Writer, adventurer and wrangler to little people and pets. Follow me on Instagram @whereiholiday.
Published December 1st 2012
Are dolls that come to life and watch you sleep creepy?
The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Traditionis a cute Christmas tale written by the mother/ daughter team of Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell.
The Elf on the Shelf phenomenon has taken off in the United States. The book was originally self published in 2005 and since that time it has gone on to be a National best seller and is gaining popularity with international audiences. The book comes paired with a toy figurine elf that can be used to help act out the story.
The story is about a little elf that is Santa's helper to keep an eye on who has been naughty or nice. Each family adopts an elf and gives them a name to make their magic come alive. Each night the elf moves to a new location so it becomes almost a game of hide and seek in the morning to see what the elf has been up to the night before.
The story itself is fairly simple and the illustrations and accompanying elf are cute enough. I personally find it a little creepy to tell the kids there is a magic doll in the house that will monitor their behaviour (anyone recall the movie Child's Play?). I do like the interactive and creative side of helping the elf to find a new hiding spot each night and letting the kids discover what the elf has been up to.
Social media has been a big driver of the book's success as more people share pictures of what their elf has been doing. There are also sites dedicated to Elf on the Shelf ideas. The writer's themselves have been very entreprenurial in their licensing and merchandising of the Elf which probably has them laughing all the way to the bank.
Many young children will enjoy this story. Parent's will find it fun as well (until they forget to help the elf get set-up for the night). And if you ever need new elf ideas- you can find plenty of inspiration on the internet.