The Elf in the Shelf

Rumour has it that in every house in the United States where a child lives, there's a high chance that one of Santa's elves is watching to see if he's being naughty or nice.

For all of you who may not know what this is, I'm talking about "The Elf on the Shelf", a fun-filled Christmas tradition that started in 2005 with the picture book The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell. As the story indicates, every year, Santa Claus sends his elves to visit children from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve when they return to the North Pole to report who should be on his nice or naughty list.

The Scout Elves dress in Santa's lookalike red-and-white suit.
The first time an elf shows up in a family's house in a box featuring a storybook about his purpose of being there, inside, the kid has to name the Elf for him to get his magic going and to be able to fly back to the North Pole nightly. And each morning, the Elf returns to its family, hiding in a new spot of the house and waiting to be discovered. Kids love to run around their house searching for the Elf and telling him all his wishes for Christmas. The only thing children must never do is touch it, or the Elf will lose his magic and won't tell Santa all he's seen and listened to during the day.

For many families, a joyous part of the Christmas holidays is waking up to the Elf's new funny hiding spot, and kids are on their best behaviour when the Scout Elf is around, making sure they are on Santa's nice list.

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