There’s an Elf on my Shelf!

There's an Elf on my Shelf!

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Alexandria Anderson, A&E Editor

“He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness’ sake.” From these simple song lyrics, you probably have a good idea regarding who this mysterious Christmas figure could be.

Besides his inhuman aptitude for knowing if children around the world have been naughty or nice, he also wears a red suit and resides up at the North Pole for a majority of the year. It’s everyone’s favorite Christmas figure: the jovial and always watching– drum roll, please– Elf on the Shelf!

Wait, it’s not Santa Claus?

That’s right! The Elf on the Shelf has become a fairly recent addition into Santa’s Christmas family, becoming one of his “helpers” during the Christmas season.

Started in 2005 by mother-daughter trio Carol Aebersold, Chandra Bell and Christa Pitts, the Elf on the Shelf has quickly become a new family tradition. As stated on the product’s website, “When a family adopts a scout elf and gives it a name, the scout elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day’s adventures.”

The purpose of the elf is to inform Santa of a child’s good or bad behavior, giving them an incentive to be good during the holiday season; however, the most fun children have with their elf is seeing how it transforms from one day to the next.

“Each morning, the scout elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun,” says the website. The true charm of the Elf on the Shelf lies in the quirky and unusual places the elf can be found. Because it is malleable, the elf is able to be positioned doing almost anything its owner wants.

Although this tradition does seem rather juvenile in its original intention, adults and teenagers can still get in on the fun of the Elf on the Shelf as well. Instead of using it as one of Santa’s “reporters,” turn the Elf on the Shelf into a fun family contest.

In the days leading up to Christmas Day, compete with your family to see who can come up with the funniest place to hide the elf, giving every member of your household a certain day to position it. The winner of the contest could receive a special bonus Christmas gift as a reward.

Should you want your own elf, they can be found at numerous Santa-approved “adoption centers,” like Target or Wal-Mart. Since its inception, the Elf on the Shelf has become a cheerful new Christmas tradition in households all across the country, totaling a whopping $16.6 million in sales as of 2011. Whether it be for children, teenagers or adults, the Elf on the Shelf can provide an added air of fun to any family’s Christmas season.