the Elf on the Shelf

By Nicole Daughhetee
Courier Staff

In the book The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, written by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell, Aebersold shares how the elf became part of her family tradition and how an elf can become part of yours:

“Have you ever wondered how Santa could know if you’re naughty or nice each year as you grow? For hundreds of years it has been a big secret. It now can be shared if you promise to keep it.

“At holiday time Santa sends me to you. I watch and report on all that you do. My job’s an assignment from Santa himself. I am his helper, a friendly scout elf.
“The first time I come to the place you call home you quickly must give me a name of my own. Once you are finished my mission can start. What will you call me – Markle or Zart? Will it be Foddle, Criddle or Clyde? Fisbee’s cute, too, but you must decide.

“Each night while you’re sleeping to Santa I’ll fly to the North Pole right through the dark sky. Of course Christmas magic helps me to be quick. I laugh with my friends and report to Saint Nick.

“I tell him if you have been good or been bad. The news of the day makes him happy or sad. A push or a shove I’ll report to “the Boss,” but small acts of kindness will not be a loss. In the car, at the park, or even at school the word will get out if you broke a rule.

“I’ll be back at your home before you awake, and then you much find the new spot I will take. You’ll jump out of bed and come running to see: who’ll be the first to spy little old me?

“Maybe the kitchen, the bathroom, or den is where you will find me, your special elf friend. I can hide on a plant, a shelf or a frame. Where will I be? Let’s make it a game.

“There’s only one rule that you have to follow so I will come back and be here tomorrow: Please do not touch me. My magic might go, and Santa won’t hear all I’ve seen or I know.

“I won’t get to tell him that you’ve said your prayers, or helped to bake cookies or cleaned off the stairs. How will he know how good you have been? He might start to think you forgot about him.

“I can’t speak to you, so says Santa Claus. All of us elves have to follow his laws. I’ll listen to you. Tell me your wishes. Would you like a game or some tiny toy dishes? The gleam in my eye and my bright little smile shows you I’m listening and noting your file.

“The final decision with Santa now rests. What do you think? Will you get your request? The night before Christmas my job’s at an end. The rest of the year with Santa I’ll spend.

“So blow me a kiss and bid me farewell. I’ll fly away when I hear Santa’s bell. Of course I will miss you but wait ‘til next year. When the holidays come I’ll again reappear. Until then I wish every girl and each boy a Christmas of peace and a year full of joy.”

We started the Elf on the Shelf Christmas tradition with Em and Ella about three years ago. At 9 and 7, my daughters still very much believe in the wonder and magic of Christmas. For this, I am thankful.

There have been a few questions because some children at school no longer believe in Christmas magic, but I have done my part in maintaining the belief in my girls.

If you don’t have an Elf on the Shelf in your home, it is a really fun tradition for parents and kids alike. Knowing that they have an elf for which to search certainly gets my girls out of bed and ready for school with greater ease during the month of December.

He is also great help with behavior modification. When Em and Ella get into one of their sisterly tiffs, usually all I have to do is remind them that the Elf is watching and reporting to Santa.

I enjoy our Elf because he challenges my creativity and sense of imagination. He tends to be a little silly and mischievous. He often seeks adventure after his return from the North Pole, so the girls never know what he’ll be doing when they wake up.