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Let Us Name Your Elf on a Shelf

elf

Image: DJ Ghost via Flickr

The ChickieNob and I love naming things.  I have one of those 10,001 Baby Name books that I use for naming characters, and we like to go through it together, pointing out our favourite names.  I keep a running list of favourite names in the front of my notebook just in case we’re away from the book and quickly need to name something.  We like naming things so much that sometimes we rename things: our nicknames have nicknames.

Since we have exhausted all the inanimate objects in our house, we are now turning to your house.  We’d like to name your Elf on a Shelf.

We don’t want an elf; we just want to name one.

Or two.  Or twenty.  We’ll name as many as you like.  If your elf already has a name or you also don’t want an elf in your house, never fear.  We’re also happy to name teapots, toothbrushes, or various stuffed animals.  We’re not picky.

We get that Elf on a Shelf is a treasured family tradition, and we get that most people would like to name their own elf, thank you very much.  But what about our naming needs?  We have deep, overwhelming naming needs and nothing to bestow with a moniker at the moment.

The last thing we got to name was the littleBits arduino that we got.  We named it Aviato after the company on Silicon Valley.  It was sort of a rushed job; a quick naming just because we wanted to start programming it.  I don’t want you to think that we’ll do a similar job naming your elf.  We’ll take our time.  Really think hard.

It’s just that since the arduino, we’re in a dry spell.  I mean, yes, we can rename our dreidels once again, but it’s not the same thing as naming your elf (or other items).

Just answer the following questions in our information-gathering quiz below in the comment section.  After all, we don’t want to name your elf Ethel and then discover that Ethel will be residing in a very modern-looking living room.  Or name your elf Edward and then discover that you’re Team Jacob.  After you answer the questions, we will think long and hard about the best name for your elf and email it to you.  In the case of non-elves, maybe leave a link to a picture so we can see what we’re working with.  We’d hate to give your teapot the name Alma and find out that it totally looks like a Tiffany, you know?

1. Would you rather go to the beach, a museum, hiking in the woods, or a loud party?

2. Describe the ideal paint colour for your living room.  Is it the colour that is currently on your walls or your dream colour?

3. You walk into an ice cream store that has every flavour ever made.  What flavour do you order?

4. Do you have pictures of family on the walls, photographs of places, or no art whatsoever?

5. Tell us your favourite book.  Or one of your favourite books.

6. Do you like classic or creative names?

7. Movie or television character you’d most like to be stuck next to on a long flight.

8. Is the elf (or object) male, female, or gender-neutral?  (We’re only giving you three options due to space, so please be more specific with gender if you need another category.)

Update: The ChickieNob looked at the comments and emails and told Josh, “I have a gazillion things to name!” (Three cheers to hyperbole!)  Unfortunately, she also had a lot of math homework (which she should probably do if she thinks gazillion is a real number). It was Common Core math which meant that a good ten minutes were spent trying to figure out this new way to do multiplication, which feels as if it was made-up in a fever dream.  She has this under control and is just finishing up all those mandatory things (such as math homework) before she starts the naming process.  So keep those naming requests coming.

31 comments

1 Rachel { 12.02.14 at 9:11 am }

1. Would you rather go to the beach, a museum, hiking in the woods, or a loud party? Hiking in the woods!

2. Describe the ideal paint colour for your living room. Is it the colour that is currently on your walls or your dream colour?

3. You walk into an ice cream store that has every flavour ever made. What flavour do you order? Does this store have lactose free because I’m lactose intolerant? If so, then I would chose chocolate mint with peanut butter chocolate chunks in it.

4. Do you have pictures of family on the walls, photographs of places, or no art whatsoever? Pictures of family and photographs of places.

5. Tell us your favourite book. Or one of your favourite books. Hmm, that’s a loaded question. Probably the Thirteenth Tale, or any HP book.

6. Do you like classic or creative names? Well that depends on what I’m naming. In this case, I think I like creative.

7. Movie or television character you’d most like to be stuck next to on a long flight. Molly, from Mike and Molly – because I think she’s hilarious and would make any trip fun. Or Dumbledore because, well, he’s Dumbledore.

8. Is the elf (or object) male, female, or gender-neutral? (We’re only giving you three options due to space, so please be more specific with gender if you need another category.) Female!

2 Rachel { 12.02.14 at 9:16 am }

And while we’re at it (since you love names so much) I have a grey Plecostomus, a yellow guppy and a blue guppy who all need names. They’re all male, enjoy long walks on the beach and apple spice tea with their breakfast strudels (have I also mentioned they’re German?). The pleco’s favourite hobby is reading and lurking, while the guppies prefer rousing games of tag, and occasional lounging atop their underwater palm tree. They have been unnamed for months, and it drives me crazy with them being unnamed but I just can’t come up with anything. Help is appreciated! 🙂

3 Rachel { 12.02.14 at 9:17 am }

Oops, my ideal paint colour would be teal!

4 Justine { 12.02.14 at 11:23 am }

You make me want to buy an Elf just so you can name it.

5 Sharon { 12.02.14 at 11:29 am }

Slightly off topic, but. . . is the Elf on the Shelf now an obligatory part of the holidays? We didn’t have this fella when I was a child, and I’d never heard of it until a few years ago.

To be honest, I find it a little creepy, and I am not keen on the idea of getting one for my sons, for a few reasons. First and foremost, I just don’t want to add one more thing to my already jam-packed to-do list during this time of year. Also, I’m not-at-all creative/crafty and would not be able to think of cute things to do with the elf (and don’t have time to go on Pinterest and look for ideas). Even if I just go the easy route and simply move him every night, I am convinced I will forget to move more than once.

Will I be scarring my sons for life if I opt out??

6 Mel { 12.02.14 at 11:35 am }

You will not scar them for life if you opt out. I’d argue that making the holidays stressful vs. fun WILL scar them more than missing out on what someone else thinks is an important tradition. But that’s just me, and I don’t celebrate Christmas, so what do I know 🙂

7 charlotte { 12.02.14 at 11:37 am }

Sharon,
No!! Your kids will not be scarred! I hate that damn elf. I totally agree he is creepy. I had bever heard of it either until a couple years ago. Since it wasn’t around for my oldest child, there was no point in adding it when the ither children finally came along. And on.principle because it’s so trendy I would boycott it anyway. If you want an huge laugh google people I want to punch in the throat elf on a shelf. It is a hilarious post written by a very funny, off the cuff mom blogger. I actually learned what the elf was from that post. Anyway…just say NO to tbe elf!!

8 Lisa { 12.02.14 at 1:07 pm }

Oh please, please, please name ours! We don’t have one in our home, but we do in our clinic. We work with children who have cochlear implants and are learning to listen and for the most part, talk. Our nameless elf hides all over the clinic and we post his/her antics on our facebook page. I’ll answer your questions for the office as a whole.

1. For sure a loud party

2. The paint in our office is beige. We all hate it. We’d rather it be light blue.

3. Rocky Road

4. We have murals in every room!!!! Some are about reading, some music, some gardening, some animals.

5. Captain Underpants – all of them.

6. Kree8ive

7. I think our kids would say Katie LeClerc

8. Gender neutral

Thanks, ladies!! 🙂

9 Kasey { 12.02.14 at 1:25 pm }

I’d never heard of it until 3 or 4 years ago. But my mom inherited a full vintage set of elves that look just like him from my great Aunt and we always had and “elf tree” but there was no watching out for us or anything like that. I refuse to do it with my kids now as I’m stressed out enough at the end of the semester and just want to enjoy Christmas which is really my most favorite time of year.
BUT we did just get a Nutcraker that I’d love you to name 🙂 I’ll tweet you the picture. Simon really wanted green, but by the time I got around to buying him, you know only two days after Thanksgiving, this white one is all I could find at the price I was willing to pay. He’s growing on us and dressed a little like Michael Jackson. Answers below.

1. Beach

2. Blue, a bit deeper than what is currently on our walls (seen in background of the picture)

3. Vanilla with brownie bits and caramel ribbon

4. Wedding pick, Emmy award, several pieces of original art from various travels or that family members did

5. Where the Red Fern Grows, Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter

6. Classic

7. Lorelai Gilmore

8. It’s a nutcracker. I assume male.

10 andy { 12.02.14 at 1:32 pm }

I love this!

My item to be named is my new journal. If I’m going to be carrying it with me everywhere, it needs a name!

1. Would you rather go to the beach, a museum, hiking in the woods, or a loud party? hiking in the woods

2. Describe the ideal paint colour for your living room. Is it the colour that is currently on your walls or your dream colour? Ox Blood Red (current colour)

3. You walk into an ice cream store that has every flavour ever made. What flavour do you order? Peanut butter and Chocolate

4. Do you have pictures of family on the walls, photographs of places, or no art whatsoever? Family in the stairway, art elsewhere (modernism and impressionist)

5. Tell us your favourite book. Or one of your favourite books. Harry Potter all the way!

6. Do you like classic or creative names? Creative

7. Movie or television character you’d most like to be stuck next to on a long flight. Dumbledore

8. Is the elf (or object) male, female, or gender-neutral? (We’re only giving you three options due to space, so please be more specific with gender if you need another category.) Gender Neutral

11 Turia { 12.02.14 at 1:40 pm }

Oh I hate hate hate the whole Elf on a Shelf thing. The “little spy for Santa”, the “make my exhausted parents (read: mother) invent new and wacky ideas every day for the entire month while I progressively melt down more and more from anticipation”, the “my Elf is more imaginative/cooler than your Elf Pinterest nonsense”, the whole thing.

Sorry. You touched a nerve.

But I think it is great you both love to name things. 🙂

12 Charlotte { 12.02.14 at 3:14 pm }

OK Mel,
Since I don’t have an elf or a teapot, I would like you to name my backpack. http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/62777?feat=bookbag-SR0&page=l-l-bean-deluxe-book-pack-print (The print is the chalkboard peace, 4th in the line of choices.)
Currently, it is just called my “work bag”, but something so important to me really needs a name!! It functions as a purse, carrying my wallet, lip balm, pens, and everything else you would have in a purse, plus it currently carries my breast pump and cooler, my Kindle and other reading material, work-specific items, and sometimes also my water bottle and lunch.
My answers:
1. a beach
2. dream color: a deep purple. not currently on my walls, but a friend of mine did one living room wall in this color and I wish I could steal the wall from her!!
3. This is a tough one. There are several flavors I am passionate about! Love Potion 31 from Baskin Robins, (Vanilla Ice Cream with ribbons of Raspberry Puree, and dark chocolate chunks. Some of the chocolate chunks are heart shapes filled with raspberry. Only available around Valentine’s Day.)
4. The main dining area walls are covered in artwork the kids have made over the years. Family room has a few family pictures, some framed prints, and a couple prayers etched on wood.
5. Love Walked In by Marissa de Los Santos
6.I like unique names. Not anything weird off-the-wall Hollywood-esque, or any of the made up Urban names. And I HATE the weird spelling thing people do by taking a plain name and adding too many letters to make it seem like a different name. So, to sum up, not a common name like Tom or Jen, but just different enough.
7.Hyde from That 70’s Show
8.Hmmm, based on the print I would have to say female.

13 SuzannaCatherine { 12.02.14 at 4:13 pm }

Well, I love this post. I have one thing to name, but not our elf. He came last year via my son for his son. I was clueless, but the child has a sence of suspended reality and adores the elf – who, by the way, is male.

What I need is a nickname for an aquatic turtle – medium sized – of undetermined sex and age. We’ve had Turtle for 2 years. He was a “throw away” pet that we rescued. (We also have two rescue dogs and a rescued cat. We root for the underdog.) So, Turtle needs your naming help.

To answer your questions:

1. Beach

2. I think mauve for the LR. It’s currently dirty egg shell cream (read beige.)

3. Praline and Caramel Cream

4. All my walls are covered by my mother’s paintings. These include parrots, lighthouses, flower arrangements, a scene of a cypress swamp, and my favorite – a winter scene of a snowy owl.

5. Book: Schindler’s List. It has such great humanity shining through such an evil time and place.

6. Classic. Names are important and shouldn’t be spelled in absurd ways. (Just my opinion.)

7. Personality to sit next to: Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs and Somebody’s Gotta Do It fame.
Movie or TV Character to sit next to: “Radar” Walter O’Reiley from the tv show MASH. Why? Because he was from Ottumwa, Iowa and so were many of my maternal side Aunts and Uncles.

8. Gender: As I said, our elf is male but we’re not really sure about Turtle – so a gender neutral name is fine.

Thanks for the naming help. I loved taking the quiz and look forward to learning the name you have chosen.

14 Cristy { 12.02.14 at 4:35 pm }

Can we volunteer someone else’s elf to be named? Or make it a new tradition for the elf? Instead of having it do crazy things, instead give it new identities for the next 31 days.

15 Amy Elaine { 12.02.14 at 7:42 pm }

My poor husband has a royal blue Prius that has no name. It’s a shame, really. My red mini cooper is named Maggie. The Prius is sad it has no name.

1. Museum

2. Mocha brown. Yes, for that room.

3. Praline Pecan

4. Both

5. Eternal on the Water – Joseph Monninger or Practical Magic – Alice Hoffman or A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving. There are SO MANY BOOKS.

6. Surprise me

7. Paul Rudd. Really, we should be married.

8. I feel it’s more male, but I could be wrong.

🙂

16 Elizabeth { 12.02.14 at 9:24 pm }

We don’t have an elf on a shelf, but we do have a stuffed tiger big enough for a preschooler to ride on that needs to be named.

1. Would you rather go to the beach, a museum, hiking in the woods, or a loud party?
Hiking in the woods!

2. Describe the ideal paint colour for your living room. Is it the colour that is currently on your walls or your dream color?
Dream Color: shades of ocean blue

3. You walk into an ice cream store that has every flavour ever made. What flavour do you order?
Strawberry (not very exciting but my daughter’s favorite)

4. Do you have pictures of family on the walls, photographs of places, or no art whatsoever?
crayon drawings galore

5. Tell us your favourite book. Or one of your favourite books.
What People Do All Day by Richard Scarry (renamed What Animals Do All Day because clearly all the illustrations show animals, not people, doing things)

6. Do you like classic or creative names?
Classic

7. Movie or television character you’d most like to be stuck next to on a long flight.
Horton the Elephant

8. Is the elf (or object) male, female, or gender-neutral? (We’re only giving you three options due to space, so please be more specific with gender if you need another category.)
Gender-neutral

17 Mrs T { 12.02.14 at 11:50 pm }

I already named our elf, but E has a doll that needs a name. She came with the name Nina but we already had a doll who also came with the name Nina and we just can’t have two Ninas. She has brown skin, black hair, wears a pink sparkly dress, and has a pink and silver electric guitar. She is obviously very hip.
1. Museum
2. Pale green (the current color is new-house-beige)
3. Triple chocolate
4. We have framed artsy concert posters
5. One of my favorite books is called Skinny Legs and All and several of its main characters are objects that talk (like a sock, a stick, a spoon, and a shell)
6. Classic.
7. I’d prefer not to be on a long flight at all.
8. Girl doll.

18 Sadie { 12.03.14 at 10:44 am }

Oh, this post is awesomely surreal and I love it. I had no idea what Elf on a Shelf was until yesterday, and to be honest I’m still kinda weirded out by it, but you can totally name our poinsettia.

1. Hike in the woods.

2. Something bright, like burnt orange or teal blue. My walls right now are boring white though.

3. Something combining fruit and herbs (like lemon basil).

4. A mixture of family photos, art prints, kid artwork and old concert posters.

5. Naive Super by Erlend Loe, or most of Haruki Murakami’s books, or A Fine Balance by Rohintin Mistry, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak…too many to name!

6. Classic.

7. Leslie Knope and Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation

8. Gender-neutral.

19 Tiara { 12.03.14 at 1:01 pm }

This is excellent timing!! Elena has received some early Christmas presents, her 1st Barbies!! But she is not very adept at naming them. She’s currently named them “Mommy Elena” & “Sister Elena” & I should mention we currently have at least 4 other dolls named Elena…so thanks for your help!!

1. a museum

2. Hot Chocolate & yes!

3. Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

4. Family photos & Art

5. Oh, the Places You’ll Go

6. Creative

7. Elsa from Frozen

8. Female

20 Claire { 12.03.14 at 10:27 pm }

I can’t stand that fricking elf. For all the reasons that are
Mentioned above. I love you, though and am very happy at all your naming prospects. So glad your kiddos are into it too. And I bet you just love being Jewish around this holiday so you can laugh Into your delicious Chinese food – or other delicacy – and watch movies and thank G-d you’re not involved in all the craziness!

21 Valery Valentina { 12.04.14 at 7:32 am }

I have a suggestion for Charlotte’s backpack: Paisley.
And I love all the ice cream flavour suggestions!

22 Carol { 12.04.14 at 2:11 pm }

I was going to opt out of the whole Elf on the Shelf thing, but my 5-year-old told me yesterday that his teacher read the class a story about it, and he was looking around the house to see where the elf might be. So, I think we’re stuck with it now. (I can’t belief she did that to us) I keep trying to simplify the holidays, but somehow, it never works. Thank you so much for coming up with this! Here’s my list:
1. Would you rather go to the beach, a museum, hiking in the woods, or a loud party? We’re beach people, all the way.
2. Describe the ideal paint colour for your living room. Is it the colour that is currently on your walls or your dream colour? It looks nice, so I’m sticking with the paint colour for now – kind of a slightly rusty orange sherbet.
3. You walk into an ice cream store that has every flavour ever made. What flavour do you order? Bittersweet Rocky Road.
4. Do you have pictures of family on the walls, photographs of places, or no art whatsoever? All 3-artwork, old family photos, and photos of places we’ve traveled to.
5. Tell us your favourite book. Or one of your favourite books. Lord of the Rings – Years ago, I received a gorgeous copy of it as a Christmas present and read it during during winter vacation.
6. Do you like classic or creative names? Classic, but interesting classic, not boring classic.
7. Movie or television character you’d most like to be stuck next to on a long flight. Dr. Who.
8. Is the elf (or object) male, female, or gender-neutral? For some reason, I think this elf is male.

23 loribeth { 12.04.14 at 9:21 pm }

Mel, I adore you. But I (still) loathe the Elf on the Shelf so you won’t be naming one for me. Glad to hear you & ChickieNob have lots of other ones to name, though. 😉 And if I think of something else you can name, I will let you know!

@Carol: I can’t believe the teacher did that too. I’m sure you’re not the only parent who’s less than happy right now. :p

My post from last year about the Elf:
http://theroadlesstravelledlb.blogspot.ca/2013/12/elf-yourself-p.html

24 earthandink { 12.04.14 at 10:32 pm }

1. Everything but the loud party. I’m equally enamoured with the beach, a museum, and hiking in the woods. I can’t choose. I keep going beach! No, museum! No, woods! No, beach! over and over.

2. I don’t have a living room right now. If I did … I think, probably the colour would be … so hard … love colour … white. With lots of blue. Which makes it sound like I’d like to live inside willow china. Which: no. More a turquoisy blue.

3. I had this ice cream (a test flavour) at the Ben & Jerry’s in Palm Springs a couple of years ago. Spiced chocolate. It had almonds and Moroccan spices (cinnamon, coriander, and more … I have it written down in my recipe file in case it didn’t fly so I could make it myself.) It was so good. So good. It didn’t fly. One of these days I will line up small bowls of chocolate ice cream and mix spices in to them and see if I can come up with something. It will be hard. But I will do it. For posterity.

4. Art! I like surrealism and abstract expressionism.

5. You know it well: Harry Potter.

6. creative

7. Probably Chris from Northern Exposure. He was a really well-read character and very philosophical.

8. I am hoping for the name of a fairy. She’s a girl fairy. She has dark brown hair and deep brown eyes. She will be in a story I am going to tell in a few months. She is friends with another fairy, who is having a day. As one sometimes does.

Cool. And take your time.

25 earthandink { 12.04.14 at 10:41 pm }

Gazillion’s not a real number? Next you’ll tell me bajillion isn’t either!

26 Pepper { 12.05.14 at 6:49 am }

I love this! My daughter and I love to name things, too. It torments my husband just a bit. 🙂 We definitely have nicknames for nicknames and I thoroughly enjoy it. So I can’t let you name our elf because she has already been christened Fuzzy McNoodle. I mean, obviously.

27 charlotte { 12.05.14 at 4:07 pm }

Valery Valentina,
ChickieNob named my backpack Ingrid Hildegarde : ) But I love Paisley, too, so that shall be her nickname. It’s funny, I never really thought to name anything (other than stuffed animals and such) but now after this I am sorta in love with it and want to name everythinv! Thanks Mel! I just might have you name everything in my house ; )

28 Sho { 12.11.14 at 8:33 am }

1. Beach

2. Neutral color, off white or a pale sage green

3. Vanilla caramel fudge

4. I have art and family pictures on my wall

5. The Princess Bride

6. Creative classic names

7. Sheldon from Big Bang Theory

8. Male

29 Joyce { 11.07.15 at 9:34 am }

1-beach
2-blue
3-coffee ice cream
4-family pix
5-The Thorn Birds
6-Creative
7-John Wayne
8-female

30 Joyce { 11.07.15 at 9:36 am }

1-beach
2-blue
3-coffee ice cream
4-family pix
5-The Thorn Birds
6-Creative
7-John Wayne
8-female

31 Matt { 01.03.16 at 1:13 pm }

1. Loud party

2. Cinnamon – dream color

3. Chocolate chip cookie dough with hot fudge and caramel

4. Pictures of family

5. Enders Game

6. Creative. And classic.

7. Hank Moody – Californication or Vince – Entourage

8. Male

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