With Christmas just around the corner, get ready for your Facebook feed to be taken over by pictures of the Elf on the Shelf. In case you aren't aware of what The Elf on the Shelf tradition involves, parents use them to encourage good behavior during the month of December. Parents tell the kids that their Elf on the Shelf is one of Santa's helpers who watches the kids during the day and goes back to the North Pole each night while the kids are sleeping to file a report for Santa's "Naughty or Nice" list.
A spy elf that is used to scare kids into behaving might sound like it takes away from the Christmas spirit a little, but most parents aren't too hardcore about the behavior part and mostly use the elf to get the kids more excited for the holidays. Kids get to name their elf and when they wake up each morning, the elf is usually in a different location (if the moms and dads remember to move him, anyway). Plus, there is a book called The Elf on the Shelf that families can read together, although the focus is more on finding the elf each morning.
Now that The Elf on the Shelf has been so successful, the authors of the book, Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda Bell, have decided to release a sequel called The Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition.
The elf is supposed to leave for good on Christmas Eve, which leaves a lot of kids disappointed (mine included--we usually break the rules and let our elf drop in throughout the year for visits). Per the new book, the elf will get to return on the child's birthday. The sequel book kit for The Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition includes the book and a birthday outfit to dress the elf in when he drops in for birthday visits for $19.95.
That's really cool and all, but with December just a couple weeks away, let's talk about some of the best ideas you've come up with or have seen for placing the Elf on the Shelf. Post your ideas in the comments section below. Pinterest is full of Elf on the Shelf ideas (both naughty and nice), in case you need any inspiration:
(image)[Images via Elf on the Shelf (1), (2) and Pinterest]