Actually a lot of strings. Tomorrow the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will get a little taste of the South, when The Elf on the Shelf makes its debut as a jumbo helium balloon in the beloved parade.
Back in 2005 Carol Aebersold and her twin daugthers, Chanda Bell and Christa Pitts, all of Powder Springs, Georgia, created an instant Christmas classic when they self-published The Elf on the Shelf , an illustrated storybook packaged with a darling elf doll. Inspired by Fisbee, a little toy elf who “magically” appeared in the Aebersold’s home each holiday season , the mother-daughter team decided to share their favorite family tradition with the help of rosy-cheeked pixie elves who keep an eye on little children and send reports back to Santa at the North Pole.
Since its debut The Elf on the Shelf has sold a whopping 2.5 million copies. Despite their meteoric success the company has stayed true to its Southern roots. Its headquarters remain in Marietta, Georgia, even as Carol, Chanda, Christa amass a mini-elf empire that includes foreign language translations, online games, a CBS television special and more.
The Elf on the Shelf balloon represents the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade character to come from the pages of a self-published book since Peter Rabbit in 1901. Production of the balloon started in early July and took 2-miles of fabric to complete; manning the massive balloon will require 100 handlers. Maneuvering through the jam-packed, and often windy, streets of Manhattan will require our favorite elf to be on his best behavior. But we feel certain he will rise to the occasion. We’ll be watching! Won’t you?