Elf on the Shelf – a new family Christmas tradition
It is nearing that time of year again when school starts to wind down, the days begin to lengthen, and the kids start to realise that Christmas is near. This is also the time when your kids should be on their best behaviour. They know the birds and elves outside have been watching them carefully. Why? To ensure they get everything they want on their presents list of course! But these days there is one elf who is most important in this way. This is ‘The Elf on the Shelf’ and is a character who seems to be already changing the face of Christmas traditions for families around the world.
The story behind this special Elf
The Elf on the Shelf made its first appearance during Christmas time not that long ago in 2005. This was when mother, Carol Aebersold and her daughter, Chanda Bell, began their own Christmas tradition by creating a storybook with its main character, the Elf on the Shelf. The basis of their story tells of a special Christmas elf that moves around the family home during the year. The elf’s purpose is to watch over the behaviour of young children before Santa arrives on Christmas Eve to deliver the presents. However, this elf is extra special. It has special magical powers which allow it to move around the home each night and choose a different spot to observe children’s behaviour the next day. Each night the elf then reports back to Santa if the children have been naughty or nice.
What makes this elf so special?
Like many of us have heard as young children, “the birds and elves are watching you”, structures the story and tradition of The Elf on the Shelf. But why has it become such a prominent figure during Christmas in recent times? There are several reasons.
The Elf on the Shelf is an actual elf. It comes as a doll for all kids to see. Although it must NOT be touched by kids or parents or it will lose its magical Christmas powers. If touched it will not be able to report back to the Santa in the North Pole and the kids might not get what they want for Christmas. This movement of the elf is referred to as ‘flying’ to considering it is a magical elf and it doesn’t
This elf also does not discriminate. Since its inception into Christmas traditions in 2005, this little elf has really taken off. There are many different variations of the elf that make it appropriate for all types of Christmas-celebrating families.
For example, the different types of elves come with:
- Different coloured eyes
- Different skin tones
- Different gender types (boy or girl)
Adopting your elf
The elf on the shelf is never ‘bought’. Carol and Chanda have made it known that when you purchase your elf from its special outlet, what you will be doing is ‘adopting’ an elf. So, no matter which online retailer you are choosing to select your favourite elf from, just remember it will be a special occasion. You, along with your children, will want to find and ‘adopt’ the most suitable elf for your family.
In 2004 Chanda spent some time living with her parents to help better her own financial situation, which wasn’t that great. One day whilst moving about the house, Chanda came across the little Christmas elf she had so many memories attached to from Christmases gone by. It was at this time that she thought to herself, and ended up asking her Mum, Carol, “Why don’t we write a book (that has a Christmas story) to go with the little elf?” Whilst initially not aiming to make money from the book and the elf plush doll, from here on in it was history.
Today the elf on the shelf book is a very fitting part of the elf on the shelf and invites families to name their elf together. The book explains why the elf on the shelf is so magical, why you or anyone else must not touch it and why it ‘flies’ around the home to watch over young children.
Today’s elf on the shelf
As you may have already guessed, the elf on the shelf has really become quite popular in recent times. This is so much so that its creators, Carol and Chanda, have seen many different alterations and additional marketing opportunities attach themselves to their little elf. Today there are even many elves on the shelf accessories that transform and even give additional character to your elf. From super-hero elves to holidaying Hawaiian elves, the elf on the shelf even has little buddies like a Christmas Saint Bernhard and a Reindeer to keep it company. Check online today for these and many others!
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