It won't be long and the Elf on the Shelf will be hanging off of toothbrush holders and toilet bowl handles spying on kids, Netflix plans to help with the project this year.  

A book came out in 2005 called The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition by Carol Aebersold and her daughters Chanda Bell and Christa Pitts, and it covered how exactly Santa knows who's naughty and who's is nice.  Elves visit homes from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve and report back to the North Pole about which kids are deserving of presents.

Over the past fifteen years, elves have been spying on kids from the most precarious and creative places around the house, from the kitchen faucet to the window sill, to hovering over kids from the ceiling fan light chain.  I've seen the elf sitting on top of a Hershey's Kiss cookie too, which looks just weird enough to keep the kids from eating sugar that day.

Entertainment Weekly says Netflix will start airing Elf on the Shelf specials soon, including live-action and animated movies and TV specials for Elf on the Shelf, Elf Pets, and Elf Mates too.  The producer of The Lego Movie has signed on to help out.  Netflix will be the go-to spot for all things Elf.

One of the best ideas I saw last year for Elf on the Shelf was trapping an elf inside your TV screen.

If you have a smart TV, go to the Youtube app and search 'Elf stuck in TV'.

When you select that video, the elf will show up on the screen with the message "I hit the wrong button on the remote... how do I get out of here?"

It's one image, but it's been made into an hour-long video, which means it will run from the minute the kids arrive in the living room, all the way through breakfast, and even as they're on their way out the door for school. You can also trap the elf in your phone with the Youtube app if that works better.

Between Netflix and Youtube, Elf on the Shelf is quickly turning into Elf on the Screen.  And a flat elf will be just fine with parents who don't clutter.