18 Alternatives to the Elf on the Shelf

The Elf on the Shelf is famous (infamous?) for his nightly antics during December.  His official story is that he spies on children for Santa and leaves reports for them to mend their ways.  Some people find him a bit creepy.  Others don't like how common he is and how he can be found in every store around Christmas time.  Some parents want to focus more on the religious part of the holidays, which others just wish for a storyline they can write themselves.  Whatever your reasons for hating on the elf, this is the blog post for you!  Click the red links to learn more about each idea.

18 Alternatives to the Elf on the Shelf // In Our Pond // Christmas Countdown // Advent // Toys and Books for Christmas

Si the Christmas Elf- I laughed aloud when I saw this Duck Dynasty inspired elf doll.  He's not a spy for Santa, but he does have lots of redneck advice to share.

Shepherd on the Search- The shepherd moves around your house and does different prescribed things every day that point to Scripture and introduce aspects of the Nativity.  The line has also expanded into Christmas.

Angel on Assignment- This official angel is very similar to the shepherd, except she encourages kids to be "angels in disguise" for others.

Kindness Elves- I love the idea of encouraging children to do good deeds at Christmas.  Although you can use any elf for the project, the official Kindness Elf website has lots of great ideas and official dolls and books.

Santa's Lazy Gnome- This grumpy looking gnome reminds me of the servant of Narnia's White Witch.  Except his main job here is to literally sit on a shelf and not move.

North Pole Ninjas- Parents who are looking for something a bit cooler will appreciate these ninjas.  They remind me of the elf rescue "SWAT" team in the first Santa Clause movie.  The master is huggable and also encourages good works.

Hide and Hug Olaf- Disney had to get in on the action of creating an elf alternative, so they have us Olaf.  Everyone's favorite snowman is hanging out this winter and giving you lots of Disney magic fun.

Reindeer in Here- Instead of being a spy for Santa, the reindeer is supposed to be carried around with your child so he can learn more about him or her.  The companion book focuses on each child's uniqueness and celebrating those differences.

Mensch on the Bench- For those who celebrate Hanukkah, the elf alternative is a mensch (a good and righteous man).  The companion book talks about the elements of Hanukkah and points children to giving rather than receiving.

18 Alternatives to the Elf on the Shelf // In Our Pond // toys for Christmas countdown // Advent fun

Christmas Mouse- I love this elf alternative, since it has some cute crafting potential.  Read about the adventures of Montgomery the Mouse and see how one family uses him for their homeschooling too.

Build a Nativity Scene Day by Day- Hide or wrap up the pieces to your family Nativity set every day and follow Bible verse clues to discover the meaning of the piece.  Check it out on the blog, Premeditated Leftovers.

Silver Jingle Bell- For a Christmas game that doesn't need to happen every day, this jingle bell hide and seek game is perfect.  Unlike most of these elf alternatives, the bell game can be played inside or outside.

Christmas Elf- Our Joy (Jesus Others Yourself) elf was just a generic doll that I bought and created into our Elf on the Shelf alternative.  Since you, the parent, are the one introducing the game, you can make up our own rules.  Our Joy elf is part of our family every winter.

Lamb of Bethlehem- The little lamb is one of the latest elf alternatives.  It's also designed to tell kids about the Nativity story.

Christmas Angel- Another way to point kids to the Christ of Christmas is with an angel doll that leaves notes about Jesus every day.

Melk the Monkey- A Christian mom wrote a devotional book for Melk the Monkey.  Since she doesn't include a toy with her book, I decided to add it to this list.  You can read more at her blog.

Wise Men Follow the Star- Although no special book would be required for you to move your Nativity set Wise Men closer to the stable every day; the book of Advent lessons is called The Travelling Wise Men.  Alternatively, you could do the 12 days of Christmas with them, since Epiphany is typically the holiday for the wise men.

Christmas Bear- I made this one up (inspired by the Coco Cola polar bears).  But. there is absolutely no reason why you can't make over your child's forgotten teddy bear into a Christmas bear.

Visit all the Posts in this Series by Clicking on the Picture.


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