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PUBLISHED: 15:42 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:54 20 November 2018

Liz Coates

A giant Elf on the Shelf is coming to Market Gates Picture: Market Gates

Market Gates
The Elf on the Shelf is taking a break from his surveillance role keeping an eye on the behaviour of children to make mischief in a Great Yarmouth shopping centre.
On Monday November 26 a giant version of the felt toy is set to engage in the kind of behaviour that would usually find him on Santa’s naughty list – and footage of his antics will appear on the Market Gates’ Facebook page.

At 11am, 1.30pm and 4pm, the Elf will be visiting shops and restaurants within the centre “causing disruption and chaos.” Meanwhile a mini elf will be hidden in a number of the centre’s shops. A different photo will be posted on Facebook every day for 14 days and shoppers will be invited to guess where he is to be in with the chance of winning a prize.

“We have put all our security guards on high alert and our retailers have been made aware that he could cause devastation,” said centre manager Nick Spencer. What is the Elf on the Shelf? The original Elf on the Shelf appeared in the storybook of the same name, written by Carole Aebersold and Chandra Bell.

The basic idea is that Santa sends a spy elf to every home at the beginning of December, to sit on the shelf and keep watch over the children of the house. Any undesirable behaviour is immediately reported to the Santa, who may decide to change who gets what on the basis of this new information. No-one is supposed to touch the elf otherwise his magic might disappear.

Taking it one step further and to make the felt toy seem more “alive” some parents stage scenario’s with the puppet to suggest he has been up to mischief during the night.

The Elf has come in for some criticism over controlling children’s behaviour and rewarding being “good” with material gifts.

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