Origin and Secrets of Christmas Elves
Centuries ago, Scandinavian people believed
that elves guarded their homes against evil. If you were good, the elves
were good to you, but if you were bad, the mischievous elves would play
tricks on you. Some of the tricks they enjoyed playing were giving you
nightmares by sitting on your head while you were dreaming, tangling your
hair as you slept, making your milk turn sour, and stealing your sausages.
Folks believed that if they left a bowl of porridge on the doorstep at
night, the elves would be happy and not subject them to their ornery
Elves are known to be tiny, dwarf-like creatures, either male or female,
with pointed ears. They are youthful but immortal and have magic powers
that can control what you see and experience. Their abodes are said to be
underground, in forests, or in springs and wells, but no one really knows
because they keep their location a secret! On the last day of the
Christmas season, the elves light their torches and hold a special
celebration in a hidden field.
In the mid-1800's, when elaborate Christmas festivals regained popularity,
Christmas story writers reported the association elves have with Father Christmas
(Santa Claus). It is well known that the elves
help Santa design and make the wonderful toys and gifts he brings to
children, but they have other duties as well. Some elves take care of
Santa’s reindeer and keep his sleigh in good condition, ready to fly
through the skies on Christmas Eve. Others help Santa
keep his naughty and nice list in order, and some elves guard the secret
location of Santa’s village.
Elves make special appearances in the days before Christmas, to see which
children are behaving well and minding their parents. They are Santa’s
secret agents and report their findings back to him. Children who are
unkind and misbehave have their names added to the naughty list and may
wake up Christmas morning to find their stocking
filled with lumps of coal or bundles of twigs!