CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN ADVENT BLOG Friday 4th December 2020
12 RAMBLINGS OF CHRISTMAS
ONLY 21 SLEEPS TO CHRISTMAS
- A CHRISTMAS QUOTE
Christmas is the day that holds all time together. – Alexander Smit
2. CHRISTMAS FEATURE – What’s THE ELF ON THE SHELF ALL ABOUT?
History of Elf on the Shelf, Who Is More Than a Mom’s Nightmare
Turns out, everyone’s favorite elf has an interesting origin story.
If you live in a home with at least one kid under the age of 10, chances are you’ve heard all about Elf on the Shelf. The doll — and concept — helps parents around the world encourage their kids to be on their best behavior during the holiday season. If you’re not already familiar, the premise is simple: the elf appears at various locations in your home, he or she keeps an eye on your kids, and then reports back to Santa as to whether or not they’ve been “naughty or nice.” Will your little one get a good gift from Kris Kringle? It depends on what the elf sees.
Prior to Elf on the Shelf, parents used to just say that Santa is “always watching,” and you’ll land on either the nice or naughty list depending on your behaviour. But with the introduction of Santa’s super secret spy, it’s a little easier for kids to understand just how they are evaluated during the holidays. So who had the impeccable idea of creating a mythical creature to help Santa decide if kids get presents or coal on Christmas Day? To no one’s surprise, it all starts with an idea from a mom.
The History of Elf on the Shelf
In 2005, creator Carol Aebersold (a stay-at-home mom at the time) and her daughter, Chanda Bell, published a children’s book called The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, based on their family’s own Scandinavian holiday tradition that started in the 1970s.
“We had an elf growing up for as long as we can remember. Our elf was named Fisbee, and Fisbee of course would report to Santa Claus at night and be back in a different position in our house the next day,” Christa Pitts, Aebersold’s other daughter, told HuffPost. “We loved it. It was a chance for us to tell Santa directly what maybe we might want for Christmas, or to do good deeds so that Santa would know about them.”
Though Fisbee was like a Christmas ornament for the family at the time, the elf evolved to become more magical over the years for the next generation of kids.
This Christmas tradition wasn’t an overnight hit, though. According to TODAY.com, “When Carol Aebersold and her daughter, Chanda Bell, first tried to sell The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, every single editor and publisher turned them down.”
So, the women published the book themselves. Instead of having a big publisher’s resources to market the book, the women sold it themselves one by one. “It was a bit of guerrilla marketing at first,” Bell told TODAY.com. The family produced 5,000 copies using credit cards and retirement funds and sold them straight out of their cars and at state fairs, according to The Golden Bear Gazette.
In addition to explaining their family tradition to people they knew and strangers they didn’t, Pitts also attended trade shows to introduce the book about Santa’s scout to potential buyers.
It slowly picked up steam, and by 2007, actress Jennifer Garner was photographed by paparazzi holding the book, which helped spread the word.
Due to a lot of hard work and determination, by 2012 the elf was a float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The elf has since spawned other extensions to its franchise, including A Saint Bernard Tradition (from its Elf Pets line), Santa’s Reindeer Rescue, and Merry Minis. You can also now buy elf clothes and costumes, plus other story books.
The Elf on the Shelf won the Best Toy Award by Learning Express, won Book of the Year Award from Creative Child Awards and National Best Books Award sponsored by USA Book News in 2008.
On 26 November 2011, a 30-minute animated special titled An Elf’s Story: The Elf on the Shelf aired on CBS, directed by Chad Eikhoff. The Washington Post criticized the quality of the animation and dismissed it as “just a half-hour advertisement for a book and a toy”, which it felt would not join “the canon of prime-time animated Christmas specials that actually move the spirit”. Common Sense Media disagreed, calling the special “a great addition to families’ holiday TV traditions”; however, they also warn parents about the consumer-driven nature of the story, and make note of its lack of educational value.
In 2013, The Elf on the Shelf hit the No. 1 spot on the USA Today Bestsellers List. In October 2013, The Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition was released. Written and illustrated by the same team that created the first book, it offers instructions for inviting a scout elf to visit for a child’s birthday party and describes how the elf decorates a chair for the child. In April 2014, two supplemental birthday products were released: The Elf on the Shelf Birthday Countdown Game and The Elf on the Shelf Birthday Chair Decoration Kit.
The Elf on the Shelf was parodied as “The Gnome in the Home” in “The Nightmare After Krustmas”, a 2016 episode of The Simpsons.
As of 2018, 13 million books (and elves) have been sold at over 15,000 retailers across the country, according to WSB-TV.
Come closer to Christmas, you’ll see hundreds of elves all over social media as parents showcase their creativity of where and how they display Santa’s scout. Check out the hashtag here on Instagram for #elfontheshelf posts, which have already started to sprout up.
The Elf on the Shelf Rules
Ready to get in on the tradition yourself?
Once the elf is “sent to your home from the North Pole” (as in, after you buy it from Target or Amazon for $29.95), it’s up to parents to facilitate the holiday magic. Your kid will name the elf, which come in both boy and girl forms, and you can read them the story from the book it comes with.
From there, the magic ensues. Little ones may believe that the elf miraculously appears on shelves, hanging on chandeliers, sitting on fireplace mantels, but truly, moms and dads are the creative geniuses working “behind the curtain.”
Kids, on the other hand, are not allowed to touch the elf. It’s not a toy, after all. And if a child touches the elf, it’ll ruin Christmas — not to be alarmist.
Every night, the elf will go back to home base (the North Pole) to tell Santa if the child or children (whose homes they’re visiting) are being good or bad. When Santa’s scout returns, he or she will be found in a new spot. And of course, it’s up to the parents once again to fulfill what’s on the Christmas wishlist.
Basically, parents, you’re the elves.
Whether you love or hate the Elf on the Shelf, this fictional character changed Christmas forever. If you’ve had it in your home, you can’t deny that it hasn’t sparked joy in your little ones. If you haven’t had it in your home, you may be missing out on all the fun (or headache) depending on how much holiday cheer and creativity you have in your soul.
BY YSOLT USIGAN
THERE WAS SNOW IN YORKSHIRE YESTERDAY
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Look at this wonderful photo of the Ribblesdale Viaduct taken yesterday. Yes snow in Yorkshire!
3. CHRISTMAS MOVIE
- 09 7 O'Clock News_Silent Night 1:58
5. CHRISTMAS CHILDREN’S BOOK
Elf on The Shelf Official Annual 2021
Hardcover : 80 pages
Publisher : Little Brother Books Limited
Embrace the magic of your Scout Elf during the festive season with this delightful Annual. With everything you need to make lasting Christmas memories, this Annual is filled with tips and ideas to have fun with your Scout Elf. Be inspired with easy to create crafts, delicious recipes and festive fun and games. Naughty or nice? What will your Scout Elf report back to Santa?
The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition Book Only by Carol V. Aebersold (Author), Chanda A. Bell (Author), Coe Steinwart (Illustrator)
Hardcover : 28 pages
Published In 2005 : 1st. Edition : 1st. Printing : Full Printing Numbers Listed , 1 – 9 : C.C.A. &B. Publishing Atlanta USA : Very Large Quarto Format : Overall , A Very Nice Book
6. CHRISTMAS CAROL
7. IT’S A CRACKER (CHRISTMAS CRACKER JOKE)
What did the sea Say to Santa? Nothing! It just waved!
8. EVERY CHRISTMAS TV TIMES COVER
9. A FAMOUS SCROOGE
10. SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT – A TOP TV CHRISTMAS SPECIAL FROM THE PAST
Morecambe & Wise Christmas Show.
There were many brilliant ones from the 1970s onwards.
The very best and the one with the highest audience being 25th December 1977
The Morecambe & Wise Show is a comedy sketch show originally broadcast by BBC television and the third TV series by English comedy double-act Morecambe and Wise. It began airing in 1968 on BBC2, specifically because it was then the only channel broadcasting in colour, following the duo’s move to the BBC from ATV, where they had made Two of a Kind since 1961.
The Morecambe & Wise Show was popular enough to be moved to BBC1, with its Christmas specials garnering prime-time audiences in excess of 20 million, some of the largest in British television history.
After their 1977 Christmas show Morecambe and Wise left the BBC and signed with Thames Television, marking their return to the ITV network. The Morecambe & Wise Show title (or close variations thereof) continued to be used for many of these ITV shows.
11. NICE LITTLE CHRISTMAS NUMBER
31 957 – The typical number of calories in your average Christmas dinner
32 3:1 – The ratio by which natural Christmas trees outsell artificial Christmas trees
33 1.2 Million – The number of Kindles given as presents at Christmas
34 120,000 Tonnes – The weight of potatoes that will be eaten over Christmas
35 £48,000,000 – The total amount spent on Christmas puddings by the UK
36 62,824 – The record number of Christmas cards sent by a single person in a year
37 2016 SurveyIn a survey carried out in the UK in 2016, Silent Night was voted as the nation’s favourite Christmas carol. O Holy Night was second, which has been sung by Mariah Carey, Cher and Big Crosby, and held the number one spot from 2003 to 2013. Hark The Herald Angels Sing was third.
38 1906 The first song ever broadcast was a Christmas Carol. On Christmas Eve, 1906, the Canadian inventor Reginald Fessenden (1866-1932) played “O Holy Night” on the violin and sang the final verse while broadcasting from his Brant Rock radio tower in Massachusetts.
39 !3 the number of Years
old Brenda Lee was. Singer Brenda Lee recorded the original version of “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” when she was only 13 years old.
40 2 Times – Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is the only record to get the UK Christmas Singles Chart Number One twice, once in 1975 and again in 1991. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” was number 1 three times (1984, 1989 and 2004), but technically it was by different groups, so doesn’t count.
12. CHRISTMAS TV ADVERT