Elf on the Shelf

One of the nice things about Christmas is its extortion value over children.

If you have young ones you’ve probably done it: played the “naughty or nice” card to keep your kids in line. Well, in recent years this has taken a new turn with Elf on the Shelf. It is, in short, an elf that you put on the shelf to do Santa’s spying.

Elf on the Shelf was the brainchild of author/entrprenuers Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell, who in 2005 published a children’s book of the same name. Each book comes complete with a little elf doll who, like in the story, will report misdeeds back to his boss at the North Pole.

The elf gets its magic power when named by your child. Isn’t that sweet?

I suppose it won’t be long before these come equipped with a hidden camera, because then you could actually use the elf to do some real spying. Imagine the fun of feeding your local department store Santa a nugget of two of information:

“HO! HO! HO! You know, little missy… I saw you take those cookies off the counter. And you know it’s not nice to pull the cat’s tail!”

That will make them true believers, won’t it? In fact, it could be effective enough to last all year long. Santa is always watching. And he could probably send a postcard or two during the year, little reminders that that he sees all, and is indeed keeping a list.

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