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Elf craze making for a new Christmas tradition

Lexington, Ky. (WKYT)-It's that time of year when there is Christmas magic floating in the air.

Chances are if you have a little one at home you also have a wildly popular Elf on the Shelf.

He appears each day as a look out for Santa, keeping watch for those who should be on the naughty or nice list.

WKYT's Amber Philpott has a rare look inside the world of these elves who have become just as special as good Ole Saint Nick himself.

He shows up the minute the month of December arrives.

Many times swinging from the branches of Christmas trees, other times, well you just don't know what he will be up to.

He is "Elf On the Shelf" and his mission is to be Santa's eyes and ears on the ground in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas.

Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington is one of many elf adoption centers where you can choose your own elf to take home.

Jennifer Hendren the Marketing Director at Joseph-Bell says she has seen the popularity of Elf On the Shelf grow and grow every year.

Once families adopt their elf, when the real magic begins.

" The other real important thing is that the parents have to remember to tell the kids is that we can't touch the elf because he loses his magic if you touch him and if he loses his magic he can't go back and talk to santa," said Hendren.

To date there are six million elves in Santa's army out and about.

It seems each day Facebook is flooded with photos of him, because we all love to "like" and "share" the mischievous and often times clever shenanigans of our beloved elves.

WKYT even has an elf, Newsie shows up lots of places!

He can be pesky and cause trouble, he thinks he supposed to be on the anchor desk, he eaves drops on meetings and even points out those on Santa's naughty list.

Elf On the Shelf first became popular in 2005, when a mother and her two daughters in Georgia decided to tell the story of their family elf by writing a children's book.

Once the book hit store shelves, that's when the elf craze took off and now he is everywhere.

And just when you think you know where or what Elf On the Shelf will be doing next, he shows up in a place you might not expect.

At Scott County Middle School there are hundreds of boys and girls ready for Christmas, but while they study there is someone watching over them.

"We have the typical Elf On the Shelf that has come to make sure that we get through our last two weeks of school on a positive note," said Jeri Fendley, the Dean of Students.

I even noticed that during my interview with Fendley the school elf was keeping a close watch on both of us.

Before the students went home for break, the school elf made sure to have a lot of fun.

One day the students arrived to school to find their elf had toilet papered the cafeteria and on another day he took selfies on the copy machine!

How does he get in you ask? Well he has his own door.

"When we first came in here when I walked through the door I didn't know what was going on cause well I saw the door, I was really confused," said Emily Sumrall, a seventh grade student.

The students never know where he will show up next.

"They are excited to see it and they are constantly looking for it throughout the building," said Fendley.

I took some seventh graders to see if we could find where their elf was hiding, we looked high and low, but in the end he was still hiding out in Mrs. Fendley's room!

And if there was any doubt, the students and staff did get some good news from their elf before heading home for Christmas break.

"We actually got a nice list so I was thrilled, we made an announcement that we got a letter in the mail from the North Pole," said Fendley.

He may be sneaky, and whether you believe or not it seems this little elf is a new holiday tradition here to stay and spread a little cheer.

If you are wondering there are now girl elves available as well!


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