Make way on the shelf elf

The Elf on the Shelf balloon is carried down 6th Avenue during the 90th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan

Parents know “The Elf on the Shelf.” December is here and the tradition of Santa’s nightly relocating elf is here. In case you are not in the know, here’s the deal with the elf. Santa’s scout elf shows up at your house at the beginning of December to keep watch — a be good incentive of sorts. When a child receives an elf they give it a name and then their new friend serves as, “the eyes and ears of Santa Claus,” according to the company website. Not just confined to a shelf — this elf moves around every night to a new location, giving children the excitement of tracking said elf around the house and reading along in the eponymous book that came with.Since the introduction of this spirited holiday addition to the parental to-do repertoire, the line has expanded and now you can increase the elf’s world with tools, clothes, and even a pet in the form of a helpful St. Bernard or a reindeer.The Elf on the Shelf book and figure hit the market in 2004 and as so often happens other businesses have decided they want in on this competition for ledge space. In 2013 Monkeybar Consulting, LLC debuted, “The Mensch on the Bench.” The book tells the story of the figurine Moshe the Mensch. Moshe was in the temple with Judah and the Macabees when they overcame the oppression of the Greeks, and he is here to tell the tale. In the same spirit of the elf, the Mensch moves around every night and lore has it that if children behave he will let go of the Shamash candle easily to help light the Menorah, but if they misbehave … well, Moshe might not let go so easily, endangering the prospect of presents.In a similar vein, Dayspring Cards, Inc. came out with “The Shepherd on the Search.” The idea here is that during Advent the shepherd is traveling toward Bethlehem to witness the birth of Christ. The box the Shepherd comes in opens to an illustrated Nativity scene and included is a book of daily devotions.However you celebrate at your house — here’s to happy hiding, traveling, and the wonder of children. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year.