Elf Didn’t Move? DO NOT PANIC! Our 4 easy steps will have you sorted. And we’ve got a child-proof page of reasons ready too!

  • Family Friendly
  • Time & Effort
  • Supplies Needed
Elf On The Shelf Shocked Elf

You’ve just realised that your elf didn’t move last night. Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us!

Some nights our elfish scenes are so good we contemplate phoning the Academy about an Oscar. Some nights we have a total parent fail!


You’ve got this. Just follow the four simple steps below and your elf adventure will be back on track! We’ve even created a child-friendly page of reasons ready for you to show the kids.

(Oh, and if you’re reading this on a Hollywood night, firstly congrats and secondly, before you get too smug, bookmark this page in case you need it tomorrow!)

You’ve woken to ashen-faced children. You start listing off the reasons – relatives in hospital, lost pets, biblical flooding outside.

No, it’s worse than that apparently – the elf didn’t move!

No need to start hyperventilating quite yet. 

Put that brown paper bag aside and read on as we walk you through four quick and easy steps to restore peace and magic in your home.

Alternative Girl Elf In The Snow

Deep Breaths

Four Easy Steps To Regaining Control!

1. Breathe!

Everyone you love is okay and nothing is damaged. So, even if the kids are imploding, don’t forget to keep your own grown-up perspective on the situation!

Elf on the Shelf In a Christmas Tree

2. Buy Yourself Time!

You cannot be expected to know off-the-cuff why one of Santa’s Elves has behaved this way – they have a mind of their own of course, and are answering to a different boss. Tell the kids you’re not sure but you know someone will have the answer and you’ll investigate.

FREE Printable Goodbye Letter

Download our FREE farewell letter from Elfie & read our other ideas to help soften the goodbye.

3. Find The Reason!

We’ve got a whole host of reasons that could explain your elf’s unusual behaviour. But, as we all know, the kids are going to ask to see the list for themselves.

So, click the button below to step through to the child-friendly version of this page and let us do the work for you!

3. Set An Alarm!

You can get away with this a few times.

But, before you end up in the hospital yourself with a stress-related illness, or the kids start smelling a rat or panicking that Elfie must be going senile (we’ll beat the elf to that one for sure!!), get that repeat evening reminder set up on your phone! 

(For other elf adventure tips, check out our top 3 things you need to know when hosting an elf!)

Elf On The Shelf in tissue box bed

Now grab a cuppa (laced if you think it’ll help wink) and get on with googling Steven Spielberg’s number – we’re sure you’ll be back on form tonight.

Looking for inspiration for fun elf ideas to set up in your home?  We’ve got a complete elf diary ready and waiting for you to download FREE!  Sign up to our newsletter below to get your copy!


Share Your Elf 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