Elf on the Shelf

Now that Christmas time is upon us, we find ourselves diving head first into the “Holiday Traditions” pool and falling into a sort of routine that we do every winter season. From putting the angel on top of the Christmas tree and making your top secret caramel corn recipe to counting down the Days of Christmas and singing carols to all the neighbors every Saturday night, we all have things that happen a certain way and at a particular time, to keep up with years and years of tradition.

The holidays are all about family and traditions, and typically, some traditions can be passed down the generation chain without any real explanation. Exhibit A: the Elf on the Shelf. To outsiders, a creepy elf doll with shifty eyes “appears” throughout the house during the Christmas season to “watch” your children and make sure they aren’t being naughty. But to people who were raised with the “scouting elf,” these dolls become part of the Christmas magic, spur creativity, and bring families together. So where did this little guy come from? Let’s check it out.

According to the elf on the shelf website, this Christmas tradition includes a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice list. When a family adopts their own scout elf, his Christmas magic is awarded to him and we flies back to Santa every night to tell him about the day’s adventures. Once he returns home, he will perch himself in a different spot in the house, resulting in the children in participating in the ultimate “egg hunt” for their scout elf.

These days, parents get creative and stage their scout elf being mischievous and doing silly things; when the children find him in the morning, they not only share a giggle, but also remember to be nice because Santa is still watching. Families have adopted this adorable tradition as a creative and festive part of the holiday season. It gives the kiddos something to believe in and parents the opportunity to bask in their children’s youth and wonder. (We are thinking about adopting one for the office!)

Our favorite Elf on the Shelf pictures:

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Believe it or not, this tradition has only been around since 2005, when Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell wrote the children’s book, Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition. For a full list of fun Elf on the Shelf ideas, check out the official gallery.

Keep the conversation going! Does your family have an Elf on the Shelf? What silly stuff does your elf do? @BioTerraHerbs #elftalk #goherbal

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