It was a cold night in early December, and Sam was helping his grandmother decorate the family Christmas tree. She’d let him stay up late, even though it was a school night, and he’d even gotten to have a second hot chocolate once he’d promised that he wouldn’t tell his mother (not that he would have anyway). But as he was enjoying his hot chocolate and his grandmother’s world-famous frosted cookies, something was bothering him. That morning in the cafeteria, his friend Jack had confidently announced that there was no such thing as Santa Claus since there was no way one person could deliver all those presents in a single night. Sam had been kicking the upsetting idea around in his head all day since, and he’d finally decided to run it past the smartest person he knew.
“Grandma,” he said while chewing an ornament-shaped cookie, “is Santa real?”
“Goodness, what’s made you ask a thing like that?” she replied without looking away from the strand of tinsel she was draping across the tree.
“Well, I was thinking. How could one guy make all those toys and visit all those houses in one night and know who’s naughty and who’s nice, and … and …” he said, his sniffle threatening to give way to a sob.
“Oh, sweetie, is that all?” she said, bending down so her face was next to his and wiping his nose with a tissue. “It’s really very simple. Santa has Lifesize video conferencing!”
“But … how does that help Santa make all those toys?” Sam asked, the sniffle subsiding a tick.
“Well, for starters, video conferencing helps Santa hire the best elves from all over the world. You didn’t think all the top toy builders just happened to come from the North Pole, did you?”
“I … guess I never thought of that.”
“Well, of course they don’t, you silly goose! They come from England and Thailand and Swaziland–from places all over the world. And he can interview them all from the North Pole to make sure he’s getting the very best elves.”
“That makes sense,” Sam had to concede.
“And because Lifesize supports up to 25 users on a single call, he can talk to all of his factory foremen at once, which is great for efficiency. It saves Santa a lot of time, being able to talk to the elf in charge of the stuffed-animals division at the same time as he’s meeting with the head bicycles elf.”
“But what about knowing who’s naughty and nice? How does he do that?” Sam asked, a hopeful note growing in his voice.
“That’s even easier! All the elves on the shelves in houses around the world take notes for him and tell him about their kids in a video conference call. Santa records the calls and reviews them every quarter to make sure the information’s still up to date.”
“But I thought video conferencing units were huge. How could Santa fit something like that in his sleigh, when he’s flying around the world on Christmas Eve?”
“Where’d you get an idea like that, Sam? Thanks to the Cloud, Santa has access to the same video conferencing he has in his office meeting room right on his smartphone. He’s in touch with the North Pole wherever he goes!”
“So I guess it really is possible for Santa to do it all, since he has Lifesize,” Sam concluded, his sniffles long subsided.
“Of course it is! Now go and get ready for bed—I don’t want to get in trouble with your mother for letting you stay up so late.”
Sam scurried up the stairs—all of his concerns vanished—and slipped into his pajamas. He slept soundly that night after his grandmother had tucked him in and told him a bedtime story about how he could use video conferencing to give his wish list to Santa, all the way up in the North Pole. If only every kid who worried about Santa had a grandmother who knew so much about video conferencing, the world would be a much more magical place!