Seems a lot of children in and around southern Mecklenburg already know about The Elf on the Shelf.
The scout elf – working under Santa's approval – sits in families' homes in the weeks leading up to Christmas. At night, while children are asleep, it flies back to the North Pole to give the big guy a full report on the little ones' behavior. By the time children get out of bed the next morning, the elf is back, sitting at a new perch in the house, taking in everything about who is naughty and who is nice.
When Mud Pie Monograms and Gifts at the Fountains on Ardrey Kell Road featured the elf and accompanying book in its store last year, the boxed set flew off the shelves.
Now the pixie elf and its story, along with a new second book, are back. And one of the creators is visiting next month for a book signing.
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Anyone with “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” book and elf are welcome to the Nov. 18 signing from 5 to 7 p.m. By that time, Mud Pie will be at its new location in the Blakeney retail center, according to owners and sisters Risa DeShields and Jeannine Williams.
Scheduled to make the Charlotte visit is Chanda Bell, the younger half of the mother-daughter writing team that authored the first book and the new “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Activity Book.” The first 150 families at the book signing will receive a free holiday ornament featuring the elf's face, said DeShields.
Mud Pie sells the boxed set for $29.99, and the activity book – which comes with a sing-along CD, stickers, coloring pages, a crossword puzzle and more – for $15.99.
If the date on the calendar feels too early to talk about Christmas, know that last year Mud Pie sold 75 of the boxed sets in September and October, according to DeShields.
Shoppers were still looking for it Christmas Eve, she said. But by then – with all the elves back at the North Pole for the season – parents were too late, of course.
Here's the latest word on Steve & Barry's, the low-budget retailer with celebrity designers:
The southern Mecklenburg store on North Sardis Road will remain open. The store at Rock Hill Galleria will close at a date to be determined.
The clothing retailer has struggled because of low profits. Steve & Barry's was recently purchased out of bankruptcy by BH S&B Holdings, an affiliate of investment firms Bay Harbour Management and York Capital Management.
Signs near the North Sardis Road store advertising a liquidation sale refer to a seasonal sale on certain items, according to company spokeswoman Rachel Brenner. The Rock Hill store is selling everything for $7.48 or less as part of its closeout.