Glossy Magazine interviews Chanda Bell to find out how The Elf on the Shelf started…
The Elf on the Shelf character began with the magic of a holiday tradition from my own family. As children, my siblings and I had a Scout Elf named Fisbee, who visited us in the weeks before Christmas. He flew back and forth to the North Pole each night, reporting our secrets and Christmas wishes to Santa, and hid in a new spot in our home each morning. Fisbee became one of our family’s most beloved Christmas traditions.
Many years later, my mother, Carol, and I wrote the story of our family’s elf. We called it The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition. We couldn’t get anyone to publish our book, so with no money and no experience, we set out to share our family tradition and in 2005, my sister Christa joined in the venture to start our own company.
In the years since, we have grown from that single product into a global enterprise and The Lumistella Company has launched a portfolio of brands, products, entertainment and experiences that support Santa’s universe of storytelling.
I never imagined that what started with a spark of an idea and one little elf would create a business creating joyful family moments at Christmas-time.
Although our family thinks about Christmas every day throughout the year, I still enjoy the holiday as my favorite day of the year! My family always has a cookie-decorating contest on Christmas Eve putting our creations on social media for votes. The winning cookie(s) are left out for Santa Claus and the elves to enjoy as they fuel themselves up during the Christmas Eve flight.
I will also get together with my extended family and we’ll laugh and enjoy our time together. We’ll prepare a wonderful holiday meal, exchange gifts, play games and watch movies while reflecting on wonderful memories. And, of course, we’ll share stories of our families’ own elves as well as the most terrific stories from our fans during the holiday season.
The Elf on the Shelf is popular in the UK and all around the world because not only do families trust the authentic, original Scout Elf, but because it’s a tradition families can make their own.
We say Scout Elves match the personalities of their families, so it really is possible to have a holiday elf tradition as involved or as simple as a family wants to make it! We provide a robust collection of resources, ideas, products and inspiration, all of which can be accessed from elfontheshelf.co.uk, and all of them are designed to help families truly make the tradition their own.
Arriving with the hardcover storybook and keepsake box, it is easy to recognise the authentic, original Scout Elf, as they wear a completely red suit and a red hat with white trim, a white pointy collar and white mittens. The official Scout Elf from The Elf on the Shelf is not only trusted by Santa but also trusted by kids and parents to bring joyful family moments with family-friendly stories and characters.
We know families want to invest in genuine, official products and in quality, family-friendly entertainment and experiences, and we believe there’s magic in being authentic and original. We put our heart into everything we create, bringing joyful family moments for families around the world, something that is hard to replicate.
In 2024, we have many exciting surprises in store for fans of The Elf on the Shelf. In addition to our existing core brands and characters, we plan to debut a host of new characters and stories that will surprise and delight fans in the UK and across the globe!
As Santa’s chief storyteller, I’ve been hard at work writing a chapter book for older kids to be published in 2024 in partnership with Farshore/Harper Collins. It reveals origins of the fantastical North Pole and of Santa Claus himself.
We are so proud to be a part of family traditions across the UK. And we can’t wait for you to see what’s to come in the years ahead!