Part I: Formation of the Elf
Traditions have been practiced within families for centuries. Most families have certain traditions they keep alive, especially during the holidays.
Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell, mother and daughter published Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition in 2004 which began a phenomena. The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition tells a Christmas-themed story, written in rhyme, that explains how Santa Claus knows who is naughty and who is nice. It describes elves visiting children between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, after which they return to the North Pole until the next holiday season. The Elf on the Shelf comes in a keepsake box that features a hardbound picture book and a small soft toy in the form of a pixie scout elf.
For the past decade, parents, guardians, and grandparents from The United States, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand use The Elf on the Shelf during the holidays to promote good behavior.
“I’ve been using Sprinkles [the Elf] for the past 5 years and I can honestly say that it’s been the best thing ever. I’m not saying my kids are bad kids, but when they aren’t listening I tell them that
Sprinkles watching them even if it’s not Christmas time,” said Rachel S., mom of three.
Recently, school teachers have been having a class elf to also keep their students behaving during the holidays despite what holiday they practice.
“My students don’t know the elf is coming until the first school day in December. It brings joy to see their faces when they walk into my classroom that morning. The best part is that they know they need to behave because most of them have elves at home and know the rules,” said Ms. Chrissy, pre-school teacher.
This cheerful epidemic is something that will still be full of cheer for years to come.
Part II: Creative Elf Ideas
When the Elf on the Shelf doll came out in 2005, parents and teacher would think of creative ways to “set up” their Elf.
“The first few days are fun, but after a week it begins a little more difficult to figure out new positions to put the Elf without my children noticing,” said Rachel S.
The Elf on the Shelf community made a Facebook page designated to creative ideas for parents and teachers to use. They also have a hashtag for whoever wants to post their pictures and tag #ScoutElfIdeas.
The following pictures were pictures that parents posted on the Facebook page.