Best Of Chicago

Help! Missing Elf: One Man’s Journey With Elf On The Shelf

December 14, 2012 9:00 AM

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(Credit: Charlsie the Head Elf / Fred Sasaki)

(Credit: Charlsie the Head Elf / Fred Sasaki)

What Is It With These Elves On These Shelves?!

You’d think the idea of a toy that’s a tattletale, spying on kids throughout the day and reporting their good and bad deeds to Santa at the end of the night, would be uncool. Despite my doubts, kids love Elf on the Shelf.

But what do you do when your elf leaves and doesn’t come back? Mount a search party? Hire a private detective?

You contact customer service, which is exactly what Fred Sasaki did. Here’s how that went…

(Credit: elfontheshelf.com)

(Credit: elfontheshelf.com)

Contact Santa’s Little Helpers

Who would you like to contact? *
General Inquiry

Name *
Fred Sasaki

Message
Dear Santa,

I am writing for assistance with my Elf on the Shelf. It is urgent; please reply immediately.

Merry Christmas,

Fred Sasaki

From: Charlsie
To: Fred Sasaki
Date: Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 2:23 PM
Subject: RE: Contact Santa’s Little Helpers [#2012]

Hi Fred,

My name is Charlsie and I’m known as the Head Elf around here. How can I help you?

Thanks,

Charlsie Christmas
The Head Elf

From: Fred Sasaki
To: Charlsie
Date: Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 2:42 PM
Subject: RE: Contact Santa’s Little Helpers [#2012]

Hello Charlsie,

Our Elf who I believe is registered with Santa left for the North Pole last night and never returned. Everything was just fine I don’t know what happened. We didn’t touch him or even try to talk to him. There he was one night and now he is gone just like that. We don’t know what happened. We don’t know if he fell ill or was run over by a car or something but we are worried sick. My son is distraught and who knows what my daughter is thinking. And it’s like my wife doesn’t even care. We did everything right. We got a big tree and lots of lights with the ornaments and pickle. We even did hot cocoa, chocolate peppermint pie, and music and movies.

Are you able to check to see if our Elf is there or what happened? This is going to ruin Christmas if he doesn’t come back. I don’t know what to do.

Please help. Thank you in advance.

Fred

From: Fred Sasaki
To: Charlsie
Date: Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Subject: RE: Contact Santa’s Little Helpers [#2012]

Charlsie,

Hello? The Elf is still not returned. Have inquiries been made? (Besides mine??)

Thanks,

Fred

From: Charlsie
To: Fred Sasaki
Date: Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Subject: RE: Contact Santa’s Little Helpers [#2012]

Hi Fred,

Sorry for the delay – we are extremely busy at the North Pole. I am sorry, but I do not know where your elf is or know how to find it because afterall, there are millions of elves at the North Pole. If you sprinkle some cinnamon and sing a Christmas song, hopefully your elf will return. Keep us posted.

Thanks,
Charlsie Christmas
The Head Elf

From: Fred Sasaki
To: Charlsie
Date: Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Subject: Re: Contact Santa’s Little Helpers [#2012]

Hopefully?! I do not think you would be so blasé if you had to look at the pathetic eyes of crying children. You are even worse than my wife with her apathy for elfin magic. One thing this shows me is that it is still cold at Christmas and in the end we are alone like rabbits.

I will take your advice as a last effort. Must the cinnamon be fresh grated or can I just use from the spice jar? And what kind of song is best? My voice is terrible. All of our voices are just rotten which may be the problem from the beginning.

Any advice is appreciated.

Fred

From: Charlsie
To: Fred Sasaki
Date: Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 2:29 PM
Subject: Re: Contact Santa’s Little Helpers

Have a merry Christmas, Frank!

-Charlsie Christmas

frank.jpg
402K Click to view attachment

From: Fred Sasaki
To: Charlsie
Date: Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Subject: Re: Contact Santa’s Little Helpers [#2012]

There he is! That’s our elf!! Please tell him to come home!!!

Conclusion

In a world where customer service is often cold and distant, it’s nice to see a company that is not only ready and willing to help customers, but to have fun while doing it. So if you were wondering if Elf on the Shelf is just another scheme to get money out of suckers with kids, or a company that legitimately believes in the Christmas tradition, you’ll find the latter is more true than the former. Whatever you believe, you gotta at least give them credit for not only putting up with Fred, but for playing along.

To find out more about Elf on the Shelf, check out their website, or tune-in to CBS TONIGHT, December 14th, at 8:30pm CST to watch The Elf on the Shelf: An Elf’s Story.

Fred Sasaki writes e-mails for Poetry magazine, VICE, and other places.

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