The holiday season is here, and that means it’s time to put up the lights, decorate the trees and watch Christmas movies while staying warm inside with mugs of hot chocolate.
One of the more popular Christmas classics that has made its way into Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas is the 2003 movie Elf. Although it has been more than 10 years since the movie came out, it is still widely popular, having merchandise such as T-shirts, mugs and even bobbleheads.
With the success of Elf it raises the question: Why are people obsessed with Christmas elves?
Although Elyse Giesige, a freshman studying early childhood education, is not obsessed with Christmas elves, she understands the popularity of the small magical beings.
“I think the obsession with elves could be because they’re sort of like magical creatures,” Giesige said. “Especially for children, that has to be pretty cool.”
Giesige believes that elves probably wouldn’t be as popular if they weren’t Santa’s little helpers.
“In my opinion, Santa’s little helpers are so well-known because people are so into Santa first and foremost,” she said. “I’m aware that there are other elves out there like hobbit elves, but I don’t think they’re as popular or as cheery as Christmas elves.”
Giesige said she really enjoys the movie starring Will Ferrell, but that does not make her want to decorate her whole house with elf figurines.
Ryan Harroff, a sophomore studying journalism, also believes that the popularity of elves is an extension of the Santa craze.
“Elves are really only an obsession because they’re most commonly associated with Christmas and Santa,” Harroff said. “If there was no Santa, there would be no elves.”
Harroff thinks that elves are possibly so popular because of the freedom big companies have in portraying the elves through different mediums, from figurines to characters on the silver screen.
“There are so many different ways Santa’s elves can be portrayed,” he said. “And I’m guessing the big movie producers mold the elves into whatever is going to make them the most money.”
Jada Sonnenberg, a freshman studying marketing, has a very strong stance on why elves are so popular.
“I honestly think people have this obsession with elves because of the capitalism behind Christmas,” Sonnenberg said. “It’s so messed up how much big toy companies are able to make off of dinky elf toys.”
Despite Sonnenberg’s opinion on the popularity of Christmas elves, she still finds them an interesting part of the holiday. She prefers the Lord of the Rings-type of elves because to her, they seem like normal people who aren’t as scary.
Sonnenberg is among some who may argue that Christmas elves are popular because of the big toy companies shoving them down consumers’ throats, but an alternative answer could be that it’s not about the elves at all but the big man himself. Without Santa Claus, the demand for his little helpers would not be as great.
“I think liking elves depends on what type of elf they are and how they’re portrayed,” she said. “Sometimes Santa’s helpers are made out to be little kids, which is creepy, and in other movies they’re old men, and that creeps me out too.”