What is Elf on the Shelf?

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Elf on The Shelf is a picture book released in the US back in 2005.   The story was written by the mother and daughter tandem of Carol Bell and Chanda Bell.  The main plot of the book revolves around a Christmas elf that reports to Santa Claus regarding the behavior of kids during day time.  As Christmas tradition would point, Santa needs to know which children are naughty or nice.  Those that found to be nice by the elves were given their favorite Christmas presents.

In the illustrations and story of Elf on the Shelf, so-called scout elves are sent to different homes across the globe to check on the kids in terms of how they have been behaving.  The scout elf typically visits one particular home every night for the entire Christmas season starting from Thanksgiving up to Christmas Eve.  During the day, the scout elf will observe the people in a particular household and check if the children are being kind and nice to other people.  The elf will then return to Santa every night and report of his/her daily experience. The magical part of the story book involves the rule that no kid can ever touch the elf because it will cause the magic to disappear.  When this happens, the elf won’t be able to return to Santa in the North Pole at night.

The popular Christmas-themed story and book became very popular and eventually was made into an animated show by 2011.  Since then, the “Elf in the Shelf” was made into an actual Christmas tradition wherein families will have elf figurines placed in different corners of the house so the kids will look for them in the morning.  The elves supposedly transfer from one spot to another every single day in the original story and so parents of children also try to have fun with their kids by repositioning the elves at different places inside their homes during Christmas time.  By the time the kids wake up, they would then experience the joy of looking for the elves around their houses.

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