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Blog of the Month: Santa Claus Blog
by The Ovi Team
2008-12-04 10:03:40
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Ovi's Blog of the Month: Santa Claus Blog has periodic updates from North Pole, Inc. Chairman & CEO Santa Claus.

Sunday, November 30, 2008
Breaking Out The Decorations

I woke really early this morning to go for a run. If you are just now starting to follow my blog, you may not know that I maintain a very strict exercise regimen in order to be fit for my Christmas Eve activities. I'd like to say that I maintain an equally strict diet regimen... but alas, that is not true. Mrs. Claus' kitchen creations are just a little too tempting. And I must admit, I enjoy dining out at new restaurants... particularly now that there is so much creativity with fusion-style cuisine. Anyway.... it was a beautiful morning for a run. Snow was falling steadily but there was no wind. It was quiet as I stepped outside. I knew it was a peaceful quiet that I don't hear that often up here in the winter, so I tucked the iPod ear buds back in my pockets instead of in my ears. The crunch-crunch of newly fallen snow under my feet much nicer than any power song I could have listened to. (Of course, I kept the iPod going so I could log my miles & time on Nike+... but no music). The run was feeling so good, instead of heading home, I extended the run on into the town square, stopping in front of the coffee shop. They were just opening their doors as I ran up at almost precisely 5am. After downing a couple of cups of water, I ordered a venti egg nog latte and sat down by the window to enjoy it. I watched as the town square began to come alive for the day. Shop keepers turned on lights. The first shift workers started to make their way to their respective facilities. And, to my delight, the decorating crew were just beginning their task of putting up the North Pole Christmas decroations. As I finished my egg nog latte, Snowflake, our CIO, walked in to grab her morning cup of coffee. We chatted for a moment about some network issues we had earlier in the week. I decided I could use a venti Christmas blend for the walk back home so I bought that and picked up her coffee to say thanks for all the work she and her team had put into resolving the slow network performance.

As I walked back out into the square, the decorating team was starting to put lights on the official North Pole Christmas tree, in preparation for tomorrow's tree lighting ceremony. Elves were scurrying everywhere with decorations. There were piles of lights, wreaths, and garland everywhere. Ladders leaning against every building. It was beginning to look like a city under construction. And, in fact, when I returned later in the evening after a day full of appearances around the world and on my way to the All Employee Meeting, it looked like a new city. Every building was covered in lights, there were trees outside every building, and garlands & wreaths hung from every door and window. The elves were still stringing the hundreds of thousands of lights on the official Christams tree. The work is so intricate that it takes them almost 24 hours for the lights and 12 hours for the ornaments. At the pace they were going, they aren't going to finish until just before tomorrow night's tree lighting.

I just got back a few minutes ago from the All Employee meeting. What a great meeting! Literally everyone was there. We had 100% attendance. Obviously, its expensive to completely stop work to have a meeting, so we try to keep it short and focused on key messages. Usually my senior staff makes most of the presentations and I simply wrap it up but this time I felt it was important I take a little more time up front and set the tone of the meeting from the start. I wanted to make sure everyone understands how challenging a Christmas this is going to be for many, many people around the world and how they each play a critical role in bringing just a little Christmas cheer to everyone. When things are going so well at the North Pole, its easy to lose sight that things in the rest of the world may not be going quite so well. Bringing a little joy to people on Christmas, making the world a better place, and reminding people of the True meaning of Christmas is what we are all about.... it is with that focus that we must all approach our work. If we do that, we can make a difference this Christmas. If we do that, we can keep the magic of the Christmas spirit alive and well. It was essentially that message that I brought to the team tonight.

Ok... I have to run off to our end-of-day status meeting and then meet Mrs. Claus for a really late dinner. It will be emails after that... its going to be a long night. I hope you have a good night.


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