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A Christmas elf is a fictional magical dwarf-like character also known as Santa’s elf. A Christmas elf is known to be Santa Claus’ helper and live with him at the North Pole throughout the year. They can also be called Santa’s helpers or Santa’s magical elves.
See the fact file below for more information on the Christmas Elf or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Christmas Elf worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- They are often depicted as small, not exceeding 4 feet, and with long pointy ears.
- A signature look of a Christmas elf is a red or green-clad costume, a pointy hat, rosy cheeks, and pointy ears.
- Elves look similar to the dwarves of Norse mythology, but they are more active and busy.
- Their clothes keep them warm despite living in an extremely cold habitat.
- Some believe they live in tiny cottages which they decorate with Christmas lights, gingerbread, and other Christmas ornaments throughout the year.
- Some believe they live in forests or underground.
- They can be either male or female.
The Tasks of Santa’s Helper
- A Christmas elf’s tasks include making toys as Christmas gifts, taking care of the reindeer, baking cookies, making candy, preparing Santa’s sleigh, and assisting Santa with other tasks.
- One of the primary tasks of Christmas elves is to make toys all year long.
- A common scene where Christmas elves are found is working at Santa’s toy workshop at the North Pole.
- A special task of a Santa’s elf is to work in Santa’s mail department sorting the letters Santa receives from children.
- Christmas elves make sure Santa reads each one of those letters.
- Elves can also tag along when Santa delivers his presents on Christmas.
- Elves love to eat cookies and candy.
- It is unsure how many elves are Santa’s helpers. Some say it’s six, some say it’s nine.
- In Germanic paganism, elves were believed to be creatures of light who resided in the heavens and later underground as magical beings.
- Scandinavian folklore portrayed elves as house gnomes who protected their homes from evil spirits.
- It wasn’t until the mid 19th century when these elves were associated with St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas.
- The Christmas elf character was first introduced in 1856 when writer Louisa May Alcott wrote a book entitled “Christmas Elves”, which never got published.
- It came later than the character of Santa Claus, which emerged in the early 17th century in American folklore.
- Christmas toys and presents being highly related to the elves can be traced back to the mid-1800s with the “nisse” in Denmark and the “tomte” in Swedish.
- In 1823, St. Nicholas was also referred to as an elf in A Visit from St. Nicholas, a poem written by Clement Clarke Moore which is more known as ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.
- The image of Christmas elves was popularized when it became the front cover illustration of the American magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book for its 1873 Christmas issue.
- The illustration depicted Santa surrounded by elves and toys, and came with a caption referring to the scene as a preparation for Christmas.
- In 1925, the belief that the elves lived in Santa’s village at the North Pole was changed when it was discovered that the reindeer are found in Finland and not the North Pole.
- Post-Christian folklore depicts Christmas elves as mischievous tricksters.
- Presently, Christmas elves are included in children’s folklore in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.
- In Belgium and the Netherlands, St. Nicholas is accompanied by Zwarte Piet (translated as Black Peter) who is portrayed as a black person wearing a colonial outfit.
- In Iceland, mischievous tricksters called the Yule-Lads visit homes from December 12 to 24 to leave presents and play pranks.
- In Germany, the companions of St. Nicholas are the Knecht Ruprecht.
- In Luxembourg, the same characters are called the Hoesecker.
- In Nordic countries, Christmas elves are considered nisses and not elves. Nisses, unlike elves, typically wear only pure red outfits.
- Santa’s Elves have creative and cute names such as Alabaster Snowball, Bushy Evergreen, Pepper Minstix, Shinny Upatree, Sugarplum Mary, and Wunorse Openslae to name a few.
- The Christmas elf character has appeared in multiple films and television shows, most of which are Christmas themed, such as Santa Claus: The Movie, Elf, Santa’s Workshop, Arthur Christmas, and Like Father, Like Santa.
- The Christmas Tree Elf, is a children’s picture book by Valentine D’Arcy Sheldon which tells the story of how Santa met the elves.
Christmas Elf Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Christmas Elf across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Christmas Elf worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about a Christmas elf which is a fictional magical dwarf-like character also known as Santa’s elf. A Christmas elf is known to be Santa Claus’ helper and live with him at the North Pole throughout the year. They can also be called Santa’s helpers or Santa’s magical elves.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Christmas Elf Facts
- Incomplete Origins
- Various Versions
- An Elf’s To-Do List
- Elf Sketch
- Toy Factory
- Truth Factory
- Name Hunt
- Desination: North Pole
- Learning Reindeers
- Letter to Santa
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Link will appear as Christmas Elf Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 3, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.