Elf on the Shelf® is based on a book written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell, that explains to children how Santa knows who is "naughty" and who is "nice." The elf watches your children, and can also get into all sorts of mischief along the way before he "returns" home to the North Pole on Christmas.

The book was written about 2005, and by the time I heard about it, my kids were almost too old to really partake. Yeah, I'm happy about that, I didn't have to go buy the doll, and then come up with all sorts of places to put him, in all sorts of activities, all the while trying to hide it from my girls, and keep the cats out of the staged scenes.

I have seen all sorts of posts all over my Facebook feed of my friends who are following through with this tradition, and if that's your thing, I am happy to see the pictures. It does help get the kiddos excited for Christmas, although they may not need the help. However, don't ask me for any ideas, I am the one who laughs at the inappropriate memes I am seeing, like Darth Vadar using the force to hold the elf up against the wall. Ok, I laughed way too hard at that one.

So, Elf, is it a great little harmless doll, or a creepy little dude? My vote, well I am sure you guessed it, creepy little dude. If you need ideas for your elf, you can check these out.