‘Jack on the Rack’ Is the Best Way to Count Down to the Holidays—Here’s How It Works

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It's like Elf on the Shelf, but much cooler.

Although the holidays are still several months away, there’s nothing wrong with daydreaming about the events to come. Chilly nights will replace brutal heat waves, families will gather, and homes will once again become aglow with twinkly string lights.

Planning ahead is never a bad idea, especially when you’re incorporating new Christmas traditions into your routine. If you’re a fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas with your eye on the upcoming sequel, you’ll love this play on Elf on the Shelf. Meet Jack on the Rack, your new favorite tradition.

What Is “Jack on the Rack?”

Jack on the Rack has the same premise as Elf on the Shelf—the key difference is that instead of a somewhat creepy elf, you use a Jack Skellington toy. It’s a fun alternative, especially for Disney lovers or those who love a spooky celebration. Plus, since it fits both Halloween decor and Christmas decorations, you can set your Jack on the Rack up as early as October.

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Jack on the Rack is about pure fun and embracing what makes people different, so there’s no need to fret over an elaborate setup or follow the rules.

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If your kids aren’t into The Nightmare Before Christmas, try setting up a “Journey to Bethlehem” instead.

How Do I Set It Up?

If you already have a Jack Skellington toy on hand, that’s great! But if not, they’re not difficult to find.

You can use a Jack Skellington plush in his classic striped suit or Jack dressed as Santa. Either way, if you plan on playing around more, opt for a Jack that’s poseable. From there, find new ways to set up Jack around the house! You can even make one of our spooky Halloween recipes, like these Jack Skellington Pops, or put up a Halloween Christmas tree.

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Sarra Sedghi
Sarra Sedghi is a Birmingham-based writer and editor specializing in food, travel, and history. Her work has appeared in Allrecipes, Atlas Obscura, Eater, MyRecipes, Polygon, and Tasting Table. She excels at narrative writing, and received her MFA in Narrative Nonfiction from the University of Georgia in 2017.