The Elf On The Shelf: A Christmas Tradition is a picture book for children that was originally published in 2005. Written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chandra Bell, the book tells a Christmas-themed story, written in rhyme, that explains how Santa Claus knows who is naughty and nice.
The elf on the shelf is also Santa’s – known as St. Nick’s – best friend. This story describes how Santa’s “scout elves” hide in people’s homes to watch over events. Once everyone goes to bed, the scout elf flies back 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 scout elf flies back from the North Pole and hides. By hiding in a new spot each morning around the house, the scout elf plays an ongoing game of hide and seek with the family. The Elf on the Shelf explains that scout 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 scout 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.
Joe and I don’t have kids, but every year I enjoy watching what my friends with their respective family’s Elf On The Shelf, along with what wind up as memes and funny pictures on Facebook. Some are super clever and some are even on the naughty side. Here are some examples I’ve seen over the years:
Anyway, The Elf On The Shelf has its share of spinoffs, such as The Mensch On The Bench (adding a Jewish twist), Troop On The Stoop (for kids with family members in the armed services) and The Troll On The Bowl (to help with potty training). He’s also been parodied multiple times. They usually start with “You’ve heard of Elf On The Shelf. But now there’s…”
My favorite parodies of Elf On The Shelf was back when the social media gurus of various airports and aviation-related entities around the world came together to make one of the greatest Twitter thread ever. It all started a couple of weeks before Christmas of 2018, when the Twitter feed from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) posted this:
You've heard of Elf on the Shelf, now get ready for… pic.twitter.com/UOb4m3q60h
— YVR (@yvrairport) December 10, 2018
Their “Lil Wayne On A Plane” apparently got creative juices flowing guess. And the replies were priceless:
VYR closed out the thread with one last entry:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of site,
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Oh wait, wrong book. Sorry. For those of you celebrating, we wish the merriest of Christmases! For those of you not celebrating, have a great weekend! We’ll be back on Monday.
Feature Photo: JetBlue / Twitter
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