(Courtesy of Graphics Fairy)

According to Poynter, the Los Angeles Times this week unveiled a “Send a Santa Call” program, one of the oddest mixes of commerce and Claus I’ve ever seen.

The idea behind the gimmick is that you (maybe not specifically you if you’re Jewish, Hindu, a child) will call up your child at a designated time and talk to your child.

Talk about interesting new revenue streams for newspapers.

The message plays something like this:

“Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas (insert name). This is Santa Claus, and I’m calling you all the way from the North Pole. I was busy trying to make my list but I needed help trying to figure out who’s been naughty or nice this year. So I decided to call (name of elder in family). They told me that you’ve been at the top of their nice list all year long. Now I had my elves check the list again, because we do check it twice, and they found out not only have you been good all year, but you’ve been the best kid in (state of residence). I even had the elves tell all the reindeer about how good you’ve been, and that we were coming to stop and visit your house first. You may not know this, but my elves stay busy all year long making toys for all the good boys and girls around the world. Now I had the elves bring me your list, and I see you want (gift that child wants). Now I won’t say you’ll find everything you want under your Christmas Tree, but if you’re extra special good, I’ll see what I can do, ok? Oh my the time sure does fly, and I do have alot of other little boys and girls on my list to check on.But I just wanted to give you a special call to let you know that Mrs. Claus and I are so pround of you for being such a (good boy/girl). Now don’t forget to leave me some milk and cookies, and you have a Merry Merry Christmas….and remember, Santa’s always watching.”