All over the world, families celebrate the coming of Christmas with Elf on the Shelf. During the day, the scout elves observe their children carefully, making a mental report to share with Santa. At night, they return to the North Pole to share their reports and relax in the staff lounge before heading back out..
Jingle: Buddy! Over here, I saved you a seat!
Buddy: Hi Jingle.
Jingle: How are the Wagner kids this year? Nice list?
Buddy: *looks sideways, sips coffee*
Jingle: Oh that bad, huh?
Buddy: I'll give them this — those kids know how to work together, so I guess that's kind of nice. But, then again, so did the hit men in The Godfather so...
Holly: *sitting at table* Are you telling her about the Wagner kids?!
Buddy: Yup. It really is super entertaining. It's like living in the most bonkers reality show you've ever seen! What are those two going to do next? Hysterical.
Jingle: Didn't they once eat an entire advent calendar in one sitting when their moms weren't looking?
Buddy: Ah yes, the Advent Incident of 2017. Classic episode.
Holly: Your heart goes out to all of these parents on some level, right? I'm not saying our job is easy — the daily North Pole commute is murder — but they have to watch these kids 365 days a year! Can you imagine?!
Buddy: And be responsible for them! What were those deluded mortals thinking?!
Jingle: Seriously! Just watching them gets exhausting and that's all we have to do — watch!
Buddy: Don't forget the judging. The judging is the best part!
Holly: Hear, hear. *clink coffee mugs*
Jingle: Look, it's Figgy Pudding! Hey Figgy! Come sit with us!
Figgy Pudding: *rooting around in the fridge* Where the elf is it?!
Holly: What are you looking for?
Figgy Pudding: Creamer! My creamer. Everyone acts like it's communal, but it's not! I bring it from home!
Jingle: Did you label it?
Figgy Pudding: Of course I labeled it! *sighs* Sorry, I didn't mean to snap. It's just a huge pet peeve of mine. Who takes something that doesn't belong to them like that?
Buddy: *nervously sips coffee*
Holly: Rough day at the Garcias'?
Figgy Pudding: They had me hanging upside-down from the chandelier all day. I'm still reorienting and that's a lot harder to do without a good cup of coffee. And of course they...
Buddy, Jingle, and Holly: ...took a picture and put it on Facebook...
Jingle: We've all been there. It's the worst part of the job.
Figgy Pudding: Well, that and inconsiderate co-workers who take your creamer without asking.
Elf in the Background: Hey, where's my sandwich?!
Buddy: *slowly brings a turkey club to his mouth and starts chewing*
Holly: And it can be way more embarrassing than chandelier acrobatics. Last year, Patty — that's the mom in my family — she baked some peanut butter kiss cookies... you know, the ones that have a Hershey kiss in the middle of them?
Jingle: I hate this story already.
Holly: Patty made it look like... she put me in a squatting position over the cookies, you see...
Buddy: Holly, please, I'm eating someone's sandwich here...
Holly: Well... *sips coffee* you can imagine...
Figgy Pudding: That's disgusting...
All: ... ... ... ...
Holly: She made it look like I was pooping on the cookies.
Buddy: We got it, Holly!
Jingle: I. Hate. This. Story.
Figgy Pudding: Why do they do this?
Holly: *ominously* No one knows...
Buddy: They say it's to entertain the kids, but I'm not so sure. I'm pretty sure a lot of them are doing it for the 'Gram...
Holly: And the best part is when they have the audacity to complain about it. "Wah wah wah! I need to keep moving the elf!" Like "Listen, people. We didn't ask to be put in humiliating poses every day." Move us around, of course! Everyone need a change of scenery, but all these Pinterest inspired tableaus aren't necessary.
Figgy Pudding: So this happens to everyone?
Jingle: Well, not everyone. Some of us don't get moved for two and a half weeks.
Jingle: Doug and Lisa keep forgetting, but then when Sophia points it out they say something like "Oh, Jingle must be really comfortable where she is! I guess this is the best spot in the house to see everything!" No, Lisa! She isn't and it's not! Jingle is actually very uncomfortable and *fighting back tears*... and so lonely and bored... *bursts into sobs*
Buddy: I'm so sorry I had no idea.
Jingle: *dabbing eyes with tissue* It's just like... if you're going to bring an Elf into your home, you have to take some responsibility for them, you know?
Holly: *stroking her hair* Yeah... you're going to be OK though. Just a little bit longer until Christmas and you're done for the year. You can do it.
Figgy Pudding: Not for nothing? I hear the Cookie Tree is hiring.
Buddy: Really? In December? Aren't people tired of cookies?
Figgy Pudding: Come February everyone gives up on their New Year's Resolutions so they get started now.
Holly: And I hear those guys are union.
In the distance, a clock chimes
Jingle: Well, that's us.
Buddy: Good luck, honey. I hope you get moved today.
Jingle: I hope the Wagner boys shape up.
Buddy: Oh I don't!
Holly: Chin up, Figgy. It'll get better!
Figgy Pudding: Thanks, Holly. *quietly folds Cookie Tree application in back pocket before leaving the lounge*