A fun, whimsical way to spread holiday cheer this season.
It’s the holiday season and there are many different ways to celebrate. One of the things I try to do every year is to find a fun, whimsical app that brings holiday cheer into my life. In the past, I’ve used different countdown apps, gift lists, and even games to enrich my holiday season. This year, I decided to download Elf Yourself, which is a mobile app version of the website elfyourself.com. While the concept dates back to 2006, the app is only 5 years old. It started out with only 9 dances to choose from and has now expanded to include augmented reality and 19 dances. The app is sponsored by Office Depot/Office Max and developed by Magic Mirror LLC.
Elf Yourself is an interactive app that allows users to upload images of themselves, friends and/or family in order to see them dancing as elves. You have the option to share this festive video on social media, email, or other methods. The app is free to download, but only includes two ‘free’ options for elf dancing. You have the choice to purchase all the dancing packages available (19 in total) for $5.99 or you can purchase other dances/dance packages for other prices. You can upload up to 5 photos to customize at one time. The app is currently on version 7.1.0 (updated 12/12/18) and has the option for free daily dances, dancing with elves using AR, and creating custom greetings.
I have an iPhone Xs so I downloaded the iOS version of the app. This app is actually 184.3MB in size so depending on your internet connection; it could take a few minutes to download. This version is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch with iOS version 8.0 or higher. When you first open the app, you will see the home screen that features the Office Depot/Office Max logos as well as a disclaimer that states the app is ‘powered by Oddcast & Magic Mirror. You’re asked to give permissions to notifications as well as access to your camera and Photos app (for saving purposes).
Once you get through all the permissions, you can start elfing yourself. You will be shown the options for the free dances of the day – in my case ‘Hip Hop Shop’ and ‘Oh Hanukkah’. Once you choose a dance you will be provided the option to take a photo, select a camera from your camera roll or Facebook, or choose from faces you’ve saved. You then adjust the placement of the face according to the app’s guide. Then the app generates the dancing elf with your face on it. Even though the app will present the dance you originally chose, you can select a different dance on this screen if you want to. Keep in mind that each dance is an in-app purchase (unless it’s the free one). Once you’re happy with your dancing elf, you can share it or save it to your phone.
Elf Yourself is a really fun and easy way to get into the spirit of the holidays and to bring a smile to someone’s face when you share your dancing elf. I always get a kick out of seeing dancing elves with faces of friends on them. I do wish more dances were available at no charge or that the app was a one-time fee rather than an in-app purchase set-up. It’s a creative little app that brings a lot of fun to the holidays.