9 Ways to Say Goodbye to Your Elf on the Shelf Until Next Year

Every Christmas, your Elf on the Shelf leaves to go back to the North Pole, and we have some ideas about how you and your kids can say goodbye to them.

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Dec. 19 2022, Updated 1:03 p.m. ET

Whether your family's Elf on the Shelf arrives the day after Thanksgiving, Dec. 1, or a day shortly after, there comes a time when we all have to say goodbye to the Elf on the Shelf for the year. Like every day during the time your elf is in your home for the holidays, the goodbye has to be extra special.

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Yes, we know, you've spent weeks coming up with clever antics to delight your kids every morning.

And saying goodbye to your Elf on the Shelf is more sweet than bitter in your eyes. But for your kids, it's another important event. So we've found some of the best ways to say goodbye to your Elf on the Shelf to make that farewell just a little easier for everyone.

Print out an elf farewell letter.

One way to say goodbye to your family's elf at the end of the holiday season is to leave out a letter for your child from their elf. You can print from the website Mama Cheaps. The letter lets your kid know their elf had so much fun watching over them for Santa but that it's time for them to head back to the North Pole until next year.

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Write a snowy goodbye message.

Make it seem like your elf made a mad dash out of the house as soon as they had the chance with this one. Use flour or even some of that fake snow spray and make an outline of your elf on a glass panel door or even on a window. Write a special message in the "snow" and maybe, just maybe, your kids will believe their elf did it.

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Take a snowy elf photo.

Another way for your elf and your child to say goodbye to each other involves a bit more effort than a simple letter. Per Mom on the Side, you can take a photo of the elf in a snowy setting. Then, leave that photo out for your kid so they know their elf made it back to the North Pole safely.

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Leave behind a gift from the elf.

Mom on the Side has another perfect idea! Ease the pain of an Elf on the Shelf goodbye with a gift. What kid doesn't love early holiday presents? For this one, pick something that's not only fun, but also practical, like holiday pajamas or an ornament your kid can hang on the tree on Christmas Eve, which is typically when the Elf on the Shelf spends their last day with your family.

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Write a bathroom message.

It's not the most adorable idea, we'll give you that. And your kid might be a little miffed that they don't have toilet paper in the morning. But it will definitely surprise them to see their elf perched on the empty toilet paper roll with a note to remind them that it's almost time to say goodbye.

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Get your Elf on the Shelf some luggage.

An idea on the official Elf on the Shelf website involves printing out an elf-sized suitcase from the website for free. Then, you cut the sides according to the instructions. You can leave it out with your elf the morning of Christmas Eve to remind your kids that the elf leaves that night while they're in bed.

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Use an "elf recall" flyer.

Download and print an elf recall flyer from Mom Dot. The letter says Santa needs his elf back at the North Pole as soon as possible. While that probably won't make the goodbye any easier for your kid, they might be OK with knowing they helped save Christmas.

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Soften the blow of your elf's departure with candy.

Your kid might be getting tons of candy in their stocking, come Christmas morning. But if you spell out "goodbye" in gummy worms or whatever their favorite sweet treat is, it might help everyone cope with your elf's last day a little more.

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Make elf footprints leaving the house.

This user on TikTok used a stencil and some white powder, which is possibly flour, to mark the arrival of their family's Elf on the Shelf. But there's no reason you can't do it to symbolize your elf's exit after Christmas Eve festivities while the kids are asleep for the night.

As long as your elf's antics made your kid happy for at least one day out of December this year, the goodbye won't sting too hard.

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