The landscape is covered in snow. Flashes of green from fir trees are the only interruption to the white expanse. Ice crystals glisten red in the setting sun, as it starts to snow again. Thick snowflakes fall softly and silently from the sky. At first, just a few, but then more and more. The sun slowly disappears behind the horizon; only the outlines of the fir trees can be seen in the darkness. But something has revealed itself: a single house lights up the landscape around it. Thick clouds of smoke billow out of the chimney. The windows are steamed up and drops of water are slowly making their way down the glass. Inside, there is life—hustle and bustle even. Small figures scurry past the windows again and again.
We are at the North Pole. The house that defies the darkness belongs to Reindeer Solutions Inc. and there are only a few days left until the big delivery day. As unassuming as the house may look from the outside, it’s spectacular once you’re inside. A huge Christmas tree stands in the middle of the room, decorated with countless lights and red, gold, and silver decorations. A large golden star sits at the top. One door leads to one of the many workshops, another to the packing station and the warehouse. Elves flit back and forth around the huge Christmas tree. A large screen hangs on the wall next to the workshop door, with diagrams and lots of numbers. Looking closer, you can see that they are production progress and stock levels. And they are changing almost every second.
Mr. Claus, CEO of Reindeer Solutions Inc., stands in front of the large screen and discusses the figures with his head of production. His fingers are interlocked, and his hands are resting on his stomach. “Thanks to the Narrowband IoT network solution, we now have data from the workshops faster and more accurately. I compared the production results with last year, which are in the cloud, and production is going well. Our investment in digitalization has really paid off. We’re even ahead of schedule,” says Elfie proudly. Mrs. Claus, CMO of Reindeer Solutions Inc. enters the room. She has a large tray of delicious-smelling cookies in her hand and walks purposefully towards the workshops. Her gray curls bob gently up and down with every step. She is wearing glasses on her nose and the little green Christmas trees on her ears wiggle with every step. Her dress is made of red velvet, trimmed at the neck and waist with white fabric. She is wearing a white apron around her waist, decorated with fir branches and bells.
Her delicious-smelling cookies do not go unnoticed. Mr. Claus draws air noisily through his nose and his beard twitches as he moves the corners of his mouth upwards. His laughter makes his belly vibrate under his red shirt. Elfie continues to talk until he notices that Mr. Claus is no longer listening. When he turns around, Mrs. Claus is already offering him a cookie. Mr. Claus eats the cookie with delight and a few crumbs end up in his beard and on his shirt. When Elfie takes the cookie, he can’t help but grin broadly. His pointed ears wiggle slightly. A few crumbs land on his fir-green sweater, too.
As Mrs. Claus continues on her way, Mr. Claus and Elfie turn their attention back to the current production figures. The workshops are a hive of activity. There are workbenches all over the workshop and large shelves are filled with materials and finished products. Mrs. Claus places the tray on a large table at the entrance and rings a big golden bell. This is immediately followed by silence, and all the elves turn to look at her eagerly. When they see the large tray on the table and smell the sweet scent that has now spread throughout the workshop, they all put down their tools and gather around the large table. They each take one of the cookies and a glass of fresh milk.
As soon as all the elves have finished their break, they get straight back to work. The workshop is alive with the sounds of screwing, hammering, and tinkering. In one corner, a few elves are putting together a wooden play kitchen. Others are painting wooden apples in bright green and soft red, and screwing together a wooden waffle iron. On the left, elves are dressing dolls in pink and purple dresses and brushing their blonde hair. On the right, several elves are gathered around one of the games consoles. Two are competing in a racing game while the others cheer on their favorites. Just then, Elfie enters the workshop. He looks around and spots the commotion near the games consoles.
Before he can check what is going on, Mrs. Claus approaches. “Elfie, I’d like to do something for our website and social media accounts. We can see from the wish lists we receive by post and in our e-shop that people are starting to believe in us again, but I’d like to strengthen that. Do you perhaps have a nice story for us?” asks Mrs. Claus. Elfie’s attention wanders away from the elves to Mrs. Claus. He pauses a moment for thought before remarking that perhaps a story from the production department would be interesting. He suggests taking a photo of the elves working on the play kitchen. “Oh, that would be wonderful,” she says enthusiastically and walks off toward the elves.
The commotion over by the games consoles has now died down and Elfie makes his way to the warehouse. It is much quieter here than in the workshops. The silence is only interrupted by the large packing machine. In the warehouse, he meets Rudolph, head of transportation, who is busy inspecting the sleigh with a few elves. The sleigh is made of long, golden runners that curve upwards at the front, with the tip twisted in. A large driver’s cabin sits on top of the runners. The driver’s cab itself is pine green and decorated with golden ornaments. Inside, there is a large seat made of red velvet and plenty of space for the special red sack with the products. Everything is shining bright and Elfie can even see his reflection in the golden ornaments.
When Rudolph notices Elfie, he stops his inspection. “The sleigh is ready for the big night,” Rudolph reports proudly. “The runners just need a little waxing and everything will run smoothly,” he continues, smiling at his joke. His red nose lights up. Elfie grins with satisfaction. “And the route? Have you checked the weather forecast and adjusted accordingly?” asks Elfie. “Yes, it’s all done. There’s another blizzard brewing over North America, but I’ve already factored that in. Even if we fly around the storm, we’ll be able to deliver everything on time,” reports Rudolph before adding, “And before you ask, we’ve installed the transponder so you can track our progress and adjust the route if needed.” Elfie grins with delight and says, “So nothing will stand in the way of the big night!”
When Elfie looks out of the large round window in the warehouse, he sees colorful lights flickering in the sky. The northern lights! How beautiful, Elfie thinks. The snow has stopped falling, and the North Pole is covered in a new, thick blanket of snow. Everything is still and quiet. The only sound to be heard is the faint hum from Reindeer Solutions Inc., where production is running at full speed—and everything is ready for the big night. Happy Holidays!