Ever heard of a North Pole Breakfast? Welcome your elf with a breakfast-to-end-all-breakfasts that’ll make you ‘The Best Parents in the World’!

(first published 14 Nov 2020)


  • Family Friendly
  • Time & Effort
  • Supplies Needed
Elf Breakfast Ideas

Ever heard of a North Pole Breakfast?

It’s a great way to welcome your elf back for another year, or say hello to a new elf arrival, and kickstart the festive countdown in earnest. It’s the stuff of happy childhood Christmas memories and a brilliant activity for the family to share together at home.

We want to stress early that this is not a meal for regular repetition. This is a once-a-year breakfast-to-end-all-breakfasts that’ll make you ‘the best parents in the world’!

Intrigued as to why?! Well, the North Pole Breakfast is based around the four main elf food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup*! Are you starting to get the picture now?! (We would strongly encourage planning to enjoy this meal directly ahead of a long winter’s walk in your local green space!)

* If you weren’t aware, Buddy the Elf brought us up to speed on elf cuisine in the wonderful classic Christmas movie, Elf.

Cream Cheese Snowman at Elf Breakfast Table

Elf Arrival Letter

Help your elf say hello in their own words with this FREE elf arrival letter as they rejoin your family for another year.

We’ve pulled together lots of fabulous North Pole Breakfast ideas so that you can enjoy preparing the most amazing celebration!  But just to answer two of your questions straightaway:

Yes – there’s a lot of sweet treats!  It is a special occasion after all!  But we have tried to balance things out with some alternatives to the sugar rush.  And of course, if your elf happens to be on a health kick, there’s still plenty of ways to create that saccharin scene with decoration and activities instead!

Yes – this one takes a little longer to prepare and requires a few more items.  However most of the treats are long-life and will probably be in the house already ready for the festivities.  As for the time taken, you probably already know that, at Jolly Festive, we are firm believers in embracing the prep!  Why not get the whole family involved.  Spread out designing the décor and making the treats over a series of days and really build the anticipation of your elf’s arrival!

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Welcoming Your Elf In Style!

1. When To Have A North Pole Breakfast?

North Pole Breakfasts are most commonly enjoyed as your elf arrives, to welcome them back or celebrate the new arrival, and of course to help your elf acclimatise!

However, many families wait until the first weekend after arrival so that they have the time to really enjoy the festivities.

Set Up For An Elf Breakfast

We think it’d make a great start to Tree Decorating Day!

Or, as we said above, perhaps you might like to schedule it ahead of some time outdoors, burning off the excess sugar – either with an explore to gather items to make garlands and wreaths, or perhaps a walk/cycle to hand-deliver Christmas cards in your local area. We have a whole host of ideas for jolly festive winter walks here.

And, if it’s too much for breakfast, why not have a North Pole Afternoon Tea instead? Then, curl up together on the sofa and enjoy a festive movie-athon as you digest.

Two Elves in a Christmas Tree

Free Elf Planner

Looking for a little extra inspiration for adventures for your elf over the coming weeks?  Check out our FREE elf planner – 24 fun, mischievous and easy to set up ideas for your littlest visitor.

Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corns & Syrup

2. What Does An Elf Breakfast Look Like?

The beauty of the North Pole Breakfast is that it can include absolutely anything you want and be presented anyway you’d like! Bright, cheery and sugary are the most common themes but the sky’s the limit!

Enjoy planning and preparing over the course of a few days with your children, or lay it out one morning as a surprise from your elf.

It’s entirely up to you!

We think it makes for a great opportunity to start getting out your decorations, and any little Christmas plates or dishes you may have. Sprinkle these both liberally around the table to really embrace the festive season’s arrival!

North Pole Breakfast Treat Ideas - cupcakes & snowman faces

As we said above, you could surprise your loved ones with a fully prepared table one morning.

However, the North Pole breakfast lends itself readily to full family involvement. Children can easily get to work making welcome signs for the elf, decorating disposable tablecloths and dishes and, of course, helping to prepare the food.

So perhaps this would be a meal best created slowly, with crafting and cooking spread out ahead of time to eek out the fun and anticipation?

Fruit Christmas Tree North Pole Breakfast Idea

This is a meal packed to the brim with fun, colour and festive cheer but, it is also wonderfully versatile. So, mix and match our suggestions below to suit your family. Then relax and enjoy that sugar high!

Elf Goodbye Letter

Download our FREE printable farewell poem and find other ideas to help ease any sadness when Elfie heads home.

Go Christmas Crazy!

3. North Pole Breakfast Ideas for Décor

Elfish themes of sleigh bells, bright red baubles and candle canes are definitely the most popular options. Consider weaving some fairy lights around the dishes for sparkle. And, of course, a gingerbread house would make an amazing centrepiece!

Pair of Gingerbread Houses in front of the Christmas Tree

Spread The Word!

Like what you’ve seen? Be sure to share with your friends.

Let’s sprinkle Christmas cheer far and wide!

The meal lends itself to a buffet-style approach, with all the food spread extravagantly across the table. As much of the display will be finger-food, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue to find alternative arrangements for where to eat.

Enjoy designing your own sugar-filled display however you please.

We’ve included a few ideas below to get those creative juices flowing.

There is certainly no need to be spending lots on new decorations just for this event; any Christmas themed items will work perfectly to add festive flair to the North Pole Breakfast table. So just have fun and get that imagination working overtime!

Base Layer

A simple tablecloth will work just fine as there’s going to be so much happening on the table.  Or what about laying a Christmassy table runner over a white tablecloth to create the classic candy cane stripe.

Alternatively, you could create a snowy vista with some soft toys or small cushions placed strategically under a white table cloth to create an undulating scene. Sprinkle some fake snow or white / sparkly / silver sprinkles around to really make that winter wonderland come to life.

Or, what about wrapping a couple of pieces of wrapping paper across the width of the table at intervals, to create some shorter festive table runners?

And don’t forget the lighting.  A couple of chains of fairy lights spread across the table will add lots of extra sparkle!


Pair of Gingerbread Houses on Cake Stands

There’s no need for a centrepiece at all of course. However, if you’d like a focal point, we suggest considering a small decorated Christmas tree, homemade gingerbread house or even a favourite larger Christmas decoration welcomed back for another year (a snowglobe would work well for example).

Another great option is to use a tiered cake stand, and pile it high with sweets, candy canes and cookies, as well as Christmas pots or mugs filled with treats. This is also an ideal solution if you are short of space!

Laying Out The Food

Marshmallow Snowmen & Fruit Christmas Tree at North Pole Breakfast

Lay out the dishes of food before adding the final touches so that there’s sufficient room for everything.

Use as many Christmas-themed dishes as you have. Alternatively, you can wrap chopping boards in aluminium foil (with either matt or shiny side facing up) to give them a more festive feel. Or, why not cut Christmas shapes out from red and green card, and place the food on these?

And, there’s so many different ways to give a sprinkling of the season to ordinary tableware: topping plates with Christmas napkins, or adding a decoration or two to the corner of the dish, for example.

We love spilling some of the foods out from packets directly onto the tablecloth, or filling bowls of sweets so much that they overflow. It adds a little elfish mischief to proceedings, and makes the table look all the more inviting to little eyes.

Final Festive Flairs

Cream Cheese Snowman Idea

Once the dishes are in place, enjoy embellishing with those final little flourishes. Fairy lights entwined around dishes and through sprinkle-made snow look really effective.

Hang candy canes over the edge of a few dishes. Dot a few sweets or chocolate Christmas decorations around haphazardly to make the scene look more fun and relaxed, just as you’d expect an elf playhouse to feel. And finally, sprinkle a few baubles and sleigh bells around here and there to add those flashes of Christmas to the table.

You may also like to put out crackers, a game or even a gift or note from your elf.

Travel With Elfie

Heading away during December?  We’ll help you travel with your elf and keep the magic intact.

Festive Food Explosion!

4. Elf-Friendly Food Suggestions

It’s hard to know where to start as there are so many different treats which can be incorporated.

Do bear in mind that much of the food naturally suited to a North Pole Breakfast has a long shelf-life. So, you can afford to go a little overboard on the display to make for a really opulent table.

Just pack away the items not consumed ready to be brought out and enjoyed later in the month.

Below we’ll take you through our suggestions for:

  • Sweet Treats
  • Healthier Alternatives
  • Savoury Ideas
  • Drinks
Elf Breakfast Ideas

More Like This?

Looking for other festive activities to enjoy?  Whether it’s at home or out and about, we’ve got a whole host of ideas to keep you in the Christmas spirit!

Sweet Treats

These sweet treats really are the focal point of the North Pole Breakfast.

To start things off, here’s some ideas for what to put on your shopping list. These are the treats that can be added directly to the table without any extra effort.

North Pole Breakfast Shopping List of Easy Treats

Now enjoy creating some delicious Christmas dishes and truly elfish treats to add to the display.

The Jolly Festive kitchen has loads of recipes which would lend themselves perfectly to this feast.  Click here to explore these Elf Breakfast ideas.

We particularly recommend the brown butter cinnamon Rice Krispie squares as they look so fabulously festive and the cinnamon sugar french toast – perfect syrupy elf nutrition!

And here’s a few other elf breakfast ideas for you to consider:

Marshmallow Snowmen

Child's Hand creating a Marshmallow snowman Child's Hand adding orange Smartie nose to marshmallow snowman Marshmallow Snowmen on a star plate

These fun characters will be a brilliant addition to your North Pole Breakfast feast!

  • 3 large white marshmallows
  • 5 dark or milk chocolate drops
  • 1 orange Smartie
  • 2 pretzel or Mikado sticks
  • A tube of edible glue
  • Put a blob of edible glue at the top and bottom ends of one marshmallow. Then stick the other two marshmallows, one to each end. This forms the shape of the snowman.
  • Snap each preztel or Mikado stick in half. Insert two into the end of the bottom marshmallow to form the legs, and two into the sides of the middle marshmallow to form arms.
  • Use spots of edible glue to add two chocolate drop eyes, three chocolate drop buttons and an orange Smartie nose.
  • Leave to set.
Pancake Stacks

Nordic Ware Holiday Pancake PanPancake batter being poured into a Christmas mini pancake pan Syrup being poured onto Christmas pancakes at an Elf on the Shelf Breakfast

The perfect excuse for incorporating food group number four into your breakfast! Syrup!!

Any American-style pancakes, stacked high with syrup poured on top, will be perfect.

However, we cannot resist the opportunity to highlight one of our favourite festive kitchen products: the holiday pancake pan from Nordic Ware.

Nordic Ware are a family-based company, on both sides of the Atlantic. Synonymous with themed cake tins (they were the designers of the original Bundt tin), they have a whole host of festive baking equipment which we absolutely adore! But, it’s their mini pancake pans that we want to share now. These reassuringly weighty pans really are non-stick, easily creating fabulous fluffy little Christmas pancake discs to adorn your table. 

Snowman Faces

North Pole Breakfast Treat Ideas - cupcakes & snowman faces

An ideal activity for little hands, these snowmen faces really look the part on the North Pole Breakfast table.

Simply use spots of edible glue to secure an orange Smartie nose in place. Then add dots of chocolate icing to give your snowmen eyes and mouths.  We used white chocolate oreo biscuit bases but you could use mini meringues instead.

Strawberry Santa Heads

Strawberry Santa Heads

We love these little santa heads and they are super tasty too!  Cut the top off some strawberries to create santa hats and add a dollop of whipped cream cheese or mascarpone cheese inside.  Finish with some chocolate chip eyes, or use some chocolate icing to add finer details.

Jelly Pots

Keeping Up with Kaci Jelly Pots

Image Credit: Keeping Up with Kaci

With strawberry jelly in a glass bowl, add whipped cream and sprinkles to make it utterly irresistible and fabulously festive!

Decorated Cupcakes & Cookies

Christmas Cupcakes

Of course any decorated cupcakes or cookies would work beautifully at the breakfast!

Click here for our ideas for Easy Christmas Cookie decorating to get that imagination flowing.

Healthier Alternatives

We appreciate that there is balance required in everything, even once-a-year blow-outs! So here’s a few healthier options to include on the table too!

Fruity Christmas Tree

Fruit Christmas Tree North Pole Breakfast Idea

Layer a mixture of green grapes and other jewel-coloured fruits to form the shape of a Christmas Tree. Or better still of course, use a tree-shaped dish!

We love berries here as they look great against the bright green of the grapes. We’ve added a meringue star to the top of the tree. You could use a piece of starfruit instead of course, or an apple slice cut into a star shape.

For a final festive sparkle, we have sprayed the tree and star with a few puffs of edible gold shimmer.

Strawberry & Banana Candy Canes

One Handed Cooks Banana Strawberry Candy Cane

Image Credit: One Handed Cooks

So easy and so effective!  Alternate slices of strawberry and banana to create your own natural sugar candy cane!

Christmas Porridge

Christmas Porridge with Fruit Christmas Icons on the top

Image Credit: Elf for Christmas

Elf for Christmas has created some beautiful toppings for its porridge to give a Christmas feel to this nutritious breakfast dish.

Savoury Ideas

If your family doesn’t have a sweet tooth, or you just can’t face that much sweet stuff yourself, here are a few suggestions for some savoury alternatives you could add to the display.

Cream Cheese Snowman

Cream Cheese Snowman North Pole Breakfast Idea           Cream Cheese Snowman on Plate

Using two slices of toast, cut two circles of different sizes. Add a thick covering of cream cheese and top with blueberry eyes and buttons, and a strawberry nose to create this adorable snowman.

Savoury Christmas Tree

Freddies Mummy UK Savoury Christmas Tree

Image Credit: Freddies Mummy UK

An alternative to the fruit Christmas tree above.

Switch out the cocktail sausages for pieces of green peppers if you’d prefer a pork-free option.

Avocado Toast Christmas Tree

Jerry James Stone Avocado Christmas Tree

Image Credit: Jerry James Stone

This Avocado Toast Christmas Tree from Jerry James Stone is very striking as well as rather tasty!


Hot Chocolate is the obviously North Pole Breakfast go-to beverage!  Check out our fabulously indulgent hot chocolate mix here.

Add whipped cream, mini marshmallows and a candy cane swizzle stick for the ultimate indulgence!  

Or, cover the top outer rim of a glass with a little melted chocolate and festive sprinkles. Let it set in the fridge, and then fill with cold milk.

Hot Chocolate

And, we’ve got lots of mocktail inspiration in our round-up if you fancy going for something more a little more unusual!

Mocktail Selection

Magical Reindeer Food

Check out our reindeer food recipe (with a touch of magic) and download the accompanying free printable label.

What To Do With An Elf!

5. Activities To Enjoy At Breakfast

Music To Set The Mood

Why not add some tunes to get the party really going?!  We’ve created an exclusive North Pole Breakfast playlist ready for you to download FREE at Spotify.  Give that festive kitchen disco a kickstart (and burn off a little sugar!).

North Pole Breakfast Playlist

We’ve created an exclusive FREE playlist just for your breakfast.  Download and starting listening straightaway!

Elfish Gifts

We mentioned earlier that you might like to lay out a gift from your elf, as a thank you for the meal.

We think Christmas pyjamas are a great option so they can be enjoyed throughout the whole of December. Or a book to enjoy reading during the countdown to Christmas? Or, what about a fanfare arrival of this year’s advent calendars?

Homemade Advent Calendars

Check out our easy 10 step guide to create the perfect bespoke homemade advent calendar!

You could of course arrange a gift from your children to the elf as well. With a whole host of elf merchandise now widely available, there are plenty of options to choose between. 

Gift Ideas From Elfie

We’ve rounded up our favourite gifts from Elfie to help get those creative juices following!

North Pole Breakfast Activity Ideas

Of course you can absolutely just enjoy your elf breakfast for its own sake! 

However, you may like to consider an activity or two to extend the celebrations.  In addition to the winter walks we mentioned above, here are a few of our favourite ideas:

Decorate The Christmas Tree

As we said earlier, we think the North Pole Breakfast makes a fantastic accompaniment to Tree Trimming Day!

So why not get all those ornaments ready and spend the day decorating and nibbling sugary treats whilst you pump up those festive tunes in the background?!  Check out our lowdown from the professionals on how to decorate your tree.  And don’t forget our Jolly Jingles Spotify playlists – all ready and waiting for you to just hit play!

Write A Welcome Message To Your Elf

A lovely little project.  Help your little one to prepare a letter for your elf letting them know about all the things they’ve been up to during the year and sending messages to the North Pole.

Play a Christmas Game

Perfect for getting everyone into the Christmas spirit!  We’ve got all sorts of Christmas Family Game ideas for you to try here.

Write To Father Christmas

Sure an elf breakfast is the perfect opportunity to sit down and write letters to Santa himself?!  

Decorate A Gingerbread House

If you haven’t used a gingerbread house as a centrepiece then this would be a brilliant time to get busy decorating!

Read The Elf On The Shelf Story Together

Enjoy reading the story of the Elf on the Shelf tradition together to remind everyone of your visitor’s purpose.

Have a Paperchain-Making Contest

Always popular and ever so easy.  Grab a bunch of paperchains.  You can use shopbought ones or make your own from coloured paper or old wrapping paper. 

Set a timer for 3 minutes (or longer if you’re feeling particularly enthustiastic!) and see who can make the longest chain in that time. 

It’s a brilliantly sneaky way to get some stealth family assistance with the decorations too!

15 Easy Family Christmas Game Ideas

Looking for easy Christmas family game ideas?  Check out this list of 15 super simple twists on classic games to try with your family.

North Pole Breakfast Table

We hope you have a fabulous time creating your North Pole Breakfast and welcoming (back) your elf!  Please do share what you decide to do; we love hearing all about your Christmas adventures 🙂

And if you need a little extra inspiration for what mischief your elf might get up to – do check out our Elf Planner for 24 easy-to-arrange ideas!

Share Your Adventure!

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @jollyfestive.

And be sure to tag #jollyfestive in your photos.  We love to see which Christmas activities you’ve been enjoying!

More Activities

Christmas Wordle Challenge

Christmas Wordle Challenge

For all the Wordle fans out there, why not add a daily Christmas Wordle Challenge to your December tea breaks?