Common Sense Media says

Create a dancing elf version of yourself.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The site doesn't really have an overwhelming message but encourages having fun and getting into the holiday spirit.


The site terms state that images you submit should not include nudity, violence, or offensive subject matter. However, images aren't screened before being uploaded, so it's possible you could create an offensive elf and email it to friends.


The site terms state that images you submit should not include nudity, violence, or offensive subject matter. However, images aren't screened before being uploaded, so it's possible you could create an offensive elf and email it to friends.

Not applicable

The site contains links to the OfficeMax site and a link to locate an OfficeMax store. An OfficeMax logo appears before each video.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

To elf yourself, it's not necessary to provide personal information beyond a photo, but if you want to save the video you'll be asked for more information. Users select who sees their elf video, which can be shared via email. However, the site terms warn that by uploading an image to create an elf video, you are granting the site operators "perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license" to use your name, voice, photo, and/or likeness."

Although there are no parental controls in place, users are required to be 14 or older, so parents will need to elf younger kids.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that on ElfYourself users can upload an image and create a dancing elf video without registering or entering any personal information. You can also email the video to acquaintances by just entering your email address and the recipient's email address. However, to save your elf video, you'll need to click on a link sent to your email to validate your account. Once you've validated your account, you're asked to provide additional information -- including first name, a password, date of birth, country, and zip code. The site's terms of service require users to be age 14 or older, so parents would need to do the elfing for younger kids.

Parents say

Kids say

Is it any good?


ElfYourself by OfficeMax -- which is powered by the eCard-based site JibJab -- lets users create up to five elves using personal photos that will dance in a brief video to hip-hop, country, or other types of music. The site is simple to use: You just upload a JPEG or PNG photo from your computer or Facebook account, or use one taken with your webcam. You can zoom and rotate the photo to make it fit as the elf's face and choose how you'd like your elf to dance, surf, or sing.

If you'd like to send the video to someone or watch it at a later date, you'll need to enter your email address (which will garner you a few e-mails from the site, JibJab, and OfficeMax). If you'd like to download the video to your phone or computer, it'll cost you $4.99. A banner ad also encourages users to order mugs, a DVD with eight versions of your elf self dancing, and other items with your elf image on them. However, if you just want to visit the site and create and view an elf video, you're in for a bit of holiday cheer: You don't need to enter any personal information -- and you can watch it as many times as you'd like in one sitting for free.

Online interaction: Users can share their elf video via Twitter or post it to their Facebook wall or a friend's wall with a quick click. However, you can't friend or meet people on the site.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why you might be concerned about uploading a photo of yourself to a website -- even if it won't be posted anywhere public?

  • What does it mean if a website says it owns the rights to all images used on its site? How might the site use your picture to promote itself?

  • What kinds of pictures are OK to upload to a website? Aside from the obvious stuff -- bad hand gestures, etc. -- what kinds of things shouldn't you upload to a site because it might be inappropriate or infringe on someone else's privacy? Parents, for more tips on keeping kids safe online, check out our article on online privacy.

Website details

Pricing structure:Free

This review of ElfYourself was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byway245 April 30, 2011

What? Age 14 and up??

What is this? Age 14+? This is perfect for any age! This is a great thing to do for a family Christmas E-card or something!
Kid, 9 years old January 29, 2011

Expert review FAR from truth

Kid, 12 years old December 12, 2010


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