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Finally a Christmas toy worth standing in line for: The Elf on the Shelf

With only a few a days before Christmas, hopefully you have finished your shopping for everyone.  I have yet to wrap my presents but am thankful that at least I’ve bought them and don’t have to go to the mall, currently filled with last minute shoppers freaking out over whether to buy their loved ones dress socks or fruit cake…cause everything else is sold out! (Quick hint:  get the dress socks!  Nobody likes fruit cake and the only time they say they do is if someone gives it to them for Christmas: “Oh Fruit Cake!!! Thank you so much…it’s my favourite!”) Uh-uh. No. Not true.

And if you are thinking you can still get the “it” toy of the season, forged aboud it (insert Italian accent here).  Every year there is one toy or gift that is the must-have of the year. People stand in line for hours outside stores waiting for the doors to open so they can climb over each other in order to snag the “best gift this year!”

Personally, I usually can’t see what all the big fuss is about for these “it” toys or who has decided they are the best gift to buy each yer.  Plus how is it in the spirit of Christmas to play tug-a-war at the mall with a stranger over a toy that their child will play with for maybe a few months and then sell at next summer’s garage sale?

I actually have a memory of watching television when I was six years old and during a commercial, there was a breaking news story about mothers fighting over Cabbage Patch Dolls.  People had actually been injured trying to outrun each other in the store to the display case in order to snag this “it” present.  I admit that I did get a Cabbage Patch Doll that year and loved it but I don’t think it would have been worth my mother breaking her arm over it if she had.

Funny story: my husband accidentally told me that even HE got a Cabbage Patch doll that year because his mom had found out it was the present that every kid had to have for Christmas.  Unfortunately he was twelve years old so the doll didn’t bring on the squeals of glee his mom was hoping for.  ( He wanted to make sure that I mentioned it was a BOY Cabbage Patch Doll he received although I’ve never actually confirmed this with his mom…have to remember to check this fact next time I speak to her.)

And of course, who can forget the Tickle Me Elmo frenzy of 1996 where people were selling them on the black market for hundreds of dollars as the demand was so great.  Again, it’s a fun kid’s toy but was it really worth giving up a small education fund for? (I just saw a used one at a garage sale last year for $2 dollars…need I say more! I’m guessing this was from the new and inproved Tickle Me Elmo of Christmas 2008).

I was watching the news a couple of weeks ago waiting to find out what this year’s “it” toy was and to my utter surprise it isn’t a giggling doll or a video game console or even the new I Phone 4S (I know..shocking!)  This year there’s finally a children’s gift that embodies the spirit of Christmas and holiday magic that’s worth standing in the freezing cold for hours for. And guess what?  It’s a book! That’s right, this is not a typo!  An actual book about Christmas that families can use every year as a holiday tradition called The Elf of the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition.”

Even the story behind this book is magical:  “After sending out The Elf on the Shelf to major publishing houses, only to receive rejection letter after rejection letter, Aebersold and Bell decided to self-publish. They created CCA and B, which stands for Creatively Classic Activities and Books, alongside Bell’s twin sister, Christa Pitts. Starting with only 300 copies of The Elf on the Shelf, CCA and B has since sold over 1.5 million copies.” (Courtesy of Wikipedia.Thank you!)

The book comes with a small pixie elf scout that the children can name and adopt.  The plot and premise is that this little elf observes the children during the day and then flies off back to the North Pole each night before Christmas to report to Santa whether the kids have been naughty or nice. (Can’t you just picture it now? Your kids are putting up a fight not wanting to clean their room and all you have to do is point to the elf scout on the shelf and presto…the room is clean! I told you this book is magical!)

The elf comes back each morning before the family wakes and never lands in the same spot so the kids have to go find him each day.  As well, they can’t touch the elf or he will lose all his magic and be unable to tell Santa if the children have been good or what they want for Christmas (they can’t touch him but they can tell him what they want for Christmas so he can report this back to Santa).

I know what you’re thinking right now, “I gotta have this for Christmas this year!!” But unfortunately because it is the “it” gift of the season, it is sold out everywhere. Trust me, when I heard about it I started researching online and couldn’t find it anywhere except from the Scrooges who demand five times the retail price. Now how is that in the Christmas Spirit? Their elf is not going to have a very good report to give to Santa this year!

But even if I can’t buy this gift for Christmas this year, I’ll be making sure to create a reminder for myself to look for it early in the New Year for my family. Because unlike those “it” toys that cause riots and injury each year only to end up on the front lawn, this book can become a yearly tradition that reminds the whole family to be nice rather not naughty.  And isn’t this what Christmas is all about anyway?

Coupon tip of the week:  In the spirit of Christmas, I would suggest, to those of you who have a stockpile in your house from couponing, to lighten your load this week and consider donating some items to the less fortunate.  A bottle of shampoo or a deodorant may seem an everyday thing to most of us, but to someone struggling, this is a luxury and would be wonderful to receive for Christmas.  Plus it will give you more Coupon Karma for 2012!  Happy Holidays!




Community Coordinator at, blogger, social media junkie, proud mama, fabulously frugal, proud to be from our beautiful city!

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