Like the old school Grinch stealing Christmas magic from families again, #Elf on the Shelf appears to have generated so much social media attention and live action, controversial discussion that this popular Christmas toy, described by so many adults as ‘creepy,’ might really ruin a few Christmases.
Some dialogue about Elf on the Shelf has become combatative and adult photo forums have become downright pornographic about the Elf they call creepy. I’m not sure we should be blaming magic or Elves for that, though, especially at Christmas time. Elf on the Shelf is beloved of children and adults alike.
As iconic as the Grinch, but not as mean. In the hearts of young children as real and beloved as Santa himself. Elves are here to stay, and so is holiday magic. Forewarned is forearmed, and this guide will hopefully offer some cheerful information to inform your interactions with Elf on the Shelf as we approach Christmas and he continues his nocturnal North Pole journeys to tell Santa about all of our holiday Shenanigans!
History and Origins of Elf on the Shelf
Elf on the Shelf is a character in a book published in 2005. The book tells a modernized version of the ancient tale about the relationship between Christmas Elves and Santa Claus, and has themes of obedience, truth, magic and holiday tradition. The book was co-authored by a mother and daughter team, Carol Aebersold, and her daughter Chanda Bell. It was written over a period of three years and self published and marketed via book signings and trade shows. Elf on the Shelf is a multi media, computer interactive boxed gift set that includes toy Scout Elf, a book, and instructions on how to name your Elf, interact with your Elf and and register him or her online.
Elf on the Shelf won three award in 2008 that helped to transform the toy/ book combination into an international sensation: Best Toy Award by Learning Express, Book of the Year Award from Creative Child Awards, and the National Best Books Award from USA Book News. In 2011, Elf on the Shelf was adapted for television and the book aired on CBC as a thirty minute animated show called An Elf’s Story: Elf on the Shelf.
Elf on the Shelf appeared in the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving parade in 2012, and hit the #1 spot on the USA Bestsellers list in 2013. Also in 2013, a second book called Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition was released that described procedures for inviting Elf on the Shelf to join a family for a birthday party. In 2014, two companion books for Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition were published with further instructions for more elf magic and family fun about birthdays.
Where Do I Purchase An Elf on the Shelf?
Elf on the Shelf is available for purchase via several online forums, including Amazon, Ebay and the official Elf on the Shelf website: www.elfontheshelf.com. Websites are now available in North America, Mexico, the UK, and Ireland. The official Elf on the Shelf websites are interactive and action packed with activities, apps, and learning tools for parents, teachers and children. The concept appears to be that the holiday magic never ends with Elf on the Shelf. Families can log on from a computer or a mobile device and register their Elf’s name, sparking new magical adventures, write letters to Santa, and enjoy many different interactive experiences that keep the holiday magic moving year round.
The Important Rules For Having A Magical Elf on the Shelf
There are rules that go along with having a holiday elf in your house, for certain. Two rules apply to Elf on the Shelf during the winter holidays: people cannot touch the Elf on the Shelf or he might lose his magic; and he only moves when people are sleeping. Each family might have other rules depending on what their Elf on the Shelf’s unique job is.
Breaking the rules does have consequences that are interesting to both adults and children. If touching the Elf means he loses his magic and cannot find his way home to Santa, clearly the rule must be respected! Nobody wants to be blamed for banishing holiday magic, especially at Christmas.
Elf on the Shelf: The Fan Perspective
Families love their Elf on the Shelf. That much is clear. Fans of all ages love to name the Elf on the Shelf, and look forward to the holiday hijinks and mischievous movement of the Elf that is Santa’s friend and informant.
The Elf on the Shelf is an elf that visits a family between Thanksgiving and Christmas because he has the job of helping that family to celebrate Christmas. A huge part of that special job is to report to Santa about who is naughty and who is nice. Each family has their own Elf on a Shelf, and in addition to communicating with Santa, each Elf on the Shelf has a unique job assigned to him by Santa and he learns more about his unique job after he accepted and named by his family.
Teachers are also loving Elf on the Shelf, on it has become an important holiday visitor in a growing number of classrooms around the world. The themes of obedience, focus on holiday tradition and even the fears associated with Elf on the Shelf have an apparent universal appeal that is popular in classroom literature.
Elf on the Shelf: The Creepy Camp
Are the rules disturbing to adults online that have turned the hashtag #elfonashelf into a frenzy of sometimes downright malicious posts about a children’s toy and half hour holiday television special? Or is it the emphasis placed on truth as part of the holiday tradition? Whatever the reason, adults online have no small amount of argument over whether this toy deserves the holiday toy of the year award at all. Fans will not stop supporting truth and magic though, and sales of Elf on the Shelf are expanding into a sales empire.