About five years ago, one of Santa's helpers showed up on store shelves and didn't last long. The petite elves became a parent's best friend almost overnight and have since made their way to your house, starting as early as Thanksgiving.
They roam your house—and life—for the weeks between fall/winter holidays, keeping watch over the kids, reminding them to be good because the Elf on the Shelf has direct line to Santa in the North Pole. Naughty behavior is not tolerated by the elf and is reported immediately. Some families even go so far as to remind their children of the elf other times of year when behavior warrants it. And everyone names theirs. Scout, Jingles, Sandy and Patchie are just a few we've heard.
The elf has become so mainstream, in fact, that some parents feel like bad ones for not using the little helper as a tool for good behavior, according to the Huffington Post.
Patchy the Elf
Do you have an elf? What's his or her name? If you don't have one, why don't you? Tell us in the comments. Add your photo by clicking on the green "Upload Photos and Videos" icon.