Elf On The Shelf, Meet Mensch On A Bench And The Birthday Tradition

Elf on the Shelf has met his match with Mensch on a Bench, and now the cute little elf also has one more reason to show up with “The Birthday Tradition”.

In other elven news, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, residents of Iceland take their elves seriously, as seen by a recent push to protect elf habitats.

Elf on the Shelf now has a Jewish relative, purportedly to be released in 2014. Mensch on a Bench is the brainchild of former Hasbro Toys employee and dad, Neal Hoffman. Mr. Hoffman apparently felt bad about his son Jacob being left out of all the fun his Christian playmates were enjoying, so he decided to do something about it. Mensch on a Bench was brought to like by a Kickstarter campaign and does include a story book, Moshe the Mensch. The book gives some background to the little Mensch, describing how he was in the temple when Judah and the Maccabees celebrated their victory over the Greeks. Moshe watched the Menorah over night, with only enough oil for his lamp for one night. Mr. Hoffman says he sees Elf on the Shelf as more a commercial aspect of the holidays, but maintains that he thinks Mensch can bee seen as a keeper of the traditions of Judaism:

“I said to myself that I wished there was a toy and book that was an alternative, that was rooted in Jewish traditions. The Elf is more secular and not as religious, just pure fun. I think we have a fun idea that Jewish families can rally around and use to make Hanukkah more fun. Over the next couple years, Jewish families will decide if this is a great idea and something they want, or if the Mensch will become a rare collectors item.”

So Jewish parents can now officially join in on the tradition of scaring the kids into good behavior with a tattle-tale toy this holiday season!

Carol V. Aebersold, creator of the Elf on the Shelf companion book, has also released a new book. “The Birthday Tradition“, wherein Santa allows the elf to return for one other special time a year – birthdays. Ms. Aebersold explains:

“What other more special family tradition is there than your own special holiday, your birthday? We heard so many requests from kids saying ‘Can my elf come back?’ that we decided to talk to Santa, and he said, ‘This is how we celebrate birthdays at the North Pole, and kids might want to do it, too’.”

Ms. Aebersold says she has gotten a great response from the new book, and thousands of kids have written letters to Santa with requests for Elf on the Shelf to visit the kids for their birthdays. She says that use of the elf was more than just a creative idea, but for her was actually a family tradition. Once she had kids of her own, she decided to write a book to spread the love:

“It was a tradition we had in my family; you adopt your elf for a lifetime. So when I got married, he came with me and my children grew up with my elf. When they grew up they told me what a wonderful family tradition that was and said ‘Mom, we should write a book and share it with the world.”

So Elf on the Shelf or Mensch on the Bench, just remember, he’s watching you! What do you think of Mensch on a Bench?