Meet Our Mischievous Elf – Jingles

Although not food related at all, I wanted to share some of the holiday fun we’ve had as a family for the past number of years.


Mischievous Elf Antics by The Baking Beauties

Meet our mischievous elf, Jingles. He’s sent here by Santa himself, to check on the kids to see if they have been naughty or nice. He generally arrives on December 1st, and stays until Christmas eve. Although no one has ever seen Jingles move, he manages to get himself into a fair amount of trouble. While the kids are sleeping, Jingles gets bored and usually causes some kind of mischief.

Years ago I heard about this idea from a friend who had gotten some elves for her boys. I thought it sounded like a fun holiday tradition, and sent my husband on the hunt for an elf. You see, when we began this, there weren’t pretty little boxed up elves on the shelves of every store. We hunted for an elf until we found one that would work his magic in our house. Although there is nothing wrong with the branded Elf on a Shelf, I think it’s more fun to have our own elf – one that the kids won’t recognize when we walk into the stores during the holidays.

December 2007 is the first year Jingles showed up in our house. Oh, the antics that elf did – my goodness! He then took a break for 2 years – for personal reasons. I didn’t want to put Santa on a pedestal to my kids. To us, Christmas is about Christ’s birth, not about the imaginary guy in a red suit that gets credit for all the gifts that you purchased. We were walking a fine line, and being first time parents, I didn’t want to set it in my kid’s minds that Santa was real and then have to break it to them at a later age. I feel that if they know the truth, it’s OK to pretend that he’s real – there is something magical in that. But, I wanted them to know the truth first. So, after a 2 year hiatus , Jingles returned in 2010 and he’s been back every year since.

I know many of you have followed along with me over the years on Facebook, but I thought I’d share some of the mischief that Jingles has gotten into here, in case any of you are looking for ideas for your elf.

Mischievous Elf Antics by The Baking Beauties

Let’s see, in the past he’s gone sledding with Pooh & Tigger, built a gingerbread house, got stuck upside down in a tree, decorated the tree with the kids undies, got stuck in the stocking, tried to wrap a present (with horrible results), and made Lego angels.


Mischievous Elf Antics by The Baking Beauties

He’s also done ballet to a video, roasted marshmallows with a friend, got stuck on the ceiling fan while parachuting, got caught in the yarn at Grandma’s, spelled “Merry Christmas” with cereal, built himself a scooter with Lego, coloured some elves online, played cards with some friends, and tracked in snow on the kid’s boots.


Mischievous Elf Antics by The Baking Beauties

But then he made paper snowflakes and got stuck hanging them up, got trapped inside a balloon (?!?), caught on the light fixture, built a fort and had a sleepover, more marshmallow roasting (with new friends), built an igloo out of toilet paper rolls, climbed the Christmas tree, made a comfy chair from a Santa hat to read his favourite book, and got stuck trying to put candy canes on the tree.


Mischievous Elf Antics by The Baking Beauties

Then there was the time he got trapped INSIDE a jar of peppermint candies, moved into and decorated the doll house for Christmas, was found OUTSIDE sledding down the hill, left colouring pages for the kids, got stuck on the Christmas tree, messed up ALL the puzzles, REMOVED the decorations from the tree, built a real snowman, inside, and had a tea party with Tinkerbell. Phew!


Mischievous Elf Antics by The Baking Beauties

And how could I forget the time he made a toy car parade, turned our milk GREEN, got hopped up on syrup & candy, messed up the mantle decorations, built himself an elf friend out of Lego, blew a bubble with bubble gum and nearly floated away, made a maze on the floor with tape, got caught in the Christmas cookies, and lost horribly to Ballerina in a game of Twister.


Mischievous Elf Antics by The Baking Beauties

It doesn’t end there though… He drew on the kid’s pictures with marker, left ‘cookie baking socks’ for the kids, drew pictures on the bathroom mirror, had a snowball fight with a bunny using chocolate snowballs, sewed the kids each a Christmas ornament, wrote on the table with chocolate syrup, taped the kid’s doors shut, got stuck in the stocking while measuring to make sure it was big enough for Santa’s treats, and stuck snowflakes on the windows.


Mischievous Elf Antics by The Baking Beauties

After a rough crash-landing outside the door, he turned the kids into dancing elves, had a beach party in the container drawer, hooked up his sleigh to the My Little Pony collection, got caught in the dog’s crate, got carried away while making Rice Krispie treats for the kids, got caught listening to a new Christmas CD he brought for the kids, was wall climbing on the fireplace, and decided it was time for a movie night – his favourite movie is Elf (go figure).


Mischievous Elf Antics by The Baking Beauties

But, before he left, he lost his shadow, had a games night with some friends, brought some elf medicine for the kids when they were sick, decorate the tree with mittens, flew a plane around the family room, had ice cream while in the freezer, made a video of himself on the kid’s 3DS, made it difficult for the kids to watch TV, and then fueled up Pixie Stix to head back to the north pole. Phew!


As you can see, Jingles has become quite an important part of my kid’s holiday tradition. They love to see what trouble he will come up with, and it seems the messier and more extreme, the better they react. They are always sure to clean up the mess before Mom sees it though, because they know a naughty elf will be sent back to the North Pole.

Jingles also has his own journal, which gets written in nightly, talking about the kids, their behavior, what they did during the day, or what he was up to at night. Between the pictures and the journal, we have enough evidence to put that elf on Etch-a-Sketch duty for years! But, we enjoy having him here for December, and haven’t bothered to report him to Santa yet.

December 1st is quickly approaching, I wonder if Jingles will show up again this year? You can follow along on Facebook, where I’ll be posting about him daily.

Does your family have an elf that visits for the holidays? I’d love to hear all about it!


  1. allyson says

    Fun to read through, Jeanine, and get a few new ideas! We’ve had an elf for many years. In fact, my daughter was so young when he showed up that she named him “Daddy Elf” because she had limited vocabulary. This year, our elf is being particularly naughty. He showed up on Sunday (after I sat bolt upright in bed at 2:30 a.m.). He got out a whole bunch of baking ingredients, opened the flour and split it all over the counter. Then he wrote “I’m back” in the flour. My daughter thought it was so funny, she actually cleaned it up. Today he was hanging upside down on the chandelier and had strewn cheerios all over the dining table. She added those to her breakfast and cleaned up again. Seemed to cure her of her case of Mondayitis as well! :)

  2. Karen says

    Any special tricks to getting him in the balloon? I was particularly creative last year and now am finding I have to really step up my game after the snowball fight with Ken, ziplining to the tree on a candy cane, writing with toothpaste, the elf family reunion followed by the binge chocolate eating and then a day recuperating in bed….but I am unsure of the technique for balloon invading!

    • says

      Ugh, I hear you! We’re trying to come up with new things every year too, but it gets hard after a few years! My husband actually put the elf in the balloon, he used a magic trick, where you basically blow up the balloon, and then push the (squished together) elf into the back of the balloon while letting the air out. If you google How to get a phone in a balloon, it’s a similar technique. It wasn’t an easy one though! lol


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