What is the Elf on the Shelf?


Jaelynn Tagle, Staff Writer

A well-known tradition all around the world is displaying an elf. Parents lead their children to believe that every night they are alive and move every night while they’re sleeping. Every morning, kids race around the house looking for the new location of their elf. The elf reports back to Santa at night about how well the kid has behaved. However, it is allegedly believed that you cannot touch the elf as it loses its magic or “powers.” Once you touch the elf, it cannot go back to Santa to report his duties.

The elf on the shelf has been around since 2005. The tradition originates from “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” which is a book published by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell which came with a Scout Elf inside. They wrote this book with inspiration from their childhood Scandinavian holiday tradition that had been around since the 1970s. They had an elf growing up named Fisbee that would also change positions every morning when they found him. Since then, the elf on the shelf has evolved. Having children believe the elf reports to Santa how well the child behaved determines whether they get a present from Santa or not. This encourages children to be on their best behavior around this time so they will receive a gift under the tree. The women who published this book didn’t gain popularity overnight. They were turned down for their idea every single time it was proposed. Hence, the young ladies decided to publish the book themselves, and surprisingly, it became a hit. They produced 5,000 copies using the money straight out of their pockets instead of having investors for their product.The Elf on the Shelf Boy


The product was quickly gaining popularity after Jennifer Garner was spotted holding the book by the paparazzi. Years later, the elf was featured on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in 2012. You may have recognized that this famous “mascot” has been featured in many movies, shows, and other films and merchandise.

Today, the famous toy comes in both genders and has many different variations and versions. Children can name the elf and use their imagination to think of all the different possibilities of its magical flight. It is recommended to talk to the elf as much as possible to get a good report back to Santa. The elf is shipped from the North Pole and the parent is responsible to ensure the elf is taken care of properly and occasionally moves. Another rule of the elf on the shelf is that it must return to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to help Santa prepare for next year when they return. There are also many different ways to bring the elf’s magic back in case you do happen to touch it. some o the ways are to write a letter to Santa apologizing, sprinkle cinnamon to help it get brought back to normal, or sing a Christmas carol with your family. Obviously, these aren’t true but this tradition shows the magic of imagination and where it can lead you to.