The Elf On The Shelf

The story of the Elf On The Shelf is absolutely wonderful this time of year. Not only the magic of the actual elf in your home, but the story behind it’s creation.

First the backstory: Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell are a mother daughter team who came up with the story of The Elf on the Shelf. After sending out their idea to major publishing houses, only to be turned dow, they self published.

Starting with only 300 copies of The Elf on the Shelf, they have since sold over 1.5 million copies. Not bad.

The tale of the Elf on The Shelf was created to help add believability to Santa’s magic monitoring the naughty and nice list. He dispatches elves to watch over the kids, and then each night the elf returns to Santa to file a report. By morning the elf has returned to his home, but situates himself in a different room.

We told our 4 year old that you could write to Santa and ask him for an elf to watch over you. We “wrote an email” to Santa and 2 days later a box appeared on our stoop. Your children are supposed to name the elf, and that’s what triggers their magical powers. My son chose George as our elf’s name, and I filmed the naming to add a little movie magic in post production.

It’s the moving each night that mystifies the children. My son absolutely lost it the first morning he saw George in a different place. He couldn’t believe it was happening.

Each morning he now runs around the house to find where the elf has moved. He has conversations with him about his day and even says “Goodbye George!” as he leaves for school each morning.

It’s been a fun addition to our family’s tradition, and even better that it was a small, home-based, mother-daughter idea that gave birth to this multi-million dollar empire.

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Buzz

Buzz is married to Jennifer and has 2 sons. Zacharie was born in May 2007 and Charles in January 2010. Buzz is a radio guy who enjoys building bridges between old and new media. Follow buzz on Twitter @buzzbishop and check out DadCAMP on Google+

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