New and old Christmas traditions keep children in check

Elf and Santa
JAN WADDY | PanamaCity.com
Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 13:35 PM.

If you never have heard of Elf on the Shelf then you probably do not have a child, teach a kindergarten class, have a Facebook account or walk into Hallmark. I also have seen the elves at other stores, such as Target. There is an animated Christmas special and DVD, “An Elf’s Story,” which first aired on TV last year, as well as a book about the elf in the movie, “Chippey’s Great Adventure.”

The whole phenomenon really baffles some of my single friends.

The Elf on the Shelf arrived last year after Thanksgiving in his box with his book, “The Elf On the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition.” He comes with one rule: Children cannot touch him or he might lose his magic. (But stuffed elves arrived in stores this year that are perfectly fine for hugging. You even can find girl elves with skirts.)

The elf is sent by Santa and flies back to the North Pole each night to report to the big boss, as he looks to finalize the Naughty and Nice lists. It becomes a game of where the elf will be and what he will be doing when he is found the next morning. When a boy or girl receives a book and an elf, the elf must be named and registered at ElfOnTheShelf.com to finalize the adoption.

I suspect my son, who was 5 when our elf first arrived, gave him the name “On” because of the book’s title.

We snap photos with my iPhone in the morning of On in his new hiding place — whether in the Christmas tree, hanging in a stocking or dangling from the pot rack — and text it to my mom, who awaits to hear from my son about On’s next shenanigan.

Some things On has gotten into this year have not had desirable results. In fact, some of these things might just get On on the Naughty list. But luckily, On, and the rest of the elves, will go back to the North Pole with Santa on Christmas Eve, which will give us 11 months to rest until he comes back.



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