I honestly had no idea what the buzz was all about the first 20 times I saw a picture of this little elf. So of course, I had to know more. The Elf on the Shelf is everywhere this holiday season! And here's some history behind this little guy.

The original story involves a woman named Flora Johnson and an elf she called Christopher Pop-In-Kins who visited her children during the holiday season. Every year, the elf returned. Then, one year,  Flora received a call from her very excited grandson: the elf had just “popped in” to his home.  Flora realized she had to share her  elf tradition with the rest of the world. She began writing a story about a little elf who visits children during the holidays and over the next fifteen years, Johnson made over 10,000 Christopher Pop-In-Kins elves at her kitchen table.

So how does this all work with your kids?

Once everyone goes to bed, the elf flies back to the North Pole to report back to Santa about what activities, good and bad, took place throughout the day. Before the family wakes up, the scout elf flies back from the North Pole and hides. By hiding in a new spot each morning around the house, the scout elf and the family play an on-going game of hide and seek. However, there are a few rules:

Rule 9,000,000,000 for The Elf on the Shelf states: "There's 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."

Although families aren't supposed to touch their scout elf, they can talk to it and tell it all their Christmas wishes so it can report back to Santa accurately. On Christmas Day your elf will leave for the rest of the year until Thanksgiving comes.

Send us your Elf on the Shelf pictures!  cindy@98country.com