I'm sure by this point most people know about The Elf on the Shelf. If you don't know exactly what it is, I'm quite sure that you've seen someone posting about it on Facebook. It's a holiday tradition that seems to have really caught fire in the last few years. Basically you have this Elf who hangs out on a shelf or wherever else and can report to Santa each night. So you put the Elf somewhere different while the kids are asleep and it turns into a big game in the morning to find the Elf. It's cute, it's fun, kids lose their shit over it.
So this is our first year with our sad little nameless Elf (Vivian hasn't quite caught on to the concept of naming him yet). And I've been getting away with being pretty lazy with him. See, the kind of unwritten law of the Elf on the Shelf is to pose him in increasingly elaborate situations. For reals - jump onto Google or Pinterest real quick and see what some other people do. Marshmallow snowball fights, snow angels in flour on the kitchen counter, baths in the sink - it can get intense. Don't get me wrong - that's all awesome. Kids go crazy for elaborate setups like that.
I get off easy this year. Vivian has no benchmark for this whole Elf on the Shelf thing. So she thinks it's pretty hilarious when the Elf does basic things like this...
She doesn't realize that there are some people who have an Elf who will gift wrap the toilet. Seriously. There are people who have done that.
Like I said, that's all awesome. I'm sure next year I'll have to step up my Elf game. But here's my question - what do you do with these elaborate setups? I mean, part of the Elf's story is that you're not supposed to touch him or his magic will go or something. So do you have to leave these setups out all day long? What if you need to use your counter or whatever? Doesn't your kid lose it if you try to move the Elf? Or do you wait until they've left for school/daycare and hope that they forgot about it by the end of the day? This is a legitimate question.
So please, let me in on the secrets. How do you have an elaborate Elf on the Shelf without it taking over a large section of your house?