In 2005, we were introduced to Santa's watchdog, the Elf on the Shelf. Based on a tradition long running in the author's family, the Elf on the Shelf became an instant hit with kids, and parents alike. What a wonderful idea, and an amazing way to keep the Christmas spirit alive in kids young and old.

Rewind to the 80's. Back in 1983, two unsuspecting "adults" gave birth to a legend, ME! Now, I wasn't a total "bad" kid, but I did have the hobby of pushing and bending the rules set upon me by my grandmother and parents. Being and only child, I had no one to tattle on me, nor did I have someone else to blame it on, unless you ask my mother that would claim she was raising a child she gave birth to and one she married.

There was no "Santa Snitch" Elf on the Shelf. I had the big man himself looking down on me. Now, you might ask, where did he establish his view point? Well, the one place that every room in every house had. The AC vents in the ceiling. This wasn't a "seasonal" thing either. This was year round. I would act up, throw a fit, do something wrong, and the family member overseeing me at that time would immediately look up and so "oop, I just saw Santa up there peeking in the vent". Immediately I would whip around and look right at the vent (I learned where every AC vent was in ever family member's house as a result). This also might have resulted in me learning how to climb in the attic and find out how the entire home HVAC system worked. As I would become skeptical, Santa would get sloppy and drop half eaten cookies below the vents randomly as Christmas time would approach.

The kids these days have it easy, the elf doesn't move. Until you have the big guy himself watching you through the AC vents, I don't want to hear you complain.