Digitize your Elf's hiding place

Digitize your Elf's hiding place

During the same time every year, every parent's most beloved or hated behavior adjustment tool arrives directly from Santa at the North Pole. This 10.5-inch elf wields power that can only be matched by Santa. Whether their name is Chippy, Buttercup, Ginger or even the Terminator, they test our resolve while helping Santa keep a watchful eye over who's been naughty and nice. Every night we move him to different areas of the house whether it’s taped to a refrigerator, or frozen in a block of ice. Some of us even go so far as to take him on family trips. 

There are websites dedicated to the Elf’s hijinks and pranks. While we will periodically share our pranks here, we are not planning to be just your go to location for elf ideas- but more of an overall holiday experience launch site. Today we want to share what we did one night with our elf. It’s not an original idea by us, but we have made it easier for you to get it to your screen and also included files you can use to create your own to fit your desired experience you want for your children. We also want to offer our first item in our new store, Happy's Holiday Emporium, as a gift to you for our Grand Opening. Now onto our first tutorial. 

Below is a list of suggested and necessary materials needed to make this a success 👍 The best part is there are only three main parts. The Video, the player and the display. 

The Video 

Download and unzip the I’m trapped Elf on the Shelf file which can be found by clicking one the link. 

The Player

There are two ways I would suggest adding and looping your video files after the entire setup is complete so the video will play seamlessly without any interaction from you other than swapping USB Drives with the videos you would like to play. 

This is the option we went with this year as we had it on hand already. A media player to loop the video file on- we used a raspberry pi with the Raspberry Pi Video Looper image (Looper Image). The site also contains a great walkthrough on getting this going on a Raspberry Pi.

With that being said this is the kit similar to what we use here at our home it includes everything you need to get your Elf show on the air. Which can be found here on Amazon by clicking on this link Raspberry PI Zero 2 W kit and the SD card can be found here.

This is another option NEUMI Atom 1080P. We have yet to try this one out but I just ordered one and it will be here this week so I will follow up after we give it a good testing. 

You can also use your standard computer or laptop- just disable your screensaver or sleep mode for the day so the elf video remains running throughout the day.

The Display

Now this one I will leave up to your preferences. Follow this link and get a preview of ours. We use a short throw projector we picked up from ebay for under $100 bucks. Be sure yours has HDMI inputs to reduce the need for more adapters. Not only did we use it for our Elf’s antics we also ran some AtmosFx videos and our own custom one for Christmas Eve highlighting our manager display. As long as your display has an HDMI input you’ll be all set.  

You can take this as far and elaborate as you want. My wife had the thought of creating a video from the elf’s perspective and posting it as a follow up or preceding the elf being trapped in the screen. You could even utilize still photos like elf selfies to make a looping powerpoint or if you’re like us with amazon or google photos- they can then loop on your home television screensaver.  You could also create an animated gif of the elf and post it on social media. You could also create a digital Christmas card with the elf and send it to friends and family just to make it have a larger impact and include family and friends in on the fun. 

Our elf made some trips with us this year and was able to enhance the experience for the kiddos. During a weekend beach trip, he “escaped” his carrier and went on a treasure hunt on the beach. The kiddos awoke the next morning to find pirate treasure, shells and some surprise souvenirs from an attraction we had been to. The kids had a blast and it was a great memory that they will never forget. It's an example of how a little bit of creativity and effort can make a big impact. Let’s face it- that's what we all want for our kiddos right… memories and great family experiences they can reminisce on and tales to share with their families someday.

There are so many options of how you can utilize the elf and our gift above, during the holiday season- the possibilities are endless, are you up to the challenge for Christmas 2024? So, what are you waiting for? Start planning now and create lasting memories with your loved ones this year. And don't forget to tag us in pictures and use #HappysEmporium and #elfontheshelf so we can see what memories you've made!

Check back weekly to keep in touch with what new activities and experiences we have to share with you. We wish you a happy holiday season and look forward to seeing your photos and stories throughout the year! We hope you and your family have a magical time and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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