HARTFORD – Love it or hate it, Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition is a wide spread new tradition for families with young kids around the holidays. Since the book was published and sold with the corresponding Elf in 2005, the toy exploded in popularity in recent years.
The Elf is a special scout sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. According to the story: “When a family adopts a scout elf and gives it a name, the scout elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day’s adventures. Each morning, the scout elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their scout elf each morning.”
Now, there is even a version for Jewish families, The Mensch on a Bench.
Some have criticized the toy because it encourages spying on your kids. Others criticize the pressure it puts on parents to construct elaborate scenes for their elves overnight, and a pressure to beat out other parents with their ideas. But, many other families love the creative challenge, and find the Elf brings extra excitement around the holidays.
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