Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Elf on the Shelf

When you still believe in Santa, the traditions supporting this belief are what make it so special and fun. I was introduced to a new tradition this past weekend while visiting my sister's family in Colorado.

Anyone heard of Elf on the Shelf? I hadn't until Saturday, when a box mysteriously appeared on the doorstep for Will. In this box is a book and an elf doll. Patricia read the book out loud to Will, and then Will got to name the elf (first he named her Mrs. Claus, but changed it to Dora).

Excellent listeners and even better observers, these scout elves are the eyes and ears of Santa Claus. Although they cannot be touched, or else they may lose their magic, the elf will always listen and relay messages back to Santa. Taking in all the day-to-day activities around the house, no good deed goes unnoticed; these scout elves take their job seriously.  

Each night, after the family goes to bed, the scout elf uses his magical Christmas powers to fly back to the North Pole. Once there, the elf will make his or her daily report to Santa and visit with elf friends where they will tell stories about their beloved families, play with the reindeer, and of course, sneak some of Mrs. Claus’ cookies!  Source

Each morning, the elf then appears in a different location to watch the kid's behavior throughout the day. Will was so excited every morning when he found Dora in a new spot.  A couple of times he started to get cranky and on the verge of whining, and he would stop, look at Dora, and immediately pipe down.And when he did something good, like nicely kiss Baby Ryan on the forehead, he would make sure Dora knew about it so she could report back to Santa.

Will's elf, Dora
From a publishing standpoint, this idea is a gem.  Their marketing team has done a fantastic job promoting the brand through various outlets. For example, there is an Elf blog, Christmas movie, interactive website, and Santa Store with elf apparel. And even better, the idea has staying power. It's promoted as a family tradition, and with its popularity, I think it will remain as a favorite tradition. It'll be so fun for the Tanners when Ryan is bigger and Will can explain all about the Elf to him.

Question: What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions, from when you were Santa-believing kid or right now? 

My sister, mom and I always decorated the Christmas tree while listening to Anne Murray's Christmas Album, and Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers' "Once Upon a Christmas." Both on cassette tape, naturally.

One not-so-fun but extremely effective "tradition" was a clever idea my mom had.  Whenever my sister or I were bad, my mom would pretend to call the operator and get Santa's number.  She would write the number on a piece of paper and stick it on the fridge, telling us she would call him if we were bad again.  As I said, very effective, and very terrifying. haha

1 comment:

  1. I have a story...not so much a tradition but your sister will probably remember year my cousins who were about 3 and 5 at that time we visiting from Houston. I called your house and made Patricia pretend to be Santa Claus..they totally fell for it. And we laughed about it for I guess that part was the tradition.
    Aside from that my mom and I always listened to Amy Grants christmas album, arguably the best christmas album ever made.
    We're also doing Elf on a shelf...Ella isn't as in to it as I thought she would be but then again I haven't put as much effort into it as other people I know. LIke pouring a bag of flour on the kitchen floor with elf doing a snow angel in it. I think I might try that tonight :)