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Not just for kids: The curious phenomenon of Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the Shelf - are you naughty or nice?If you haven’t heard of the Elf on the Shelf, it may be because you don’t have any young children at home.

But this Christmas-time phenomenon is taking the country by storm, and has its own multimedia platform – movie, books, website, toy, and more – and is becoming a silly social content marketing tool of sorts for businesses who want to put a little fun in the season.

According to the elves’ personal history, they are dispatched by Santa Claus to be his eyes and ears on the ground in the weeks leading up to Christmas Eve. Their mission, should they chose to accept it: watch everybody around, from varying vantage points which change daily, and report  back on any mischievous behavior spotted while on the ground. Santa gets a full report when they get back to the North Pole.

For the kids, this is a good behavior accountability tool. For grownups, it’s something fun to post on Facebook. Here’s the elf! It’s on a train. On a plane! In a hat… riding a cat! Without too much plagiarism of Dr. Seuss, you get the idea. At some point in the season, probably pretty close to Christmas, the elf disappears all together to go make his or her report to Santa. It’s a long way to travel.

You won’t need to think of any ideas for your Elf to do. Danielle at Blossom Bunkhouse has already thought of 101 things (mostly troublesome, some nice) for your little elf to do to keep the whimsy alive and the kids on their toes. Some apartment communities have even named their elves and designated them official mascots of the properties inciting frenzy as neighbors try to find the new place the elf is hiding each day.

A Wilmington, North Carolina community has even taken it upon itself to name the local park’s elf after their community. We think Murray Hawthorne has a very nice ring to it!

So if you’ve spotted a little man in a red and white suit running around your complex, that’s what that is all about.

Got an elf on a shelf at your apartment building? What’s it’s name?

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