Artists create quaint images of ….
Artists create quaint images of Santa poring over hand-written lists and noting the need to give young Billy Brown a cake of soap in addition to the Noah’s Ark list of animals he asked for.
This image has been carefully cultivated by Santa Inc.’s marketing and licensing division because, other than a brief period of time during the moon race in the late 1960s, massive databanks and spreadsheets don’t have the types of visuals needed to maintain Santa Inc.’s dominant role in the gift-giving season. People may buy with their wallets, but they give with their hearts.
While toy and gift manufacture and distribution centers continue as a symbolically important part of the operation, the reality is that the elven workshops have been unable to keep up with demand for decades. The quaint Scandinavian-influenced workshop buildings which dot Santa Inc.’s sprawling arctic campus are largely showpieces for the occasional high-level visitors who are allowed access.
The reindeer have likewise been surpassed by technological innovation. The logistics and shipping division still maintains the stables and keeps a herd of the magical reindeer for the symbolic ride Santa makes with his flying sleigh each Christmas Eve.
Santa Inc. was an innovator in the concept of diversification and outsourcing labor-intensive portions of its operations. For example, when growing consumer demand for elaborately wrapped gifts began, Santa Inc. took steps to right-size the elven workforce by quietly shuttering most of the wrapping and bowmaking division and out-sourced the work to parents around the world.
As a global information company, Santa Inc. relies on the latest technological advances and the most advanced predictive behavior algorithms to maintain and update its vast databases.
However, after some near-legendary glitches in the system (such as when the entire Detroit Metropolitan Area got put on the naughty list due to a poorly thought out fossil-fuel consumption modifier added by a group of environmental activists elves) Santa has required sparkly, jingle bell-bedazzled boots on the ground. These advance teams of highly-trained elven operatives go deep undercover, setting up bases of operations throughout the world.
The elven operatives undergo rigorous training to blend in with local populations. They live, work and play in communities across the country and around the world, all the while compiling information on gift trends and updating Santa Inc.’s naughty and nice list.
Santa Inc.’s operatives can be anywhere, hiding in plain sight except for subtle clues like an over-fondness for egg nog or starting to wear Christmas-theme clothing in early November. While mostly harmless, it is best not to confront these undercover operatives for risk of ending up on the permanent naughty list.
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