Elf on the Shelf: Creepy or Cute?


Lataria Black, Writer

He’s always watching…

that elf on the shelf, the tiny doll with the big gaze and cherubic face? 

For some people, it’s become a holiday tradition- one that should help remind kids to stay out of trouble and be good for Christmas. According to the story, the elf watches young children and reports back to Santa every night to “tell him if [kids] have been good or bad.” When the elf returns, he finds a new hiding spot somewhere in the house and kids must find him the next morning.

The elf plays an ongoing game of hide and seek with its host family and helps keep young children on their best behavior around Christmastime. The elf on the shelf explains that elves get their magic by being named and being loved by a child. 

In 2005, the mother/daughter team Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell wrote the “Elf on the Shelf” story. When first trying to sell the book, every editor and publisher turned the duo down. The book has now sold over 11 million copies worldwide.

 Many people love this new Christmas tradition, but others feel like it’s kind of creepy, having an elf disappear and reappear and “spy” on kids. Others feel like it is continuing the tradition of lying to children at Christmas… first about Santa and then about the creepy elf on the shelf.

What do you readers think?