I have some thoughts on this.
*First off, people are really into this. We sell the kit, which includes The Elf and the book, for $30 and have a hard time keeping them in stock. I'm amazed that people are that committed to this idea and can keep it going all the way until Christmas. My motivation for such a project would definitely fizzle out after a few days and I would have to tell my kids that our Elf is so good at his job that he could tell after only a short time how they were behaving and he decided to take the rest of the month off.
*My pal, Dawn, has the Elf. She named him Jimmy after a character on Boardwalk Empire. (Things like that make me love her even more.) But she just told me that on the show Jimmy recently had sex with his mom and now she's having a hard time looking at her Elf.
*The Elf has a song. "The Elf on the Shelf is watching you, what you say and what you do." Creepy. Really, really creepy.
*At work we have a store Elf. Every night we have to hide him and the first kid to find him the next day gets a candy cane. The problem is, that at the end of the night we're all ready to skedaddle out of there with the quickness so we usually forget The Elf. Then one of us will get a late night text saying something to the effect of, "Shit! I forgot to move The Elf! Will you do it for me in the morning?" Because we have had kids who come in and say, "Hey! The Elf was in the same place yesterday!" (It should say something about the community I work in that kids are actually in a toy store two days in a row.)
*When I'm in charge of hiding The Elf, I carry him around the store swinging him by his scrawny Elf legs until I find the best possible place to hide him. Kinda ruins some of the Christmas Magic, doesn't it? Confession: I don't want kids to find him. I want kids to get agitated and frustrated when looking for him. I don't want them to cry, I just want them to learn the hard lesson that not everything in life is going to come to them so easily.
*If I know that adults are looking for The Elf, I like to give them vague, cryptic, and mostly unhelpful hints such as "The Elf is by a box." I also like to tell them if they're Hot or Cold. Especially if they are Cold. Last week I said to a Grandpa, "Wow! You are freezing cold. You're never gonna find The Elf over here. Come on, you can do better. A toddler found him earlier." (Note: This type of talk only works on men, who think that I'm being playful and possibly slightly flirty. Women think I'm being a bitch. They may be right.)