As every little girl and boy knows, the weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve is the best time to be on best behavior of the year. As children growing up, you were always told that Santa was watching you during this time. Sure, some of you wondered what happened during the rest of the year, but no one doubted that these few precious weeks were for the best of best behavior.
But how did Santa watch you? You wondered at that age. Parents created various little fibs, from the simple but almost-scary ‘Santa can see you’ to more complicated tales, such as them calling Santa every time you were bad or writing him weekly letters.
But for today’s children, there is a far more entertaining, traditional and easy way to enforce this good behavior in your children! Introducing The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition–the most clever, fun idea to make sure kids stay good. And what is this, you ask? It is a simple storybook accompanying a small stuffed elf doll. Different dolls are available, including light-skinned, dark-skinned, girl and boy elves. The storybook highlights the elf and what he or she does, and lays out some basic rules or guidelines for the elf as well as the kids. In example, the storybook tells the tale of how the elf flies to the North Pole every night as the children sleep, in order to report on how well (or badly!) behaved they were for that day.
Each night, after the kids have gone to bed, the parents must move the elf to a new location. This reinforces the storyline of the elf going to the North Pole each night to report on the kids for the day. And the children themselves have rules to follow, too. One includes the naming of the elf–each new elf must be named before his or her magic can take effect. And the children must never touch the elf–this means that only the parents can touch the elf in order to move it each night until Christmas Eve. Touching the elf will rob it of its magical ability to fly to the North Pole. But the kids can indeed try to find the new location of the elves every morning, not unlike hide and seek.
The fact that there is a physical presence–the elf doll–watching the kids each night will make children, particularly the smaller ones, truly believe that they are being watched and enforce good behavior. And the whole thing becomes a fun, annual tradition!