December is still days away, but parents have already found a creative new way to avoid moving their children’s Elf on the Shelf dolls every night thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
The holidays will undoubtedly look different this year, and some children may be surprised to find their elves quarantining in glass jars for two weeks — because even Santa’s helpers aren’t exempt from the current COVID-19 travel guidelines.
Mom Hilary Soria took to Facebook earlier this month to share a photo of a mask-wearing elf sitting in a jar equipped with hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray, and the clever idea has spread across social media.
Lockdown: Hilary Soria took to Facebook earlier this month to share a photo of an Elf on the Shelf doll sitting in a jar with hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray while in quarantine
Stuck: Parents are putting their family’s elves in quarantine for 14 days this holiday season to avoid having to move the toys every night
Brilliant: Samantha Sladich Reich is selling quarantine houses that come with tear-away tags to keep track of how many days are left
‘ELF ON THE SHELF will need to quarantine for 14 days after his trip from the North Pole!’ the caption reads. ‘This should help you mamas!!’
The image has been shared more than 444,000 times, and fans took to the comments to say they’ll be doing something similar with their elves.
‘This will save me 14 days of elf chores,’ one mom said, while another shared: ‘Ours have been in quarantine since the weekend.’
As many parents can attest, the pressure to find new and exciting places to move the Elf on the Shelf doll in their homes has become an added stressor ahead of the holidays.
For parents who aren’t that crafty, online retailers are selling Elf on the Shelf quarantine jars as well as pandemic-approves accessories such as mini masks, toilet paper rolls, and containers of Lysol wipes and Purrel.
Explainer: The HillsideCustomsShop on Etsy has already sold out of its elf quarantine houses, which come with a note from the elf
Across the border: Moonlight Creations by JamJam is selling elf isolation houses for residents of Newfoundland, Canada
Making it fun: The design features chalkboard sides to keep track of how many days the elves are in quarantine
The HillsideCustomsShop on Etsy has already sold out of its elf quarantine houses, which come with a note from the elf.
‘Hello friends! Oh how I have missed you! I can’t wait to play, but before we do, I need to make sure we’re all safe by quarantining for 14 days in this jar!’ the message reads. ‘Until then, you can take me wherever you go!’
Samantha Sladich Reich, the mom behind the NuthouseGifts Etsy shop, has sold 179 versions of her quarantine house, which comes with tear-away tags to keep track of how many days are left.
Moonlight Creations by JamJam is selling elf isolation houses for residents of Newfoundland, Canada, but, unfortunately for fans in the U.S., they don’t ship.
Meanwhile, Jessica Lauren Dawson, who has an eponymous Etsy shop, sells tiny elf masks that have proven to be quite popular.
Safety first: A number of Etsy sellers are offering mini face masks for the elves this holiday season, including LifebytheYard
Thing to do: Jessica Lauren Dawson, who has an eponymous Etsy shop, sells tiny elf masks that have proven to be quite popular
They’ve thought of everything! PremierWoodStudio on Etsy is also offering mini containers of disinfectant and toilet paper for the elves to use in quarantine
She recently told Today that she sold 80 elf masks in just 48 hours, noting: ‘This is our new normal, so it makes sense.’
In years past, parents have done everything from putting their family’s elves in casts to having them formally retire to get out of having to move them.
A mandated quarantine seems like the perfect option for frustrated parents, but Santa Claus doesn’t approve, at least according to the creators of Elf on the Shelf.
The company released a statement from St. Nick himself saying the elves do not need to quarantine because they aren’t human.
‘All Scout Elves are 100% healthy and remain well at the North Pole,’ the statement reads. ‘They are excited to return to the human world for a season of excitement and giggles. Since Scout Elves are magical beings from the North Pole, they do not get human sicknesses and do not need to quarantine!’