Throughout the eras elves have been seen in different shapes and sizes. One of the most common sorts of elves that most in the 21st century is grown up with, is the elves which live with Santa Claus. When we grow a little older we meet the Elves J.R.R. Tolkien wrote about, those with pretty faces, living underground and they are what you'd call High Elves.
An elf is a mythical creature of Germanic Mythology/Paganism which still survives in northern European folklore. In Norse mythology they were originally a race of minor gods of nature and fertility. Elves are often pictured as youthful-seeming men and women of great beauty living in forests and other natural places, underground or in wells and springs. They have been portrayed to be long-lived or immortal and they have magical powers attributed to them. Following the success of J. R. R. Tolkien's epic work The Lord Of The Rings - wherein a wise, angelic people named Elves play a significant role, they have become staple characters of modern fantasy.
Elves have many forms; some are tiny, some are tall and female elves often seem human.
The Elven girls would often live in moss affected area, in the forest or close to swamps, with the Elven king. They were seen as pale beautiful women, wearing white dresses and having light blonde hair. They would often dance on the top of a burial mound, early in the mornings or when the mist was thick.
If a human man saw them dance, he'd be hypnotised by the dancing and join them. Often the Elven girls would dance him to death, as time slowed when dancing with them. For the man there would only have gone a few hours, while back in the natural world years, maybe even decades would have gone by.
Elves today have evolved into much more peaceful and gentle creatures. Still very beautiful in form, but also beautiful in nature too. Elves love to be kept busy and will find something useful to do if they find themselves with some spare moments. They are a very industrious breed. They are also very protective, not only of their own clan but the related fairies and pixies they live with. If there is any threat to the community then it is the Elves who put on their battle clothes and go forth to fight and protect their colony. Thankfully, nowadays and hereabouts, most colonies live in peace and co-exist, so battles are something of the past, but a Cornish Pixie who has drunk too much mead or nectar must be mindful of the Elves when making his way home in the magic wood not to upset an Elf and remember the Elves ability to fight. Considering the Elves nature is why they are always the ones the fairies prefer to carry out the tasks in the Fairy Workshop and who become overseers to the Pixies and keep the Pixies in line. Pixies are always cautious when around the Elves. For obvious reasons. Without the Elves to watch over them and guide them, the Pixies would get up to even more mischief. The Elves in ours and most fairy communities hereabouts are friendly and joyful creatures who enjoy mischief, fun and laughter as much as anyone else.
The Christmas Elves In the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland the modern children's folklore of Santa Claus typically includes green-clad elves with pointy ears, long noses, and pointy hats as Santa's helpers or hired workers. They make the toys in a workshop located in the North Pole. In this portrayal, elves slightly resemble nimble and delicate versions of the elves in English folk takes in the Victorian period from which they derived. The role of elves as Santa's helpers has continued to be popular, as evidenced by the success of the popular Christmas movie Elf.
They are supernatural beings in Germanic mythology and folklore, elves were first attested in Old English and Old Norse texts and are prominent in British and Scandinavian folklore.
Elves were first thought of as ambivalent beings with magical powers, but later they became more and more sinister, harming humans and livestock in various ways. In early modern folklore they were connected with fairies and entered the 20th century mainly by the works of J. R. R. Tolkien.
The English word elf is from the Old English ælf or elf; in compound as ælfadl "nightmare," ælfsogoða "hiccup," afflictions apparently thought to be caused by elves.
Words for the nymphs of the Greek and Roman mythology were translated by Anglo-Saxon scholars as ælf and variants on it, which may point out the origin of English elves.
Old English thinks of elves as harmful creatures. In relation to the beauty of the Norse elves, there are some Old English words such as ælfsciene ("elf-beautiful"). These facts state, that these elves are highly similar to the Norse ones.
Although elves could be considered to be beautiful and potentially helpful beings in some sections of English-speaking society throughout its history, Old English evidence also attests to alignments of elves with demons, as for example in line 112 of Beowulf. On the other hand, oaf is simply a variant of the word elf, presumably originally referring to a changeling or to someone stupefied by elvish enchantment.
Elf shots were considered to be the arrow-heads of elves (and witches), which later also meant a sharp pain (possibly caused by elves). They were considered to have healing power. Later the stones were found to be Neolithic flint arrow-heads.