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I Cried Over The Elf on the Shelf

12/14/12

There is a debate RAGING on the Internet.  Women everywhere are picking sides.  Tears have been shed and families are divided.

The polarizing figure in the middle?  The Elf on the Shelf.

Gray Benko's Elf on The ShelfThere are families who are Elf fanatics and so very creative.  My friend and photographer Gray Benko posted Elf pictures on her Instagram (see photo above) that cracked me up.  Pinterest is flooded with ideas.  And have you seen Ashley Hakshaw’s of Little Blue Boo Elf series?  She even has R-rated outtakes!

But then there are people who are – shall we say – more Anti-Elf.

Elf with BeerJen from People I Want to Punch in the Throat wrote a now famous blog post poking fun at Overachieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies.   Rebeccah Conelly of Charleston Grit asked if we should all just “Elf/Eff It?”  I even have a Facebook friend who posted that one her 30 Things to Be Thankful For was her daughter didn’t like Elf on The Shelf.  Ha!

For the record, I’m pro Elf.   Our elf Sammy visits Santa on some nights but on some nights he doesn’t.  So do you think I’m crying because I just can’t manage one more holiday thing?

Come on now, you know me better than that.

Christa Pitts, Co-CEO, Carol Aebersold, Co-Author of Elf on the Shelf® and Chanda Bell, Co-CEO & Co-Author of Elf on the Shelf®

Christa Pitts, Co-CEO, Carol Aebersold, Co-Author of Elf on the Shelf® and Chanda Bell, Co-CEO & Co-Author of Elf on the Shelf®

Two years ago, I saw the Elf on the Shelf founders Carol Aebersold, Chanda Bell and Christa Pitts at Tory Johnson’s Spark & Hustle in Atlanta.  Carol is the mother of Chanda and Christa.  I had no idea who they were before the conference.

While telling their story, the sisters talked about how one sold her house and moved her family in with the other sister to raise capital.  How they put everything into the company and how risky it really was.  Even two years ago, I was impressed.

After they spoke I caught up with the three ladies, “I just wanted to thank you for telling us about your hard times…” I said catching my breath.  Then choked back a tear and finished “Because that’s where I am with my business right now.”  They all said encouraging things but then Carol (the mother) came over and hugged me.  HUGGED me!  It was just what I needed.

Our Elf on the Shelf

As the Elf debate reaches new heights, I couldn’t be happier for the company.  Any press is good press and their sales must be benefiting from the controversy.  Fortune just reported their 2011 sales hit $16.6 million with 149% year-over-year growth.  They even have a balloon the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

The next time you look at your Elf on the Shelf perhaps you’ll see more than a fun holiday tradition.  Maybe, like me, you’ll see an impressive entrepreneurial tale.  It’s the real one I’ll be passing along to my daughters when they grow up.

Now where is that elf?  I’ve got a three-year-old who need to be reminded that Santa is watching.

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