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Why are Elves Associated with Christmas?

From elves helping out Santa Claus to the elf on the shelf, there's no doubt that the Christmas elf has become an iconic Christmas decoration. So, how did they come about and why?

The Christmas elf has been traced to many different cultures just like other holiday traditions you read about. Dating back to the very first elves, they were a part of Old English and Scandinavian cultures. Elves described by the English and Germans had them as pranksters and causers of nightmares and diseases. Others around the world would describe elves as having great beauty, mystery, and power. As you can tell, there wasn't a clear definition for a Christmas elf.

Still, to this day there isn't a true definition for a Christmas elf. Some see them as scarier, while others see them as fun and whimsical. The German creature, Krampus is the one who punishes the wicked children while the Icelandic Yule Lads are the fun holiday tradition. What we do know is that Christmas elves have made an impact on our holiday decorations and traditions.