Lynchburg, VA - This time of year there's the promise of Santa bringing gifts on Christmas to good little boys and girls that keeps our children on their best behavior.
But Santa has a little helper popping up in homes before the big day -- Elf on a Shelf -- and the whole family is getting in on the fun.
The Wydner family has a guest for the first time this holiday season. Mom Amy said it all started after Thanksgiving.
"I thought, you know, this house needed an Elf on the Shelf," Amy Wydner said
While Sylvie keeps an eye on 9 year old twins Olivia and Tye -- she's having a little fun of her own.
"Apparently some elves just move around the house and they sit in different places," Amy Wydner said. "Our elf gets into some trouble and some mischief.'
"She put flour on the table and made a snow angel," Olivia Wydner said.
"Miss Sylvie jailed me in," Tye Wydner explained, "At night time she went and duck taped all this area."
"I think anyone who knows us as a family would say that we're sometimes a little bit over the top so to welcome an elf into the house that does really cool, crazy things and has some antics that you normally don't see," Amy Wydner said.
Like many families, mom Amy is documenting it all on Facebook. With so many elf ideas popping up online, the popularity is surging.
Givens Books has a hard time keeping them in stock according to owner Danny Givens.
"So we've had lots of calls, had a run and reordered 2 or 3 times. Luckily they are quick in responding."
This year the demand keeps on coming.
"Typically it is earlier in the season but it's even selling out late into December," Givens said.
Every elf comes with a book explaining how it works -- he comes to your house and hides every morning, watches how the kids are behaving, then flies to the North Pole to tell Santa if your child has been good or bad.
Even though Sylvie the elf will be leaving the Wydner's on Christmas Eve, Mom has learned a lot about how it can help her children behave.
She plans on using that lesson into the New Year.
"I think I have some incentives planned throughout the year because even though she's not here, the kids need to know that they have eyes watching them," Amy Wydner said.
Elf on the Shelf runs about $30. There's even a movie out to get your family in the spirit
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