In 1850, author Louisa May Alcott, who penned Little Women, wrote a book that was never published titled “Christmas Elves”. Seven years later, Harper’s Weekly kept the story of the Elves alive by publishing an anonymous poem “The Wonders of Santa Claus”. Here is the first known published mention of Elves, which have become as much a part of our Christmas folklore as Santa himself, reindeers, stockings and the North Pole.
Beyond the ocean many a mile,
And many a year ago,
There lived a wonderful queer old men
In a wonderful house of snow;
And every little boy and girl,
As Christmas Eves arrive,
No doubt will be very glad to hear,
The old man is still alive.
In his house upon the top of a hill,
And almost out of sight,
He keeps a great many elves at work,
All working with all their might,
To make a million of pretty things,
Cakes, sugar-plums, and toys,
To fill the stockings, hung up you know
By the little girls and boys.
It would be a capital treat be sure,
A glimpse of his wondrous ‘shop;
But the queer old man when a stranger comes,
Orders every elf to stop;
And the house, and work, and workmen all
Instantly take a twist,
And just you may think you are there,
They are off in a frosty mist.