The Elf Is Waiting…

By Debbie Gardner

He’s cute. He’s perky. And he’s Santa’s – and parents’ – best holiday helper.

The Elf on the Shelf – from the 2005 book by Carol Aebersold and her daughter, Chandra Bell – has exploded from a holiday-inspired tale to a cultural phenomenon in just a little over a decade. Pinterest is full of inspiration on where to place your elf, how to announce his arrival, and how to use his presence to encourage good behavior in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“We used to have Santa watching you, now we have an actual Elf that pops up in homes and watches you,” said Allison Genovese, Vice President of Early Childhood Programs at Realizing Children’s Strengths and Mini-Miracles Early Education & Childcare Center in Natick, MA. “Every evening the elf pops off to the North Pole and reports and comes back every morning.”

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