Do you have an elf on the shelf? Over this past weekend, while celebrating Christmas with family, I couldn’t help but notice a distinctive little elf hanging on a swing in the living room. This elf traveled all the way from Arizona to watch two of my cousins to make sure they behaved before Christmas. Watching little boys and girls and reporting back to Santa is the Elf on the Shelf’s job.
Elf on the Shelf has swept the market by storm. The idea started with a story written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell. It started as a way to help encourage young children to be good before Christmas, so they would be sure to get on Santa’s nice list. Once a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about the day’s adventures. When the elf returns to its family they find a new hiding spot for the next day to watch the children.
Elf on the Shelf has become fun for parents who want to be creative. The latest fad is for the elf to become mischievous at night, so children wake up to a mess or fun the elf has had the night before. This can include snowball fights with marshmallows, tea parties with other stuffed animals, or sledding down the stairs. The longer the Elf is around, the more extreme some ideas become. Look online at Pinterest or on the Elf on the Shelf website for ideas.
When the Elf on the Shelf book came out in 2005, it was not the huge hit it is today. However, with good marketing (and the animated film released last year on CBS) sales have skyrocketed. It’s truly another marketing success story…and an enjoyable holiday tradition.