The Elf on the Shelf — An Advent Story?

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Photos of Elf Displays come from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum’s 2015 display– collection of Linda Seccaspina

If you want to become a millionaire, the best way to do it is create something that becomes a Christmas tradition. If you write a Christmas song that becomes a hit, that means huge royalties every year. Write a “classic” Christmas book like the Polar Express, and hopefully it will get made into movie some day.

At Christmas time, there may be no more divisive element in the parent blogosphere than Elf on the Shelf, the children’s book and keepsake turned holiday phenomenon. In just five years since the Elf arrived on the shelves, he has become almost as integral to some family’s traditions as trees, Santa and Advent calendars. How did I miss this last year?

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See the original Elf on a Shelf  in the Memories of the Eaton’s Christmas Catalogue Room at the Museum. Gold ones, green ones, you name it. Would that be an original Lee Valley wooden ornament? Yes it would:)

Elf on the Shelf is actually a copy of Christopher Pop-in-Kin (1984) concept or the “Magic Elf” (1997)– which was really taken from the 60s hug me elves made in Japan– so the question is– why is it being touted as original?

Why all the hoopla?

Why the touting as “original and unique?”

Why isn’t the press questioning the whole idea? Is it because the shelf elf has a bigger budget?


The Elf on the Shelf is supposed to watch your children and report back to Santa every night if they have been good or bad that day. To top that off, the Elf moves from shelf to shelf when you are asleep. With all these elves out and about does this mean Santa really runs a sweat shop?
.A friend positioned hers on top of some lights in the bathroom and when her daughter turned the lights one morning, they smelled burning plastic. Of course the elf’s hands had melted and the felt costume was charred. Again, the kids were horrified.

A local schoolteacher said she hates those little pointy-eared ba***rds. She says the elves’ “pranks” are just getting her kids all riled up before school and thus making it very hard for her to maintain control in the classroom. Of course all the kids want to do is swap stories about what their elves have been up to.

There is no doubt in my mind we send children the craziest mixed messages! We tell them not to take candy from strangers or knock on a strangers door and then we have Halloween. We tell them not to talk to strange old men and then sit them on Santa’s lap. We tell them monsters do not exist, and then take their picture with a 6-foot rabbit.

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Just this morning, someone was explaining to a 4-year old in Walmart that Santa doesn’t come to their house because they aren’t signed up for his plan. No elf for me, as I have an Advent Calendar and the advent calendar has chocolate. That elf doesn’t have chocolate, so I will just remain happy with my Gnomes– Yup– Gnomes on the Roam

!

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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