The "Elf On The Shelf" has never been a stranger to me or at least the image of the elf has never been a stranger. The "Elf" was a part of my childhood before there was a story or name. My sister has an "Elf" from her childhood that looks identicle to the one in the The Elf On the Shelf book.
My mother bought this one and a whole box of smaller ones in the early 70s. They either came from the Ace Hardware or Matinglys in Lebanon, MO (We can't remember which one it was). This one is obviously wearing his disco clothes. Silver lame suit trimmed in fur and a gold foil bow-tie with a gigantic bell on his cap. Nothing says Christmas like a styling 70s elf. He doesn't move around like the one in the story, but I did prop him up to take this photo with my phone (I may try to retake this with a real camera). Note: the "Elf" is sitting on a DVD of the Filmation The New Adventures of the Lone Ranger cartoons from the 80s.