Monday, October 26, 2009

The Just In... The Elf on the Shelf!

Some of my favorite memories from childhood are based on family traditions. I think it is because these traditions (especially at Christmas time) were part of the "magic" of the season and always something to look forward to.

For example, on Christmas Eve we would always go to Candlelight Service at Church, drive around to see all the pretty/tacky Christmas lights in town, make lots of hors d'oeuvres for dinner, then settle down to open gifts from other family members. We always did it in that order. Period. It still makes me smile to think about it today :-)

One of my favorite new Holiday Traditions is the Elf on the Shelf:

We carried this in our store last year and we loved hearing stories from both the children and the parents about how they loved the Elf!

The children would come in and tell us what they named the Elf and the parents would tell us how the Elf was keeping Bobbie and Susie in check during the Holiday season since he had a direct line to Santa ;-) I know that both the adults and children will look back fondly on the Elf as one of their favorite traditions.

So of course, we couldn't pass up bringing that much happiness again this year - right?! So the Elf on the Shelf is back in at Swagger so make sure to come in early - he is already flying of the shelves and was almost sold out by Thanksgiving last year!

I though I would share a letter from the author, Carol Aebersold, and how the "Elf on a Shelf" came to be:
From My Family to Yours,

This charming tradition began for our family when my children were very small. Like most children through the ages, they wanted to know how Santa really knew who was naughty or who was nice. Their answer, as in my own childhood, came in the form of a small pixie-elf.

The first time the elf arrived at our home, my children officially adopted him by giving him a name. Each year he would arrive around the holidays, usually at Thanksgiving. His sole responsibility was to watch the children's behavior and report it to Santa each night. The next morning after the children awoke, they discovered the elf had returned from the North Pole and was now resting in a new and different place. My children would race each other out of bed to try and be the first to spy him in his new position.

Over the years the tradition was perfected and rules were introduced. For example, to better preserve his mystique the children were not allowed to touch him but talking to him was a different matter all together. My children shared many secrets with the elf, and while he was under strict orders not to talk to them, the elf was under no such orders where grown-ups were concerned.

Unwittingly, the tradition provided an added benefit: it helped the children to better control themselves. All it took was a gentle reminder that the "elf is watching," for errant behavior to be modified.

I never dreamed this simple tradition would lead to so many treasured Christmas memories for our entire family. It is my earnest desire that The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition will bring as much joy to your family as it has to mine.

Enjoy this tradition, and MAKE IT YOUR OWN!

With my best wishes for you and those you love,

To many happy traditions!
- Mandy