8 Fun Christian Elf on the Shelf Alternatives

 Christian Elf on the Shelf Alternatives

Looking for fun Christian Elf on the Shelf alternatives?

While it is entirely possible to use your elf to point your children toward Jesus…

(Check out these Christian Elf on the Shelf ideas if you’re looking for suggestions!)

… there are a number of reasons why you might decide that Elf on a Shelf isn’t right for your family.

The good news is — you have lots of options.

That’s why, in this post, I’m sharing 8 fun, creative, and affordable Christian Elf on the Shelf alternatives your family is sure to love.


These alternatives to elf on a shelf aren’t quite as common or well-known. You won’t find these toys all over Target, Walmart, or Amazon, and I had to do a bit of digging to find the best ones.

But with so many people looking for alternatives to the traditional Elf on the Shelf doll, I thought it might be helpful to compile a list.

Hopefully one of these Christian Elf on the Shelf alternatives will be just right for your family!


*This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps cover the many costs of running this site and allows me to help provide for my growing family. Thank you!


8 Christian Elf on the Shelf Alternatives


The Shepherd on the Search


1. The Shepherd on the Search


Arguable the most popular Elf on the Shelf alternative, The Shepherd on the Search is a great option for any family who wants to keep Christmas a bit more Christ-focused this year.

Here’s how it works: Begin by reading your children the shepherd’s story in the beautifully illustrated children’s book (included). Then, each day of Advent, hide the shepherd in a new location as he makes his way to the Christmas manger.

Your children will love waking up each morning to find the new place the shepherd is hiding each day!

This fun family activity features a cute plush shepherd, beautiful storybook, and a message that’s focused squarely on Jesus.

Find the The Shepherd on the Search on Amazon here.



The Shepherd's Treasure


2. The Shepherd’s Treasure


Another of the more popular Christian Elf on the Shelf alternatives, The Shepherd’s Treasure is a wonderful way of teaching your children  about the real meaning of this Christmas season.

More than just a plush doll, a book, or cards, this fun Christmas activity turns provides a wonderful learning experience for the whole family to enjoy together as the kids learn about the shepherd and his comings and goings.

At night, the shepherd searches for Jesus and, in the morning, it’s time for the kids to go find him! On Christmas morning, the treasure is revealed as Baby Jesus!

Find The Shepherd’s Treasure here.



The Giving Manger Kit with Book, Baby Jesus, Manger, and Straw


3. The Giving Manger


This Elf on the Shelf alternative is the perfect way to shift your family’s focus to giving during the Christmas season.

For each act of kindness or service performed by family members, a piece of straw is placed in the manger.  On Christmas Day, Baby Jesus is placed in the manger on top of the straw that reminds your family of all the kind things that were done during the month of December.

Each kit comes with a book that explains this new tradition, a wooden manger, Baby Jesus, and a bundle of straw.

Find the Giving Manger on Amazon here.



Little Lamb from Bethlehem book and stuffed lamb


4.  Little Lamb from Bethlehem


This adorable little advent book tells the story of Jesus’s birth through the eyes of a little lamb.

Each day throughout the month of December, your children can cuddle the plush stuffed lamb as you read the accompanying book and complete the activities listed on the Little Lamb from Bethlehem website.

If your kids love plush, cuddly stuffed animals as much as mine do, they’ll love this adorable Christian Elf on the Shelf alternative!

Find the Little Lamb from Bethlehem on Amazon here.



The Wise Men Journey Kit with 3 wooden dolls, wooden coins, a book, and a bag


5.  The Wise Men Journey:  Searching for the King


Looking for a meaningful Christmas tradition to start with your family this Christmas season? If so, you’ll definitely want to check out The Wise Men Journey: Searching for the King.

Each night during Advent, you’ll hide the 3 wise men figurines along with a small wooden ornament. Inscribed on each ornament is a word and picture that ties into that day’s reading.  The ornaments can also be hung on your tree to serve as a reminder of the Christmas story.

The hardcover book, wooden figurines, wooden ornaments, and a drawstring bag are all included in a box to make it easy to keep everything together each year.

While the dolls are no longer available, you can find The Wise Men Journey book here.



Jesse Tree Advent Book with small wooden ornaments


6.  Jesse Tree Ornaments with Advent Book Gift Set


Focus on the reason for the season by reading this Advent book for 25 days every December.  A small wooden ornament correlates to each day’s reading with a picture on the front and a scripture reference on the back.

The ornaments can also be placed on your tree as a reminder of the story of the birth of Jesus.

This set includes the Advent book, ornaments ready to hang on your tree, and a box to store everything in each year.

Find the Jesse Tree Ornaments on Amazon here.



Small wooden blocks next to a box and a book


7.  Advent Blocks


Looking for Christmas Elf on the Shelf alternatives perfect for little ones? These wooden blocks are perfect for small hands to touch and move around so your younger kids can take part in learning about Jesus this Christmas season.

For 25 days, read the book together and each day turn one of the blocks around to see a picture that corresponds with the reading for that day. On Christmas Eve, you can turn all the blocks around to reveal a special message.

The box includes all the blocks needed for this special tradition as well as the book, “The King is Coming!”

Find these Advent Blocks here.



Is your family doing Elf on the Shelf or a Christian Elf on the Shelf alternatives this year? I’d love to hear what works for your family!


Be sure to check out these Christian Christmas ideas and activities too:


8 Christian Elf on the Shelf Ideas

8 Christian Elf on the Shelf Ideas


Christian Christmas Gift Ideas for the Whole Family

29 Christian Christmas Gift Ideas Your Whole Family Will Love


 29 Christian Christmas Gift Ideas Your Whole Family Will Love

10 (Non-Cheesy) Christian Christmas Gifts for Kids


10 Adorable Christian Christmas Crafts Your Kids Will Love

10 Adorable Christian Christmas Crafts Your Kids Will Love


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One Comment

  1. We have “The Mouse and the Miracle!” His name is Buttons!! He moves around the house and every morning has a new note in his backpack that has a challenge for the kids to work on for the day. The challenge focuses on kindness, sharing joy, God’s, or something like that. We have welcomed Buttons in our house for 2 years, but very few people know about him. I would love if you could add this comment to your article. Thanks!!! http://www.orientaltradingcompany.com

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