Santa Surveillance Squad Sign Up

Just after Thanksgiving three years ago, I received a call from HOHOHO, or so it said on my caller ID. Not looking like a usual telemarketing call, I answered the phone. Phew! I am glad I did. The conversation went something like this.

One mom's conversation with the Santa Surveillance Squad about behavior monitoring options. #elfonashelf #parenting #humor

Caller: Good Evening, Mrs. H. My name is Perky McJingles and I am a representative of Santa’s Surveillance Squad.

Me: {light bulb over my head} Oh! The ones that make the Naughty and Nice list. Please, call me Audrey.

Perky: Thank you, Audrey. Technically we just gather the data then send it on to the Review Board. I am calling today to find out how you would like for us to handle the monitoring of J’s behavior. We have a rather exciting new option you may not have heard of since you are an old.. er, uh, I mean, that is, a more mature mother.

Me: That’s okay, Perky. I know how old I am. Ha ha! Now, tell me about this new option.

Perky: Oh, uh, yes. Our latest option has been available for only a few years now. We call it the Elf on a Shelf Program. An elf comes to live at your house for the month of December and observe your son, then when everyone in the house is asleep he or she comes back to the North Pole to report.

Me: I hope you have some fast flyers – J isn’t known for sleeping through the night. Do I need to feed the elf, provide it a bed or a room or something like that?

Perky: No, Ma’am! The elf just sits on the shelf, or where ever he/she may decide to perch for the day, and observes. Occasionally some of the elves have been known to make a little mess now and then in the middle of the night.

Me: Like I don’t have enough to deal with, now I have to clean up after some mischief making party animal?

photo by Veronica Medina

Perky: Well, actually, you can’t clean up the mess, and no one can EVER touch the elf or he won’t be able to fly back to the North Pole.

Me: Cannot TOUCH the elf?! At all?  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha  ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Perky: Ma’am? Ma’am?

Me:  ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Oh sorry, about that. ha ha. Yeah, that is NOT going to happen in this house. What old school methods do you have?

Perky: There is the one we used for you and your brother. Pets! Especially cats. They look like they are sleeping all the time, but they are actually watching everything and then they report in once a week by calling in to our hotline – toll free for you, of course.

Me: SALLY was a spy?! I should have known! So, that’s where she would wander off to.

Perky: And, that’s why she starting sleeping with your brother. We didn’t have to worry about you, but him. Oh boy!

Me: So, now you have 16 agents spying on him and his wife?!

Perky: Actually, all of his cats are retired now. Buddercup was one of our best. And, uh, how shall I put this? , as “wild” as your brother may have been, he and Mel take great care of our retirees.

Me: Personally, I like the option, but my husband says no animals right now. Do you have any other choices?

Perky: Well, there is one that is a little expensive, but it comes with a full warranty and free upgrades until the child turns 18.

Me: Do I have to clean up after it or feed it or take it for shots or anything like that?

Perky: No, this one is fully automated. We place minuscule 1080p cameras in every room of the house and the yard, plus we have access to all of the schools in your area. Data is fed back to us via satellite every night. If there is any technical problem we come in and take care of it. If there is ever a maintenance issue or a newer system is available we come in and swap out your old system. And best of all, you don’t have to be home for installation.

Me: Top of the line video cameras?! Perky, my friend, you should have started with that option knowing his father.

Perky: Tee hee! I figured you’d end up selecting that option, with the info I have on file for Mr. H. But, my manager wants us to give you all of the other options too. {In a whisper} Personally, I think she is trying to get a transfer to the Elf on a Shelf division so she is sucking up to the Department Head by pushing that option. But, you didn’t hear it from me.

Me: Ha ha, hear what? Now what do I need to do to sign up for the camera option?

Perky: I will e-mail you a simple form to sign. Also, there will be a brief customer service satisfaction survey attached. If you could take a moment to complete it you will be entered in a sweepstakes to win a special weekend getaway package for you and your husband. {Whispering again} And, the elf with the highest satisfaction rating gets Christmas Eve OFF!

Me: Perky, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship…


M and I did not win the special weekend getaway package, but Perky got Christmas Eve off, which she spent down here with me at a swank Day Spa getting full body massages and facials. We keep in touch pretty much daily on Facebook, but she uses her “human name” instead of Perky, so don’t bother going through my friends list to find out who she is… she just might report you to the Big Guy.




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  1. rofl – you’re awesome!! Really, really loved this post. 🙂 Tweeting and pinning, thank you for linking up at Friday Frivolity!!

    1. Thanks. I had a lot of fun with this one, and am still relieved I never started the Elf on the Shelf slippery slope. I get tired just thinking about it.

  2. Ahahah!!! Tbis is the greatest! You literally have me laughing tears! Thanks for sharing!!! 🙂

    1. Thanks, I am glad it made you laugh.

  3. This is really funny, especially since right before I popped by I read another story about an elf on a shelf! LOL The elf wasn’t around when we were kids and I didn’t have one for my kids, I didn’t know about it, which is probably good I would have forgotten to move him!!! I’m not sure I’d want the video cameras either, LOL, I do some silly things, I’m not sure I’d want anyone seeing! Happy Holidays!

    1. Oh, I hear you on not wanting the camera to record my actions. But with my video-phile husband it was a natural thought.

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