What Is Elf On The Shelf? Christmas Toys For Children

03/12/2014 15:16 GMT | Updated 03/12/2014 15:59 GMT

It would appear that the internet has gone into meltdown about Christmas toy, Elf On The Shelf. But what on earth is it? And why is everyone going mad for it?

If you want to be a good parent this year, or at least not be blamed for being clueless and ruining Christmas, listen.

Elf on the Shelf is a traditional Christmas gift for children which originates in America.

elf on the shelf

It was originally released as a children’s book, which adopts clever rhyming and explains the story of Santa’s scout elves, who are sent to be Santa’s eyes and ears at children’s homes around the world - to make sure they behave themselves.

The book now comes with a traditional boy or girl scout elf who can be purchased in multiple ethnicities. The idea being that you can recreate the Elf on the Shelf story in your own home.

How it works

While adults are free to touch the elf (just not in front of the kids), the golden rule for children is that they don't ever touch it. Let's face it, it will probably last longer that way...

But if your child does touch it, the story says that the elf will disappear forever more. And nobody wants that.

In the run up to Christmas, the elf scout is placed in various areas around the house. While it never moves during the daytime, by morning you can guarantee that it will have moved somewhere else - because that's your job.

SEE ALSO:

Top 15 Christmas Toys 2014: Best Gifts For Children

11 Coolest Toys For Christmas 2014: NERF, Lego, Amiibo... And An Old Friend

Though we're not altogether sure why this American craze is suddenly becoming a huge deal in the UK (although, should we be surprised? Two words: Black Friday), we do know that it's set to be BIG news.

Oh and your kids will probably want one too...