The Many Ways That Elf On The Shelf Has Become A Pop Culture Trend

Elf1(PCM) It is that time of year again when everyone’s favorite little elf comes out of hiding and begins popping up in various areas throughout the homes of people all over the world. Anymore, these elves are doing anything but simply sitting on the shelf. What started out as a game for children to teach them the difference between being naughty and nice has become a pop culture phenomenon that has attracted many adults in on the fun and has shown no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

The Elf On The Shelf was created back in 2005 and in case you don’t know the story behind it, I will share what is listed on the official Elf On The Shelf website:

The Elf on the Shelf® is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day’s adventures. Each morning, the elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their elf each morning.

There are two simple rules that every child knows when it comes to having an elf. First, an elf cannot be touched; Christmas magic is very fragile and if an elf is touched it may lose that magic and be unable to fly back to the North Pole. Second, an elf cannot speak or move while anyone in the house is awake! An elf’s job is to watch and listen.

While majority of families with young children keep to the Elf On The Shelf’s original purpose, others have definitely put their own spin on things and created their own fun and games with the elf. In fact, there has even been a parody book created called Elf Off The Shelf that is for adults only and tells the tale of Horace the Elf who runs AWOL from his Christmastime duties and enjoys stirring up a bit of mischief.

Speaking of parodies, people have also begun to place the elf in quite some interesting situations that play on other aspect of pop culture. Some of those include the elf twerking on Santa Claus, auditioning for the Voice, having a date night with Barbie, dressed up a Harry Potter and more!  You can check out Buzzfeed’s list of the top 33 Elf On The Shelf ideas here!

Elf-drunk1Newfoundland has even used the elf in an anti-drunk driving PSA that has since gone viral that features the elf going out, getting hammered, getting behind the wheel of a pink toy car, then getting pulled over, failing a breathalyzer test and ultimately ending up in the slammer. Some critics of the campaign expressed concern about the effect that the PSA would have on a child’s preconceived notions about the Elf On The Shelf, taking away the innocence of the toy, however the people behind the PSA claim that it acts as a wonderful deterrent and shows the consequences of being “naughty” by driving while intoxicated.

The folks at Robinwood Photography have also created a hilarious series of photos featuring their Elf On The Shelf named Elfward, who while the children are away or asleep gets himself into quite a bit of mischief including reenacting Friday the 13th films, jumping the hot tub with Barbie, and playing the dating game!   The results are hilarious, but definitely for adult eyes only…there is a tame section on the site for Elfward’s more toned down adventures.

Elf-4There are other people who believe that the elf is just plain creepy and some psychologists claims that it can actually be damaging to children rather than helpful, by claiming that it should be the parents who are in charge as the authority in the home, not the elf or Santa Claus. It can also keep parents who are already stressed around the holiday season even more busy because they have to “remember” to move the elf to a new hiding spot each and every day and if they forget, the outcome could be devastating to the children and defeat the entire purpose of the elf in the first place.

We want to hear from you!  Do you have an Elf On The Shelf in your home?  Do you have any fun stories to share? Do you think the elf is creepy or innocent fun?