The History of "Elf on a Shelf"

The History of "Elf on a Shelf"

Christmas traditions, such as the Elf on the Shelf, are a way to bring families closer, spend time together and enjoy the magic of the holiday season. Little ones learn from books and songs about jolly ol’ Santa Claus, his trusty team of reindeer and the industrious elves working to fulfill every child’s dreams of toys for Christmas. The stories assure children that Santa knows who has been naughty or nice. Invariably, the question of ‘how’ is uttered by an earnest youngster.

Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell set out to answer that question. In 2004, over a cup of tea, the mother and daughter team began talking about the notion of an elf who had been sent by Santa to watch over children between Thanksgiving and Christmas time. This elf’s primary duty is to observe the family’s activities and report back to Santa each night when everyone is asleep. In this way, Santa would know about all of the fun and engaging activities leading up to Christmas Eve. This also provides the information to Santa about who has been naughty or nice during the holiday festivities.

In 2005, the writers released the picture book, “The Elf on the Shelf” for parents to share with the little ones in their life. To bring the story to life, the book is accompanied by an elf in a red suit and a keepsake box for storage during the other months of the year. As the story has grown in popularity throughout the years, there are now additional costumes and activities to provide more family oriented fun activities during the holidays.

There is one catch to the elf innocently sitting on the shelf. The elf can never be touched or it will lose its magic. The magic allows the elf to return home to the north pole during the night to speak with Santa. While there are directions to restore the magic (cinnamon is the perfect antidote) in the event the elf is accidently touched, handling the elf should be avoided. This can add to the family fun. In the evenings, parents can move the elf to different vantage spots so that their youngsters can wake up for a morning hunt to see where the elf returned to. Some families have become truly engaged over the elf’s ‘movements’ during the night. For instance, some elves may end up in the kitchen ‘because they hope that someone will make Christmas cookies.’ Or, they might be found in the family room ‘because they know that a Christmas special will be on tv tonight and they want to watch it with you!’

For a generation of children, the story of the Elf on the Shelf has become a time-honored tradition. For many families, the book and the elf doll sparks fun and merriment in the home throughout the holiday season. We have decorative Christmas garden and house flags for the holiday season, plus the poles and hardware to display your flag properly. As the holiday season approaches, spend some time outdoors hanging the ‘Elf Surveillance Sculpted Applique Garden Flag’ to share the family’s Christmas spirit with guests and neighbors. If you are looking for a particular holiday flag or have questions, contact us! Also, if you are in Canton, TX, stop by and say hello. We look forward to seeing you!

See all of our wonderful Christmas Flags

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