Tommy The Real Elf is the self-proclaimed head of Public Relations for the North Pole!This life-size Elf on the Shelf and cancer survivor is on a mission to spread Holiday cheer throughout Chicago. He is a contestant on truTV's new show Santas in the Barn where 10 Santas (Tommy being the only Elf) compete in hilarious festive challenges for a chance to win $100,000!
Tommy began to tell me how it all started....
"“In 2012 I was at a Friend’s Holiday party and one of my friends was joking around calling me the Elf on the shelf. I was like I don’t have kids what’s that? He shows me the picture and I see it, I get it....."
Then he explained he had an idea...
"Why not just do a silly Holiday card. I put the whole outfit together and he(his friend) shot the photo..... So now it's become this Christmas tradition every year. It keeps growing and now I do charity events and different things. I have therealelf.com and The Real Elf store.
It's my personality just heightened. I love the Holidays and now I am a cheerleader, the north pole ambassador. "
Was there a moment you enjoyed most about competing on the show?
"The experience itself was exciting. I never would have imagined that someone would be saying that you are basically going to Christmas camp and you are going to make toys, climb chimneys and sing Christmas carols in a red onesie. Sort of a crazy experience. Making toys was fun..... real kids judged them. I thought that was fun. The whole experience was just a dream I felt like I was in a Christmas book and I got to be one of the characters. I would do it all again in a heart beat. It was such a blessing. ….how random that something that I started doing a couple years ago would coincide with a reality show. "
Tommy travels around Chicagoland and takes "Elfies" with fans which have included a few famous faces.
Any famous celebs that you haven’t met yet that you would like to take an Elfie-Selfie with?
"I have the hashtag #Letstakeanelfie. Selfies are lonely why not take an elfie? I think Ellen Degeneres would be so much fun…Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Oprah would be awesome. …
There was a mom that came up and said “you really put me in the Holiday spirit we have been having a tough time and you really just brightened my day” that means so much more to me than a celebrity picture. "
What is your advice for kids to stay on Santa’s nice list?
"It’s funny how parents will use the elf as a parenting tool.When kids do something good when they are not told to do it. When there is a kid that opens the door for someone.. the kids that pay it forward and just want to do something good … for the younger kids doing what they are told, doing their homework, listening to their parents and just having good behavior. I always say we don’t look over just one thing we look over the whole year. There are stellar kids out there that are doing wonderful things. It’s paying it forward and going out of their way for someone. It’s the little things when you least expect it. "
Tune into the finale of truTV's Santas in the Barn on Christmas eve at 8/7C.
Tommy the next time I am in Chicago Let's take an Elfie!