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Monday, December 8, 2008

Great Idea for a Holiday Tradition

By Katie M

If your child does not have an Elf on the Shelf this holiday season, it’s not too late to start this fabulous tradition. The idea started by a mom herself, and she’s now created a tradition for all to share, plus a great mompreneur business for herself.

The brilliant idea for the Elf on the Shelf was crafted when this mom was trying to teach the importance of not being naughty during the weeks leading up to Christmas (if we could only have this tradition year-round!). She placed a little pixie elf on the shelf in her daughter’s room each night and told her he was there to watch over her. When she fell asleep, legend has it the elf traveled to the North Pole to report to Santa whether or not she was naughty or nice. The next morning when the elf returned, he would hide in a different spot in the house (with the help of mom and dad, of course), and her daughter would wake up with the excitement to find the elf which, ultimately, became a game that not only encouraged discipline but also excitement for the arrival of Santa on Christmas morning.

The Elf on the Shelf kit includes a little elf and a hard cover book to describe all the “rules” your child will need to follow in order for the elf to keep his magical powers – and both of these items are creatively packaged in a nice keepsake box and shipped in a mailer that looks like it’s been all over the world. The entire kit costs just under $30.

We started this tradition last year, but not with the “official” Elf on the Shelf. Instead, I found a stuffed animal that looked like an elf – it was a lot less expensive and still worked like a charm. However, this year my best friend (who is a mother to four and knows a thing or two on parenting) graciously sent our family the real Elf on the Shelf and both our children are having a ball with it.

There are a number of store locations throughout the Triad (and in NC) that sells the Elf on the Shelf, such as Paper Perfect Solutions in Greensboro and Christie’s Hallmark (both in Hanes Mall and on Summit Square Blvd), or you can go online to the Elf on the Shelf to search for a store near you. But hurry, there are only 17 nights left for the elf to keep a watchful eye.

Have fun, and share with us other holiday tradition ideas you may have!


Rita M said...

Great article! I didn't know how it all started.
Rita M

Jen P. said...

OK, so I have an update on this! Our elf, Leta, arrived when we got back from our Thanksgiving holiday and couldn't have come at a more perfect time. My 7-year-old is obsessed with Leta and skips out of bed to see where her new spot is. She truly believes that Leta is keeping tabs on her and has been an ANGEL since her arrival. My 4-year-old is already pretty good, but all we have to say is "Leta" and she straightens up immediately. Both girls know that Leta's rules don't necessarily apply to the twins since they are not yet 3 (the disclaimer is on the box "not for under 3"), and the girls are surprisingly ok with that. Now, if we all could put our Smarty heads together and come up with an elf who reports year-round, then we'd be a lucky crew! This is the ticket for sure!

Anonymous said...

I was just in Borders at Thruway Shopping Center and saw they had a bunch of these there too.

Rachel H said...

I have to share a story about our elf! We have had him for a few years now. This weekend my son, Jake, (age 5) came home from his Sunday School class with a plate full of cookies for Santa. I commented on how nice it would be to leave those out for Santa on Christmas Eve. "Well," he said, "I was thinking that I could ask the elf to take the cookies to Santa tonight when he flies there!" So, he left the cookies next to the elf that night. He bolted out of bed the next morning to see of they were gone. Well, not only were the cookies gone, but the elf had moved to a different spot and was holding a note in his arms. Jake was absolutely freaking out at this point because he was so excited. He asked me to pull the note out so he wouldn't touch the elf and make him lose his magic. I pulled it out and it read, "Thank you Jake. Love, Santa" Jake was thrilled! He started saying," I KNEW it would work, mom! I KNEW it!" It was the cutest thing I had ever seen. How wonderful to be a child and believe in the MAGIC of Christmas!!!

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