wanted wise men who will seek Jesus

Creeped out by Elf on the Shelf? Try the Wandering Wisemen

Y’all I have a confession for you. I find the Elf on the Shelf creepy, and I keep seeing the pictures of him goofing off and thinking, “I don’t want to clean up that mess later on.” I liked some of the ideas for it, the moving him around into silly poses, but I also didn’t want to reinforce a concept about Santa that I don’t want to emphasize. Then a few years ago I was wandering through the blog world and I saw Wandering Wisemen. I fell in love with the concept, and its applications for family discipleship.

wandering wisemen christmas tradition

(This post contains affiliate links marked with an *)

Who are the Wandering Wisemen?

wanted wise men who will seek Jesus

If you read the Gospels, wisemen came from the East following a star. Christian tradition has since gone on to say there are three of them (because of the three gifts) and they have come to be associated with specific names. We know from scripture they didn’t know exactly where Jesus was to be born because they came to Herod and said, “Where is he who is to be born the king of the Jews?” We also know they traveled for quite some time, so why not have fun with it?

How we do the Wandering Wisemen

wisemen adventures for a Christmas tradition

Once I found the idea I did some research and most people are either using the Little People Nativity set*, or the Playmobil Christmas sets (manger Nativity set*, and the wise men set*, both look to be old sets, so the price is going up). Since I started when my kids were a little older the ability to pose the Wise Men was very appealing.

When we originally started this journey with our Wandering Wisemen, I would set them up almost every night. I’d occasionally forget, but it was a lot of fun.

Last year I let whoever found the wandering wisemen move them to the next location, which ended with them being moved several times on one day and not at all on another day.

This year the kid of the day gets to move the wisemen on the weekdays, and on weekends I move them. This is working really well for us, and it lets the kids get in on the fun too.

wandering wisemen hidden in the dog food

Of course, that means we get a lot of kidnapped wisemen, or hidden in weird spots, like the dog food. But, the kids are having fun.

wisemen adventures

When it’s up to me, I like to have my wisemen trying to look stuff up in the Bible, or maybe using a google map to find Bethlehem. Or reading Christmas storybooks.  We’ve also had them visit some of our other Nativity sets in our house.

How I’ve seen the Wandering Wisemen done

I’ve got an entire Pinterest board devoted to wandering wisemen, the concept amuses me so much (and I regularly explore the #wanderingwisemen). We only have them wandering until Christmas Day, but there are several people I’ve seen who wander them about the house until Three Kings Day, I really wanted to do that, but have to admit I’m just not that consistent in remembering to get it done.


Cold in the frig #wisemanadventures

A post shared by Ticia (@ticiam) on

I’ve also seen some wandering wisemen who were more of the tricksters you see with Elf on the Shelf, only instead of writing Santa’s watching in flour, they’ll write something about Jesus. Our wisemen, thankfully, don’t get up to hijinks like that. Ours do get lost occasionally in the refrigerator, because I think that’s funny. I have a weird sense of humor that doesn’t involve me having to clean up after them……

Are you an elf on the shelf fan? Or do you find them creepy like I do?

Our 10 Days of Christ-Centered Christmas Activities & Crafts blog hop is filled with lots of fun activities for the family. Our Fabulous bloggers are Inspired by Family, Chaos & Clutter , Paradise Praises, Encouraging Moms at Home, Crafty Moms Share, Thinking Kids Blog, Teach Me Mommy, Proverbial Homemaker, Suburban Soiree, The Awe Filled Homemaker, Future Flying Saucers, Adventures in Mommydom (me), Spark and Spook, Talking Mom 2 Mom, Clarissa R. West, Pichea Place & Homeschool preschool. You can visit Here for the full schedule of activities.

Also, check out the Ultimate Christmas Planning Post.


9 responses to “Creeped out by Elf on the Shelf? Try the Wandering Wisemen”

  1. We used to do the wandering wisemen when the kids were young. It was so much fun and they often were set up somewhere that set the theme for the day, such is in the flour on baking day or with the stamps and cards on Christmas card making day.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. Good idea to set them up as part of the theme for the day.

  2. Such a nice overview of the Wandering Wisemen concept! You can follow along on Facebook and Instagram to keep tabs with them each year.


    1. I love your Instagram feed every year. It’s fun to watch.

  3. I love this idea! I’ve enjoyed watching your wisemen on Instagram 🙂

    1. It is sooooo much fun to do! This week the kids have decided we need to have the wisemen climbing the stairs to get up to the Nativity set.

  4. We do have exactly the same Playmobil set 🙂 Interesting idea. Perhaps I’ll try something like this next year even though by then my tween will REALLY be a tween!

    1. My kids have adopted it wholeheartedly!
      I love this Playmobil set so much! It’s got a lot of fun things to play with.

  5. I came up with this idea for my kids a couple years ago because I already had a plush nativity set from Hobby Lobby. It’s excited to see other peoples do it too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *