8 Funny Alternatives to Elf on the Shelf to Shake Things Up

There’s no pressure like the holidays to create lasting memories for our kids, but some of us aren’t ready to take on the nightly task of moving an elf around the house. Who wants to get out of bed because they forgot to set up an elaborate scene for Santa’s helper, night after night?

If you’re looking for some funny Elf on the Shelf alternatives, then look no further. We’ve got some funny, kind and grown-ups only options we think you’ll love.

The Kindness Elves

The Imagination Tree

The Kindness Elves have arrived for the holidays to encourage littles to carry out acts of kindness every day this season. Each bundle comes with two Elves, accessories, a beautifully illustrated Storybook and the 12 Days of Christmas Kindness ePack to get families spreading kindness in no time. 

Available at The Imagination Tree Store, $59.

Santa's Lazy Gnome

Lazy Gnome

Developed by a tired mom who couldn't keep up with the Elf on the Shelf tradition, Santa's Lazy Gnome is perfect for parents. Santa has hired a gnome to report back to him for his naughty and nice list, which means your family's guy can hang out on the mantle all. Season. Long. WIN! You can order your gnome on Lazy Gnomes for $34.

Shiraz on the Shelf

One Funny Mother

The Shiraz on the Shelf kit comes packed with a custom wine glass and a book. While you'll have to supply your own wine, at least you’ll have the perfect excuse to pop open a bottle while you read the hilarious story of why moms desperately need a glass of wine (or two) during the holiday season. The Shiraz on the Shelf kit sells for $29.99 and is available at the One Funny Mother online store.

Shepherd on the Search


The Shepherd on the Search ($29) is a faith-filled way to celebrate Christmas. During the Advent season, parents read the story of your shepherd's journey then hide your shepherd! Every year is a new opportunity for your shepherd's journey to start anew, and end on Christmas day as the shepherd finds his way to the manger.

North Pole Ninjas


The North Pole Ninjas ($29) are all about spreading kindness, and it shows in the beautifully-illustrated picture book that tells the ancient legend that the North Pole Ninjas use for new recruits. The kit comes with a plush and huggable "sensei" to guide Ninjas on their journey, which is to carry out 50 special tasks, each packed in a special envelope. Your mission? To spread the holiday spirit, kindness and love. 

Reindeer in Here

Reindeer In Here ($34) comes with a book and plush reindeer that celebrates how being different is normal! Your reindeer is a friend sent by Santa as the first gift of the holiday season and encourages kids to take their new friend on the go, so they can get to know your family and help Santa deliver their Christmas wishes. Created by a dad who wanted a positive Christmas tradition for his children, this tradition truly celebrates our individuality. You'll only find the Reindeer in Here on ReindeerInHere.com.

Mensch on a Bench


Hanukkah will have some extra Funukkah with The Mensch on a Bench ($22.49) hardcover book and 12-inch plush doll of Moshe the Mensch ($30). (For those not down with the lingo, "mensch" is a Yiddish word that means roughly "a good guy.") Kids will learn the story of Hanukkah with the help of Moshe. Moshe the Mensch tells the story of how he was present at the Temple in the time of Judah and the Maccabees, who defeated the Greeks and watched over the menorah as everyone slept. Now he can help watch over yours!

Peep On A Perch


Now you don’t have to wait all the way until Christmas for a magical friend thanks to Peep On A Perch ($21). That sugar-coated marshmallow chick we all know and love to eat is now in plush form and ready to join your family in the countdown to Easter. Designed to inspire good manners and kindness in kids, the Peep On A Perch works exactly the same as the Elf.

––Karly Wood & Shahrzad Warkentin



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