Elf Mission

There’s nothing like the Christmas Eve Elf Mission to get the heart racing and the adrenaline pumping. Can you do it quickly enough? Can you do it quietly enough? Will all the presents get into the right sacks? And how late will you have to start to be sure it’s safe? The whole thing is like holding your breath for half an hour.

Like everything else in my life lately, the Elf Mission has been affected by our temporary accommodation. When we moved, I took the wise decision to put the few presents I’d already bought into my mum’s house before the removal men threw them in a box, taped it up and shoved it in an inaccessible garage along with 90% of our possessions. So when I completed my shopping a few days later, it seemed sensible to put the rest of it at my mum’s too. This then added a whole new layer of nervousness to the Elf Mission, as I needed the opportunity to liberate the presents from my mum’s and bring them to ours. And the opportunity never arose.

We made it all the way to the evening of Christmas Eve and still the presents were stuck at my mum’s. And my car was parked on the drive outside the lounge and the boys’ bedroom. They would hear it if I went anywhere.

The one advantage of our temporary house is that it has a proper back door (our old one didn’t). So while the kids were watching telly at about 8pm on Christmas Eve, I sneaked out of the back door and moved my car a little way down the road ready for the getaway later.

At 9.30pm, I looked in on my boys and my younger son was lying down with his eyes closed. He may not have been asleep, but lying down with his eyes closed would certainly have got him to sleep quicker. This is a small miracle. Despite being only 10 and despite repeated reminders to the contrary every single day, my son believes his bedtime is 10pm. To go to sleep before 10 is a sign of weakness.

At 9.45 I told my husband I was going for a shower loud enough for my eldest to hear, then sneaked out the back door and to the car and round to my mum’s. Fitting in all of our presents to the kids, plus my mum’s, my sister’s and my auntie’s, as well as our presents for other people was a challenge. I parked the car back on the road and went inside to watch telly and wait for my eldest to fall asleep. He was still awake at 10.30.

At 10.45, I decided we could at least start piling stuff in the utility room because there was no way my son could see in there if he got out of bed. I put my incredibly warm fleece panda onesie over my pyjamas and the Panda Elf Mission was on. It took five furtive sneaks out of the back door, through the back gate and down the road and back again, laden with presents and wearing a panda, to complete the mission. My husband hovered in the kitchen where he had a good view of the boys’ bedroom and could help me quickly unload the presents.

Red and white is so 2012. This year Father Christmas is wearing panda 

Once the presents were inside, we just went for it. Sorting, stuffing and arranging until there were three bulging bags. We weren’t even quiet.

And Father Christmas had been. Another mission accomplished.


There was just one small problem.

‘Mummy, why is your car in the road?’

‘I parked it there so Father Christmas could get his sleigh on the drive.’

And she was so pleased with that explanation and how good and thoughtful Mummy had been, that she told everyone. Result!

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I am lucky at the moment- Syd is still in a bedroom with a stair gate so I know he can’t sneak up on me, in fact will make sure that is still the same next year I think! By the one after that I will have to be back on stealth mode though! Glad your mission was a success, 🙂 xx

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  2. My boys know its me and Blokey that are “Santa” so we don’t sneak. 🙁

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  3. That’s an awesome explanation about your car. Did you think of it instantly? Very considerate of you to move it for Santa. I’m not a onesie fan but I love that panda hood, it looks sooooo warm! Well done on your elf mission. The OH and I can’t do anything quietly. He’s always telling me to stop bumping into things and making so much noise. Then I start raising my voice about how I’m not making any noise. Etc etc 🙂

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  4. Aww love the car on the drive one, I had to quick think when my daughter asked how does Santa get down our chimney when we haven’t got one? Thankfully I put her Santa Claus movie on 🙂 Love your Onesie. Glad your mission was a success, ours was too 🙂

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  5. Oh yes I hear you. Our presents always go in the loft, but now in the new house the hatch is in the boys’ bedroom! Sounds like you did a fantastic job. Do you have a storage area in your new house?

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  6. Very quick with that comment about Santa’s sleigh Sarah – good call there! How lovely that you were able to plan everything like that – a hugely successful mission. I hope you had a lovely Christmas. It was POD’s birthday on Christmas Day so ours was a little hectic 🙂

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  7. Enjoy your time off the stealth missions, Sonya! I reckon this could be our last one as daughter is 7 going on 8.
    Husband thought of the car explanation for me after we’d gone to bed and I realised I hadn’t moved it back.
    The new house has a big loft space, Pink Oddy. But sadly accessible from the kids’ bedrooms!
    Your younger boy is very young to know about Santa, Julie! Must make life a lot easier though.
    I didn’t think I was a onesie fan, Tas, but it’s been brilliant in this cold house. My brother got it for me for my 40th!
    We had a lovely Christmas, thanks, Charly. I bet yours was amazing!

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  8. Ha ha ha that made me laugh! I love the panda suit too, what a great photo! It is a military operation making sure that everyone is asleep and that you get the right things to the right children.

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  9. This is the first year that its ever occurred to either of my kids that they can come downstairs once they have been put to bed, before that they would just call to us. I was panicked wrapping because due to furniture rearranging so we could put the Christmas tree up I couldn’t close the door and with my elderly father-in-law visiting the TV volume was up high, so I couldn’t hear any sneaking about. Maybe I should do it in disguise too – just in case they walk in on me.

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  10. I have a small house permanently, so i can honestly sympathise with this one lol xx

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  11. Hahaha! This is a great story. I never thought about how my parents got presents downstairs when I was younger, I used to feel like I never slept, I remember one Christmas eve when I used to have the little box room, I couldn’t sleep at all. I closed my eyes just for a moment, and opened them a second later and my stocking had been filled with presents! I really thought that it was Santa for the longest time because I swear I just blinked! Ha.

    Corinne x

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  12. Thanks very much, everyone. It’s a minefield, isn’t it, Joanna and Kath? This is first year we’ve worked together to put presents in sacks. Normally one of us does it while the other one stands guard.
    Your parents did well, Corinne! They must have timed it just right! I know I always used to try to stay awake on Christmas Eve too, must have driven my parents mad!

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  13. It’s so funny that they noticed that the car was moved, and quick thinking on your part to say that you left a space for santa’s sleigh. Hope you have a great day.

    Heidi’s Wanderings

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