Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Original Magical Elf on the Shelf - 1960's style

This is my Elfie - he's been around since the 1960's.   You can usually find him hidden in different branches of my tree.  He came out tonight for a photo op.
I recently watched the TV special Elf on the Shelf.   For those who haven't seen the show, I'll give you a brief rundown - correct me if I don't get it right all of you Elf on the Shelf enthusiasts.  The program focuses on a 9-year-old boy skeptical about Christmas. His two younger sisters adopt an elf they name Chippey, who has to convince the boy that Christmas is real.  The rules are not to touch Chippey or he loses his magical powers to go back and forth to the North Pole telling Santa who's naughty and who's nice.  Well, of course you know what happens.  What 9-year-old boy wouldn't touch Chippey.  And of course he loses his magical powers and the boy has to figure out a way to help Chippey get them back.

Hmm, I thought, Chippey looks suspiciously like my 1960's magical elf named Elfie (I know, not a very original name, is it?).  Maybe he's a great grandchild or something.  And I didn't know elves could reproduce - I thought they just happened.  Tonight  I was reading my friend Tara's post in Modern Parent Online about her Elf on the Shelf and the little lies that go along with having a magical elf.  It floored me that she thought they were lies.  I mean everyone knows that elves exist don't they?  Hasn't everyone seen an elf dart by, peeking through the window during the days leading up to Christmas?  I specifically remember one flying by our car window one day in the parking lot at Belk's Department Store in the late 1970's when my youngest was having a mild tantrum.  When I mentioned seeing the elf, she straightened up immediately.  Magic, indeed!


I have several of these little elves from the '60's tucked away in the branches of my Christmas tree. I unpack them carefully each year and wait for the magic to happen. And it always does.
p.s.  Elfie doesn't look as creepy as Chippey, does he?
The blur in this photo is caused by Elfie flying by so fast.  Can you spot where he settled in the tree?



17 comments:

  1. OMG, what a great story!

    I secretly think they're a little bit real.

    When I was about 7 or 8, my grandmother had one. She would move it around when we weren't looking (several times during the same visit). Once she put it up on top of the refrigerator, right next to a beautifully frosted cake. After I saw it, I started crying and my mom was like, "What? What's the matter? It's just the elf." and I was like, "I thought I was going to get some of that cake!"

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  2. I never heard any elf tales during my childhood. I guess we were all too bad for them to dream of visiting. That, or they couldn't keep up with our gypsy ways. We always used 'Santa' is watching for our magical cure.

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  3. I have 6 elves, that size one looks exactly like it from the 60's, one is red, one white, one is green/white stripes, red/gold stipes, one for each child with their names printed on the hat band. Also have a set of smaller ones in different colors, wish I had thought of making up elf stories, that's a clever idea. To bad they are all to old to believe stories now. LOL.

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    1. My sister,brother,and I had the exact same ones. I have the red and white one and every year I hang him on the tree.I bought the Elf on the shelf for my grandkids. Iam so glad there is a book with it, because I don't remember any story with mine. My grandkids couldn't believe that I had one too.

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    2. there was never a story for the original elf. It's a recent made up story and it's sad to see they need to market as such.

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  4. Well they say that fairies and elves live at the bottom of the garden so I will have to seriously search.
    I haven't an elf on my shelf though, but loved your story.
    Hope you & Elfie have a lovely Christmas.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  5. Hi, i was wondering if you have an elf that you could sell to me for my friend that lost hers in Hurrricane Sandy.? If so could you post a way for me to contact you?
    She told me that her teacher gave it to her for helping out and she had it until now. Due to the hurricane it got destroyed.
    Helen on staten island

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    1. Hi Helen, thank you for your comment. It's very sweet of you to think of your friend and her disappointment at losing a favorite childhood momento. My little elves have been promised to the grandchildren, but it's really easy to find them on Ebay or Etsy. I'm so sorry that she lost hers in the hurricane! The little treasures from our childhood give us so much pleasure!

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  6. My Gramma has BOTH the Red and Green ones from the 60's and they are in FINE shape! They come out at Christmas as well and sit under the tree to help along the magic. After all Gramma is 87 :) Thanks for sharing YOUR story so that I could google it and SHOW others that there ARE indeed ORIGINAL ones.

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  7. My mother and her three siblings each had one of these as children. I now have my Moms,which is gold, and she still has the one that belonged to her brother who passed in 1978. To me they were just always ornaments that belonged to my Mom and uncles when they were tykes. Now I'm 38 and still have the poor little thing. Every year it sits with the rest of the ornaments on the 3 foot tree we use for our keepsake ornaments. I never realized there was some kind of story that went along with these elves.

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  8. There wasn't a story on the original ones from the 1960's. It's just over the last two or three years that a similar looking elf (Chippey) hit the bookstores and toy shops - then in turn became an animated Christmas Special for TV audiences. I just wanted to reminisce about the magic of elves during the growing up years of my children. They were Santa's little spies and kept a lot of children on the "good behavior" list. My little elf that I've pictured above has been with me for many years.

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    1. Hi Glenda, I have a question in 10 years old and I have an elf on the shelf named Teeny, is he real or do my Mommy an Daddy move him at night? I believe in him and I always will! Can Teeny and your elves be friends? Teeny isn't at home right now he leaves on Christmas but when he comes back? I have an elf on the shelf plush and a elf that I by accidently touched and now she's a toy

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    2. Emma, as I said in my story, my children and I have experienced many magical Christmas moments with our elves - and now my grandchildren are experiencing the magic also. Elfie moves around quite often during the Christmas season and I look forward every year seeing him again. I'm sure Elfie would love having Teeny as a friend. I hope you have many, many happy years with your magical elf!

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  9. My first grade teacher gave each of her students in her class an elf that hugged it's legs for a Christmas gift in 1967. She placed each of the sitting elves hugging their legs on the top ledge of the chalk board. It was during the Vietam War and her husband was in the military at the time. And it was her first year of teaching at Central Elementary School in Sparta, MI. My elf sits on my self with other Christmas decorations each year. It is one of the very few items that I have from my childhood of Christmas memories. I had no idea the history behind this elf until I saw the book and elf in the store after Christmas this year and said, "Hey, I think I own an original Elf on the Self! My 1st grade teacher gave it to me for Christmas." That was 45 Christmases ago.
    Thank you to my 1st grade teacher for the great memory and keepsake.

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  10. I'm 49 yo and this is the first I knew about it now. I heard it mentioned this last summer when my boss nicknamed a co-worker elf on the shelf but I assumed it was something he made up. Then again in the Macy's parade. When I saw an ad a few minutes ago, I decided to look it up, and now I know.

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  11. We started the elf on the shelf this year. My 5yo loves it I never heard of this as a child myself so was egar to give it a try yes the current elves. Are rather strange compared to their vintage ancestors I was at a Antique. Market last week and passed a table full of Christmas decorations when a glint of gold caught my eye I looked down and there staring at me was a vintage EOTS he seemed. To be saying take me home Please I seen them on facebook on a elf on the shelf group I

    joined in December his outfit is completely gold he has a red ting to his hair I instantly fell I love with him his tad said snowman so we kept that name he's currently on our Christmas tree but will joined our other elves come December 2014. I adore these vintage elves keeping an eye out for more.

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