21 brilliant things to say when you forget to move your elf

Elf on the Shelf holiday elf sitting on mantle

We’ve all been there — forgetting to move our elf, and in the morning, your child asks why the elf didn’t change position overnight. Sure, you can come up with a witty comment or two. But sooner or later, you’re going to run out of answers (just like they do when you ask how candy wrappers ended up stuffed in their pillowcases).

Thankfully, there are plenty of comebacks you can use when your child is wondering why your elf hasn’t moved. Here are 21 responses you can file away for the next time your elf is caught positioned the same way it was the day before:

1. It looks like his [insert arm/leg/tag] is stuck on [insert object]! Let’s gently help him get free with tongs.

2. He heard someone coming downstairs and didn’t want to get caught, so he stayed in the same spot.

3. I think … yep, he moved a little bit. It’s not much, but he moved.

4. You weren’t very nice yesterday. Santa told her to stay put and watch you again from the same spot to see if you will be better today.

5. He said he had a hard time seeing last night since the curtains were closed, so he’s going to sit there again. We need to remember to keep the curtains open so the moonlight can help him see.

6. I think he fell asleep — I heard snoring coming from downstairs last night when I was brushing my teeth before bed.

The Elf on the Shelf

MORE: These are genius ways to avoid moving the Elf on the Shelf every single day

7. I heard him sniffle this morning. He may be coming down with a cold.

8. [Elf Name] heard you yelling yesterday about [insert meltdown episode]. He believes in second chances, so he won’t tell Santa what you did yesterday.

9. [Insert reindeer name] must have dared him to sit still — looks like he’s winning the bet!

10. Oh, he must be playing a trick on us! Are you sure he was there yesterday?

11. Shoot! I came downstairs to get a drink last night and must have startled him. That’s why he didn’t move.

12. I wonder if he’s saving his magic for something extra special tomorrow?

Elf on the Shelf poses next to lunch box
The Elf on the Shelf

MORE: Parents, if you’re tired of Elf on the Shelf you’ll love these much easier alternatives

13. There was a bad snowstorm at the North Pole, so he wasn’t able to fly out last night.

14. [Insert dad/dog/cat] accidentally touched him before you woke up, so he isn’t allowed to move until tomorrow.

15. We weren’t home very much yesterday, so he wasn’t able to watch you from that spot very well.

16. [Elf name] must have forgotten to set his alarm clock and didn’t want to get caught moving!

17. He must be tired from working so hard in these last few days before Christmas.

18. You must have been so good yesterday, he didn’t feel like he needed to move.

The Elf on the Shelf with Christmas cookies
The Elf on the Shelf

MORE: Whoops! Mom Leaves Elf On The Shelf In Oven And The Result Is Kinda Hilarious

19. He must like that spot. He can see outside really well from there.

20. He flies to the North Pole every night to tell Santa about your day. If you get out of bed too early, he has to rush back and doesn’t have time to find a new spot.

21. I saw footprints outside this morning — it looks like he went for an early walk. I bet he came back and sat in the same spot, forgetting that he had already been there.

If all else fails, make an excuse that requires them to run back to their rooms real quick, then toss the doll across the room before they see!

[h/t: Your Modern Family]

Family & Parenting, Holiday & Seasonal

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About the Author
C.M. Tenhundfeld
Animal Lover. Triathlete. Scuba Diver. Master Griller. Quirky Perfectionist. I believe talk is cheap, so I lead by example and let my work speak for itself. Naturally curly hair and a leftie – what else would you like to know?

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