The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition Review

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Elf on the Shelf

Reviewed by Lindsay Burton

He is here! Our blue-eyed boy has arrived, with his dashing pyjamas in tow and I can’t get more excited about Christmas if I tried! Now I just need to make sure my children don’t find him until the 1st December. 

The Elf on the Shelf® : A Christmas Tradition is a 2005 children’s picture book, written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell, and illustrated by Coë Steinwart. The book tells a magical Christmas story, written in rhyme, that explains how Santa knows who is naughty and nice. It describes that this elf will be visiting until Christmas Eve, after which he/she will return to the North Pole until the next Christmas. The Elf on the Shelf® comes in a keepsake box that features a hardbound picture book and a small Scout Elf, of which various options are available. The authors say the story is from a family tradition started by Carol Aebersold for her twin daughters, Chanda Bell and Christa Pitts in Georgia, USA.

This story describes how Santa’s elf will hide in people’s homes to watch over events leading up to Christmas. Once everyone goes to bed, the elf returns to the North Pole to report to Santa the activities, good and bad, that have taken place throughout the day. Before the family wakes up each morning, the elf returns from the North Pole and hides. With a little adult help and some fabulous Christmas magic, the elf will be found by your children in some very comical or even mischievous scenes. By hiding in a new spot each morning around the house, the elf plays an ongoing game of hide and seek with the family. The Elf on the Shelf® explains that elves get their magic by being named and being loved by a child. In the back of each book, families have an opportunity to write their elf’s name and the date that they adopted it. Once the elf is named, the scout elf receives its special Christmas magic, which allows it to fly to and from the North Pole.

The book tells how the magic might disappear if the Scout Elf is touched, so the rule for The Elf on the Shelf® states, “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.” Although families are told not to touch their elf, they can speak to it and tell it all their Christmas wishes so that it can report back to Santa accurately.

The story ends on Christmas Day with the elf leaving to stay with Santa for the rest of the year until the following Christmas season. This tradition I’ve slightly altered with our elf returns on Christmas Eve to help Santa pack for delivery, and leaves behind a Christmas Eve box with movies, treats and some brand new Christmas pyjamas. 

As well as options of elf styles, there are many accessories and clothes that you can find online. With great quality products, this product can be used for many years to come. 

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £16.99

For more information or to buy visit elfontheshelf.co.uk.

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