Are you one of those people that decorates and puts your Christmas tree up right after Thanksgiving or, in some cases, before?  Do you hang the lights around the eaves of the house and put a wreath on the front door?

Do you hang your Christmas stockings on the fireplace?

Do you have The Elf on a Shelf?

I have to admit I have been hearing about the Elf on the Shelf, but really didn't have a clue what it was.

Little did I know this whole The Elf on a Shelf phenomenon is a Christmas tradition and was started by a woman and her two daughters.

The Elf on the Shelf story was created in 2004 by Carol Aebersold and her daughters Chanda and Christa, who decided to write a book about their own family tradition of an elf sent from Santa who came to watch over them

So, what is The Elf on the Shelf?

The Elf on the Shelf is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists.

When a family adopts a scout elf and gives it a name, the scout elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day's adventures.

Each morning, the scout elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun.

Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their scout elf each morning.

The Elf on the Shelf won the Best Toy Award and  the Book of the Year Award in 2008.

In November 2011, the book, An Elf's Story: The Elf on the Shelf, aired on CBS as a 30-minute animated TV show,

The Elf on the Shelf even made its first appearance in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2012 and in  2013 The Elf on the Shelf hit the No. 1 spot on the USA Today Bestsellers List.

If you have not adopted your own  Elf on the Shelf, you can get one for about $29.99 and are available for adoption at any of these locations here in Billings.

If you want to make your Elf on the Shelf a little more personal you can make your own at Bricks & Minifigs here in Billings, (where my friend Dave Jernberg made my little friend above).

I, for one, will be adding the tradition of The Elf on the Shelf to my holiday season.