• By Amanda Blackburn.

The Elf on the Shelf.

The Elf on the Shelf is a children's picture book, that was written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell back in 2004. Chanda Bell and her mother were having tea when Chanda shared her idea. Carol thought it was a wonderful idea and she recruited her other daughter Christa to help with sales and marketing as she had some marketing experience. The three of them worked hard over the next three years promoting their self-published book.

The picture book tells a magical Christmas story with lovely illustrations is written in rhyme and includes a little poseable boy or girl scout elf. The story explains how Santa Claus knows who is naughty and who is nice. Santa sends his scout elves to hide in people's homes so they can watch what each chosen household gets up to. The scout elf waits till everyone in the house is asleep and flies back to the North Pole to notify Santa of who has been good and who has been bad. Every morning the scout elf has to fly back from the North Pole and hide somewhere different before the household awakes.

Scout elves only get their magic by being named and in the back of each book, there is an opportunity for families to do this. As a family, you must think of a name for your scout elf and write the name along with the date of adoption. When the scout elf is named he or she will receive its special Christmas magic, which allows it to fly to and from the North Pole. The book explains that you can talk to your scout elf and he will listen but the scout elf mustn't be touched as it will make the magic disappear.The Elf on the Shelf states, "There's only one rule that you have to follow, so I will come back and be here tomorrow: Please do not touch me. My magic might go, and Santa won't hear all I've seen or I know."

The story ends on Christmas Day when the scout elf has to leave to stay with Santa for the rest of the year, but he will return again next Christmas season.

It is easy to understand how The Elf on the Shelf has won so many awards as it is loved in our household and Christmas would never be the same without our Alfie elf.

Here are some photos of our Alfie elf.

Our little elf is such a flirt!

He is great at making things!

He likes to move around!