I first saw an Elf on the Shelf book and elf about 5 years ago at a holiday event in Atlanta. My kids were older so I was not so intrigued by it, but thought it was a cute idea. One thing that did intrigue me was that the founder and author of the book was from the metro Atlanta area (my hometown).

Well a few years have passed by, and with the phenomenal growth of social media, The Elf on the Shelf has become almost a cult movement (I don’t mean that in a BAD way!) Parents have really gotten into it and have gotten their kids into it. The creativity of some of the parents is just amazing. As for myself, it is a good thing that I don’t have small kids, because I could hardly remember to put Tooth Fairy money under the pillow!

What IS the Elf on the Shelf Tradition?* 

In a few short years, the “Elf on the Shelf” picture book and accompanying elf doll has been transformed from a phenomenon known mostly around the Atlanta area to a national sensation sold in 12,000 stores.

For parents, the elf is an adorable yuletide enforcer. They ensure he pops up in a different place each morning to watch over children and ensure they are not naughty, but nice.

Carol Aebersold and her daughters Chanda Bell and Christa Pitts, creators of “Elf on the Shelf,” say it has its roots in their family tradition dating to the 1970s. An elf would appear every year after Thanksgiving only to vanish each evening, the children were told, on a journey to the North Pole with reports for Santa on who had dared to pout, misbehave or cry.

In 2005, Aebersold and Bell wrote the book to encourage others to adopt the tradition in their families. All major publishers rejected it. Undeterred, the family founded CCA and B Publishing in Marietta, Ga., to put out the $30 book and the 10-inch elf doll by themselves.

Some think its sweet, and some think it’s just creepy. Undisputed: It’s been a massive success since the company’s founding in 2005.

* Source: USA Today

Elves ALL over the place!

What has amazed me is the creativity of parents in coming up with different scenarios and locations for their Elf to end up in each morning! If you look on Pinterest you can find a TON of ideas, but here are just a few shots of my favorites:

And then there are the REALLY creative moms like Ashley over at LilBlueBoo, who gets really creative with her almost R-rated Elf positions!  Lots of laughs on her pages!

Want to get in on the tradition? It is not to late to start! Check out all the different types of elves that are available over at Amazon. (Kinda reminds me of buying a Cabbage Patch doll for my kids, lol!)