The strange story of the elf on the shelf- how it all started

The elf on the shelf story is a more recent Christmas season phenomenon. The story is about a pixie Elf that sits on a shelf or table in different parts of the home.

While sitting there, it observes and records all the nasty and bad behavior of a kid. At night the elf flies back to the North Pole to inform Santa of the kid’s wrong actions. But before the kids wake each morning, the elf flies back from the North Pole to sit in a new spot in the home.

Many people often assume that Mattel or Hasbro produced the elf on the shelf, but it was created by the idea of a stay at home mom named Carol Aebersold with the help of the twin daughters, Christa Pitts and Chanda Bell.

Origin of Elf on a Shelf

According to Pitts and Bell, the idea of the elf on a Shelf is from their family tradition. During their childhood, they had an elf named Frisbee. They believed that Frisbee flies to the North Pole to report their naughty and good behaviors to Santa Clause.

The idea to immortalize the tradition in a big way came in 2004. After Bell became a new mum, she left her job to work for her father. During those times, Bell’s mum was experiencing some health problems. So she had to stay more with her.

When at home with her mum, one day, she came across their old toy elf and the idea to bring the story to life by publishing a story about the elf on the shelf.

However, the publication wasn’t accessible because many publishing companies rejected the idea. Eventually, the storybook was self-published. Twelve years after the release, the book has sold more than 11 million copies with other merchandise, gaining popularity around the world.

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