live with a tattletale voyeur. Nonetheless, that “damned Elf,” or “Bob” as the squids call him, is a fantastic outlet for my husband’s sense of humor. Since the kids know they aren’t allowed to touch Bob, the absolute best joke was when they awakened to find Bob sitting on top of the television remote.

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  26. Hahaha! Too funny. Nice to see a little humor with this. I just learned what is an elf on the shelf, so I’m having a fun time just browsing different elf on the shelf ideas. The toilet one is definitely my favorite. And for the haters out there, I’m sure she only did this for photo opps and didn’t actually have her kids find Jake like this.

  27. I am so happy to see people like you exist. We were discussing the f***ing Elf at our monthly book club and were cracking ourselves up with the pressure we put on ourselves every night to move that f***ing elf! It’s like the tooth fairy for 24 days!

    God bless parents with great sense of humors.

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  29. Sharon from Mamas Turn Now on

    This was freakin awesome! I found it because I was searching for places to hide our stupid elf. I thought I was the only mom who woke up in a cold sweat because I realized I forgot to move stupid whose real name is Squanto as he did arrive on Thanksgiving. I actually had to set a reminder on my iPhone to go off every night so I don’t forget to do it. I did forget the other day and the kids were crying. But I wasn’t going to get Mother of the Year anyway. My kids made themselves breakfast this morning. Donuts and popcorn.

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  31. I love this. The drunken pill head elf is, by far, my favorite!

    I get a lot of people that miss the concept of satire on my blog, as well. I have to say, it is nothing short of hilarious some of the things I have written that people have taken seriously.

    I am adding you to my must read list.

  32. When I was a kid in the 60’s, we had two very similar elves, but they were green and had rubber faces and the bodies were stuffed with sawdust. For the month of December mom would put them here and there about the house. They moved every day. On Christmas Eve, after we kids were in bed, mom and dad put the gifts under the tree and mom sat the elves on two of the gifts,. When we woke the next morning, my brother and I discovered the Christmas morning elf massacre! Our dog, Squeaker, had finally gotten the little green creatures where he could reach them. There was sawdust everywhere! Two empty little elf suits in the middle of the floor and two very chewed half-eaten rubber faces under the coffee table. Didn’t bother me though because I had a G.I. Joe and his space capsule sitting under the tree.

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  36. Honest to God, I laughed my ass off! My husband actually hides my elf (I am in bed by 9pm everynight as my three little ones wear me OUT!) His ideas are freaking hysterical- one morning we woke to find the Elf sitting on a medicine cup with a hershey’s kiss in it…Another morning the Elf’s feet were caught under the toilet lid- he was peeing… Leave it to a man… ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. This is way too funny not to share w my friend that is doing a ‘nice’ elf on a shelf!! I had never heard of this until this year. We did have elves as decoration every year. I may have to come up w a few ornery elf ideas myself! Thanks for posting this!!!

  38. Thought I was so awesome last yr. when I remembered to take f###@@# elf on vacation. Not only did I not remember to put elf out, I LEFT him in the condo!! So when we got home, had to explain to crying child that elf probably gave up on us when we left for a week and would come back next yr. Now I have to go buy another f**&^(*&^ elf!!

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  40. LOL!! We just got our Elf and my 7 year old daughter just said “mom, don’t you think he’s kinda creepy just sitting there watching us like that??”

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  43. I have to admit that we don’t do Santa at our house, but these ideas made me want to start just so I could do this!
    If we can’t laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at? and since parenting is one of the most stressful jobs (with no vacation day, no pay, and it never ends even while you’re sleeping) we need more moments to laugh in our days.
    Thanks so much for these. I was laughing out loud all the way through!

  44. literally L’dOL! so elfin hilarious! we don’t do “eots” (cause my kids are older) but you gotta find humor and laughter in the hell of the holiday’s! everyone should have a warped sense of humor like you (and me!)! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  45. OK, this Elf thing is so freakin creepy! So far, my daughter has named him Ollie, which is the name of my childhood imaginary friend, unbeknownst to her or hubs. Then, we read the book. My daughter’s name is Katie and it’s in the book on Santa’s list. I think the Elf might be real, you guys! I’m frightened! Best show him who’s boss.

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  51. Found this on pintrest, LOVE IT! One year i got stuck with f-ing elf for my neice, who spent thanksgiving at my house. I woke up every night about midnight thinking, crap! Forgot to move that damn elf! Hated to see my family leave, but was glad to get rid of the elf! Love your sarcasm and wit, i totally get it!

  52. Lynessa L. Brown-Brown on

    Loved this post amd being that I am quote the sarcastic mom myself and my kids are preteens…i think i WiLL actually use your ideas. Lololol

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  55. OMG, I am rolling with laughter!
    Cross-dressing elf and the murder victim is super special.
    How many times do I rush downstairs in the a.m. before my son wakes up so that I can relocate Cutie.

  56. Brenna Turnquest on

    My elf “fell asleep” last night and forgot to visit the North Pole. The kids were traumatized. But no worries he snuck off while they were at school and returned with treats from the candy elves! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  57. Leah Rollins Norling on

    So glad I found this as we prepare to embark on Night One with an elf whose name damn near rhymes with Mulva, but was almost Diddle or Blowie (and I swear I would have been proud of either). The whole reason we went for this in the first place is because we are a twisted pair of parentals. Hell, I barely got the tooth fairy to show up within a week’s time for the oldest two kids. My kids’ fondest memories, though, are of her lengthy and twisted notes of apology she’d leave about her busy schedule and worthless underlings. Cross your bits on my behalf that I don’t scar this generation.

  58. I find a direct kinship to your demented sense of humor! Our elf “Bob” is also a pita and I swear it’s head turns 360 when we leave the room! Creepy to say the least……..

  59. I just dressed our ” fucking” boy elf, Charlie in Barbie’s wedding gown. Cus it’s awesome. And so is this blog post:)

  60. We have made it through sadness and ordeals with healthy doses of sarcasm and dark humor. I love the bad elf hi jinx! I think they are hilarious. I don’t own one though. My 16 year old would not be very into it.

  61. I just wrote about Elf on the Shelf last night because I had NO CLUE what it was until my son thought I could conjure one up from crackers and water (as, apparently, all his school friends told him he could.)

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