Elf on the Shelf
BY CONOR FOGARTY ON DECEMBER 18, 2014
The holidays are a time of joy and memories, and holiday traditions are one of the reasons why it is such a memorable time. There have been countless holiday traditions throughout history, and these traditions are ever changing. One tradition that is fairly new is the Elf on the Shelf. This tradition is similar to many traditions of the past because it is interactive and involves the entire family.
The story of the Elf on the Shelf began with Santa sending a little elf for each family that watches over them during the Christmas season to see if they are naughty or nice. The elf reports back to Santa each night and tells him about the children’s behavior, and then he picks a new spot to hide the next day. One of the main rules that comes with a family’s elf is that the no one can touch the elf or else the elf will lose their magic and will not be able to return to the North Pole.
There are many variations and ways to participate in the Elf on the Shelf. It usually involves the parents hiding an elf around the house and the kids searching for it, although each family does it in their own unique way.
This tradition has been growing around the country, and more Rose families are starting to carry out this tradition during the holidays every year.
Freshman Mack Clayton has participated in the Elf on the Shelf with his family for four years.
“My mother hides the elf in a different spot every two days during the Christmas season, and it is usually in an odd place that someone normally wouldn’t search,” Clayton said. “We celebrate this tradition every year because it forms memories of good times around Christmas.”
While sometimes the parents hide the elf, some students take the initiative to hide the elf for their younger siblings instead of participating in the search.
Senior Rebekah Floyd has been doing this tradition for five years.
“Every weekend in December I hide the elf for my little brother,” Floyd said. “It has become an important part of my family’s routine during the holidays.”
While some families have been doing this tradition for many years, other families are new to the activity, but it is clear that they enjoy it.
Senior Josh Young has participated for two years, and his mother hides the elf around the house every two days in December.
“My family enjoys this tradition every year and it brings back memories from Christmas in my childhood,” Young said.
Some families hide the elf more often than others, and how often the elf is hidden depends on the family members’ personal preferences.
Junior Maddie Meyers has been doing the Elf on the Shelf for only a year, but it has quickly become an important part of her family’s Christmas traditions.
“My mother hides the elf in a different spot every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and my family searches for it,” Meyers said. “There is something special about this tradition that makes it enjoyable for my family and it is something that we will always remember doing.”
One of the most important aspects of this tradition is of course, where the elf is hidden. Many families hide the elf in creative places.
“One time the elf was inside the Christmas tree, and that was really hard to find,” Young said.
The elf may not just be in impractical places though; it may be hidden in some of the strangest places around the house.
“The best hiding spot was in the fridge with the condiments,” Meyers said.
The Elf on the Shelf is an example of how holiday traditions are always changing, but most of these traditions have at least one thing in common; they are centered around the importance of family and memories.