[caption id="attachment_6866" align="aligncenter" width="600"]<a href="http:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2014\/12\/elvces.jpg"><img src="http:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2014\/12\/elvces.jpg" alt="From left: Twighlight Sparkle, Lexie Arbogast\u2019s Christmas elf, brought gifts his first night at her house, including a book, pudding and hot cocoa. Photo courtesy of Darlene Arbogast. Elves are known to pull pranks during their stay with the children. Olivia and Clayton Burgess\u2019 elf, Trevor Lee, takes a toy bulldozer for a ride. Photo courtesy of Megan McGee Burgess. Heidi Cole\u2019s elf, Louie, took time to wrap the toilet in Christmas wrapping paper. Photo courtesy of Jessie Cole" width="600" height="321" class="size-full wp-image-6866" \/><\/a> From left: Twighlight Sparkle, Lexie Arbogast\u2019s Christmas elf, brought gifts his first night at her house, including a book, pudding and hot cocoa. Photo courtesy of Darlene Arbogast. Elves are known to pull pranks during their stay with the children. Olivia and Clayton Burgess\u2019 elf, Trevor Lee, takes a toy bulldozer for a ride. Photo courtesy of Megan McGee Burgess. Heidi Cole\u2019s elf, Louie, took time to wrap the toilet in Christmas wrapping paper. Photo courtesy of Jessie Cole[\/caption]\r\n\r\n\u201cHe sees you when you\u2019re sleeping\r\nHe knows when you\u2019re awake\r\nHe knows when you\u2019ve been bad or good\r\nSo be good for goodness sake\u201d\r\n\r\nThe lyrics of the classic Christmas song \u201cSanta Claus is Coming to Town\u201d warns that Santa always knows if boys and girls are good or bad, but it never explains how. \r\n\r\nThe answer? His little helpers, known as the Elf on the Shelf or \u201cscout\u201d elves travel to homes of boys and girls around the world and spend the month of December watching the children and reporting back to Santa if they have been good or bad.\r\nThe elf appears with a book and letter in tow. The letter explains that the child is to name the elf, who will be staying until Christmas Eve night.\r\n\r\nWhile the main goal of the elves is to monitor the children, they have a mischievous side and each night, they cause a little ruckus somewhere in the house.\r\n\r\nSix-year-old Heidi Cole, of Hillsboro, said her elf, Louie, likes to make messes.\r\n\r\n\u201cHe wrapped my toilet with wrapping paper,\u201d she said. \u201cHe made a snow angel with marshmallows and flour. Last year he drew a mustache on a picture of me. I don\u2019t want him to make a mess, but he cleans it up.\u201d\r\n\r\nNamed after the trumpet-playing crocodile in the Disney movie \u201cThe Princess and the Frog,\u201d Louie is a little different than other Elf on the Shelf elves. Most elves cannot be touched because they will lose their magic, but Louie has a special power that allows Heidi to touch him.\r\n\r\n\u201cOur Louie is a bit different from the traditional Elf on the Shelf,\u201d Heidi\u2019s mom, Jessie, said. \u201cI think that\u2019s why you can touch him because he didn\u2019t come in the box like the others.\u201d\r\n\r\nEven though Louie makes a mess in the house, Jessie said she enjoys it when he comes to monitor Heidi.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s fun,\u201d she said. \u201cThe magic of it all the whole month. It gets her out of bed very quickly to see what he gets into each night. It\u2019s always fun to see what he\u2019s going to do \u2013 tear apart, tear out or pour out. Last year, he was fishing out of her goldfish bowl.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe rest of the year, Louie joins the rest of Santa\u2019s elves at the North Pole and helps prepare for the next Christmas season.\r\n\u201cHe makes toys for all the boys and girls,\u201d Heidi said.\r\n\r\nLouie isn\u2019t the only Christmas elf to visit Pocahontas County. Heidi\u2019s class at Marlinton Elementary School has Aiden the Elf, who watches the students during the day.\r\n\r\nMany children also have their own elves, including six-year-old Lexie Arbogast, of Hillsboro.\r\n\r\nLexie\u2019s mom, Darlene, said the elf finds a way to make herself the center of attention.\r\n\r\n\u201cSo far Twighlight Sparkle has toasted marshmallows, played cards with a toy moose, slept, and left [Lexie] a new game,\u201d Darlene said.\r\n\r\nSometimes the elf has to pull double duty with siblings. Marlinton native Megan McGee Burgess said the family elf \u2013\u00a0Trevor Lee \u2013 monitors both of her children, Olivia and Clayton.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe adopted him from Santa in November 2012, and he comes at Thanksgiving then leaves with Santa when he comes Christmas Eve. The kids truly believe that he watches them and reports to Santa every night while they sleep. They both love the elf and look forward to finding him each morning. They are very well behaved knowing Trevor is making notes about their behavior.\r\n\r\n\u201cHe has mailed them a few letters and knows important things that are going on in their lives,\u201d she continued. \u201cBoth kids know that a child cannot touch him or he will have to go to the elf hospital to get his Christmas magic back. It really is so sweet and has become our version of an elf Advent calendar as we count down the days \u2018til Christmas.\u201d\r\n\r\nAlong with traveling back and forth from the North Pole, the elves are able to travel with the children.\r\n\r\nI was recently visited by my cousin, nine-year-old Reagan McConnell, and her mom, Kathy, of Deer Run. At some point Friday night, Reagan\u2019s elf, Candy Cane, appeared at my house. Saturday morning when Reagan awoke, she found Candy Cane playing the piano in my living room.\r\n\r\nReagan was shocked to see that Candy Cane had followed her to Green Bank.\r\n\r\n\u201cShe must have flown behind us and snuck in last night,\u201d Reagan explained to me.\r\n\r\nThe next morning, Candy Cane was found playing with several stuffed animals. Reagan was worried the elf wouldn\u2019t find her way back home, but I was later informed that Candy Cane did indeed make it back home to monitor Reagan.\r\n\r\nThe Elf on the Shelf is a tradition that began in 2005. The website, www.elfontheshelf.com has a place for the elves to get ideas of tricks and mischief they can cause while they are \u201cscouting\u201d for Santa.\r\n\r\nThe website also has copies of The Elf on the Shelf book and clothing for family elves.