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ATLANTA -- The sequel to "The Elf on the Shelf" -- a Christmas holiday-themed book written by Atlanta-area authors that has sold more than 6 million copies and become a tradition in many homes -- hit the shelves this week.

The new book -- "The Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition" -- co-written by the same authors, Acworth resident Carol V. Aebersold and her daughter, Chanda Bell, has Santa granting permission for scout elves to visit families for birthday celebration and to share traditions of celebrating birthdays in the North Pole.

Aebersold said they were inspired to write the second book after many children said they thought about their elves outside of Christmas. "The children are fascinated with what their elves are doing the rest of the year and (ask) 'can't they come back for my birthday,'"she said.

The first book, launched in 2005, comes with a soft toy elf that, according to the story and with parents' help, appears in the home around the Christmas holidays each year. The book is offered in more than 15,000 stores throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The book is based on a Christmas tradition learned from Aebersold's Norwegian grandmother. Around Thanksgiving, an elf doll, whose job it was to watch the children's behavior and fly nightly to report to Santa, would arrive at the house. Each morning the elf would return to the house in a new location for the children to find in the morning. The children weren't allowed to touch the doll, but talking to the elf was encouraged.

A portion of proceeds from each copy sold of "The Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition" will be donated to charity: water, a non-profit organization that brings clean, safe drinking water to developing countries.

Is there an Elf on the Shelf in your house? Upload your photos or send pictures of the little guy to photos@11Alive.com.