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With the holidays looking different than years past, I thought I would call Santa via video to see how his yearly operation was going. I typically make the trip to the North Pole, but all things considered, travel was out of the question. Truth be told, I was happy to avoid the long trip, consisting of several weeks on train and foot, though I did miss the walk through the Candy Cane forest. Nevertheless, it was great to see him, even if it was only online. “Oh, I’ve so been looking forward to our annual chat. Loved the piece you did last year!”

I expressed my gratitude, and after some small talk about family and pie recipes that we exchanged, I asked how things were going in the North Pole. “We’re in lockdown mode,” Santa said abruptly. “The elves have been working socially distanced shifts, and for the most part, we have been safe and healthy. A few isolated cases, but overall, elves don’t seem to be affected as much. Still, best to be careful.”

A bit concerned for the safety of the workers, I did ask how he thought the pandemic even made its way up there. “Reindeer,”  he said. “Dasher, Dancer, Comet and Cupid like to travel – a lot. [Apparently they use their points] Rudolph, Prancer, Vixen, Donner, and Blitzen are total homebodies. Rudolph used to travel, but once he lost his anonymity the appeal left. Anyways, we knew that regardless, our operation would have to be different this year.”

As a parent of 3, I knew this was serious. “You have had Christmas Eve down to a science for centuries. What are you going to do now?”

“Well, our exposure needs to be limited,” said Santa. We’ve decided it is best to ship our gifts to local self storage units, allowing neighborhood elves to distribute them – contact free – on Christmas. We’ve used self storage on a more regional basis before, but never like this. Happy the options were affordable – so thank you for that.”

Providing excellent deals on self storage for Santa is in fact one of the best perks of the job! Nevertheless, I proceeded to inquire about where these local elves live, but he cut me off quickly and laughed. “I will say, the Naughty List was a lot longer this year, but I’ve given most a pass. Mrs. Claus said I should. You know she is the brain behind this operation every year, I’m not sure why I get all of the credit. From procurement down through to logistics, Mrs. Claus sources and coordinates the shipment of everything. She’s quite the powerhouse.”

I end our call by asking what his hopes are for 2021.

“I’m hoping to travel and have some visits with friends and family. You know I like to go somewhere warm, this year was really a bit too much. I am also hopeful that the world will be a more cheerful, joyful place. Bing Crosby once said, ‘Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’.’ and it’s true. This holiday means so much more to me than the toys – you know that. To a brighter, happier year ahead.”

If you are looking to help those in need, consider making  a donation to America’s Food Bank this season. Wishing you and your family a safe, and happy holiday.

“For it is in giving that we receive.”
Saint Francis of Assisi