Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Elf on the Shelf

He knows when you've been sleeping, he knows when you're awake...

So the song goes, but some children do wonder how Santa monitors their behavior, especially when it's down to the wire. So some families have enlisted the help of a little pixie-elf who shows up usually after Thanksgiving to watch the naughty and niceness of the household.

You see this at the stores as a kit called The Elf on the Shelf. It has been around for years, the creation of a University of Tennessee graduate (Go Vols!) and mother of three and now grandmother, Carol Aebersold. Along with her daughter Chanda Bell, is the author of The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition. It is a story of how Santa really knows who is naughty or nice.

Aebersold says she started the tradition for her own family when her children were very small. She says the first time the elf arrived at their home, her children officially adopted him by giving him a name. Each year he would arrive around the holidays and his sole responsibility was to watch the kid's behavior and report it to Santa each night. The next morning after her children awoke, they discovered the elf had returned from the North Pole and was now resting in a new and different place. The children would race each other out of bed and try and be the first to spy him in his new position.

Apparently, each elf has his own personality and depending on the house, the elf can get into all kinds of mischief. Reports of cookie raiding, silly string, and all types of holiday fun seem to follow the whimsical guy. It is always interesting to hear stories of what your family's Elf on the Shelf is doing this holiday season. Please share your stories if you have them!

So if your family is looking for a new holiday tradition this year, check out The Elf on the Shelf. I think our family is going to start the tradition this year and we will see if the elf can bring on the nice and quell the naughty. We shall see..

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