PSM: How did the tradition take off?
CB: Like every good tradition, this one's evolved over time. The elf got a name, he now does more than just fly back and forth. The story as it's written is based upon our own family's personal tradition [Chanda ultimately founded The Elf on the Shelf with her mom, Carol Aebersold, and twin sister, Christa Pitts] and the experience of our elf. "Fizzy" was our elf’s name.
I always knew how special this tradition would be to others because we knew what it meant to us growing up. I'm 40, and I remember talking to my elf, telling him what I wanted for Christmas . . . as a tradition, I knew what this would mean for families.
I'm so thankful that everything happened the way that it did. I think if a publisher had picked it up, I don't think that they would have loved [the Elf] the way we do.