Mommy, Why is Elf on the Shelf Sold in a Store?

elfAs the Christmas season is approaching, my daughter is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her Elf on the Shelf. She looks forward to him appearing every year and she just loves the time he spends with us.

I think the Elf on the Shelf is a great concept however I was a little disappointed when my daughter came to me this year with the Target Toy Catalogue asking why the Elf was for sale in a store. I was at a loss for words because she caught me off guard and I wasn’t too sure how to answer that question. After all, the Elf is supposed to come to us from the North Pole, right? So, I took it upon myself to write in to the company asking them why they outright advertise their product in toy catalogues when they know children will see them there. I explained to them that they were ruining the magic of what they were selling and I didn’t know how to answer my daughter when she asked me why they were selling it.

The response I got was genius and it just goes to show that they are a company that really cares about customer service. I thought I would share with you the response I got just in case any other parents out there get the same question from their children and are unsure how to explain it:


“Thank you for taking the time to contact The Elf on the Shelf® Ms. ******. We certainly appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts, sentiments, and feelings with us concerning Santa’s helper and his place at Target.

As you can imagine, we are a company that LOVES Christmas! We love everything about it, especially the magic it brings to families. Nothing could upset us more than receiving a letter like yours in which your disappointment was palpable— for that, we are truly sorry.

While we don’t know the facts surrounding your particular situation, we did want to take a moment to share a bit of our history with you. Since our inception in 2005, we have been offered in a wide variety of toy stores, specialty boutiques, and book stores across the country. In fact, for several seasons many of the Borders and Barnes & Noble stores carried The Elf on the Shelf as well as advertised. As you can imagine, Santa wanted to share his secret with all of the families who wanted to adopt an elf. His solution was to set-up adoption centers across the country. As with adopting an animal, families can go to a store and pick-out their very own elf… the one they wish to adopt! The story does not indicate how Santa gets them to a family. As you can imagine, this became even more important as Santa received phone calls and letters from families all over the country – who wanted to adopt an elf.

In addition, Santa (in his great wisdom) allowed for elves to hibernate until they receive their name. As the book says “the first time I come to  the place you call home, you quickly must give me a name of my own, once you are finished my mission can start, what will you call me …” Thus, an elf does not receive its magic until it has been named.

In closing, I believe this may have been a misunderstanding. I know Santa would be happy to send a letter to your daughter which could explain the situation— if you like. If not, we certainly understand and wish you and your family the very best this holiday season.

D*** K*****”


How amazing is that response?! I especially love the part where they offer to send my daughter a letter from Santa and believe me, I will be taking them up on that offer!

I really appreciate companies that put a lot of thought in to their customer service and I think this is an perfect example. So, for any of you parents out there who get this question from their children and are stumped as to how to answer it, Elf on the Shelf has an answer for you!