Visit Elf on the Shelf at Reeves

Published 4:56 pm Friday, October 31, 2008

Carol Aebersold, co-author and creator of the successful children’s Christmas novelty Elf on the Shelf, and the accompanying book, will make a personal visit with the Elf to Reeves Linens and Gifts on Thursday, Nov. 6, from 4 to 6 p.m. for a book signing.

The tradition actually began in the 1970s when Aebersold was herself the mother of three young children. The children kept asking their mother how Santa really knew who had been naughty or nice.

Aebersold searched through her box of Christmas decorations until she found a small elf doll, which she converted into a “watch elf” for Santa.

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The elf usually arrived around Thanksgiving and was assigned the duty of perching in a high place to watch over the children’s behavior. He would leave each night to report to Santa and return the next day to hide in a different location for further observance.

The children enjoyed looking for his new location each morning.

Aebersold said over the years, the tradition changed somewhat. There are now rules about the children touching the elf, and there is an accompanying illustrated children’s book.

Aebersold said she and others have noticed an added benefit. The children are better able to control their pre-Christmas excitement and behavior.

Gloria Reeves said she first saw the Elf in a market book, and after reading more about it in Southern Living, knew she had to add it to Reeves’ shelves.

Reeves said the Elf has been a highly successful selling product for them. It has been in big demand by parents and grandparents, following a similar trend across the nation.

The production of Elves is now the business of Carol Aebersold, her daughter, Chanda A. Bell, and Coe Steinwart, illustrator of the book.