My father-in-law's heritage is Danish and they have held on to a few traditions from that part of the world. Having a Julenisse is one of those. Julenisse are elves that sit on a shelf and watch over the presents under the tree. Justin's grandmother keeps hers up all year and it supposedly protects their house. I wouldn't be surprised if Elf On The Shelf is derived from this tradition.
Ours is adorable and pretty much looks like a mini-Santa. He was my husband's great-grandmother's originally and is actually from Denmark! I love having a tradition from my husband's side of the family that will continue on in our own family. So fun!
Cute, right? Now I just need a good name for him. Any suggestions?