Delivered: how Santa Claus found a new helper this year

In the deepest snow you’ve ever imagined, in a small, cozy wooden hut at the North Pole, lives Santa Claus with his reindeers. Each Christmas, he loads his sleigh with gifts for every child in all parts of the world to make sure everyone has a merry Christmas. But he also makes sure to get himself a gift every year. After all, Santa Claus loves modern gadgets as much as the next elf. You could even say that Santa is a bit of a geek. And that’s why every Christmas he gets himself a new gadget to make delivering all those presents just a bit easier. He’s already made it possible for the reindeers to fly even longer than they did just two years ago. He added zero-gravity technology to the sleigh last year and this year he wants to help his reindeers even more. After all, Rudolph has been complaining about all the extra houses he has to visit and the long distances, often accompanied by icy wind storms, to some of the world’s remotest places.

Santa Claus understands where Rudolph’s coming from. Flying the sleigh each year to the highest mountain peaks and to tropical islands far, far away had always been so much exhausting work. Who knows if Rudolph will even make it to each house this year? There are some violent storms in the forecast for some parts of the world. Even so, every child needs to get their gifts this year! He pondered a long time, but could not come up with a suitable idea. He probably had no other choice than to put those remote homes at the very end of his route and just hope that he would come up with the right piece of technology beforehand.

And so Santa Claus began his journey, flying house to house with the reindeers. At each house, the sleigh got a less full, but the reindeers were getting more tired, and Santa was distressed that he still didn’t have that piece of technology, especially given the storms he was facing. He still hadn’t come up with any suitable way to deal with the storm. Finally, they came to the last house that was easy to reach and Santa Claus had to admit that he no longer knew what to do.

The night was cold and the snow on the ground glimmered in the moonlight like a great lake of silver. Wind and freezing rain whipped around his face and Rudolph worked hard to keep the sleigh from tipping over. And so Santa pulled his cap down a little further. Then Rudolph suddenly stopped. Santa almost flew right out of the sleigh, but thankfully he was able to hold on.

»Hey, look!« cried Rudolph, pointing ahead with his hoof. A few meters away there was a red object in the sky, flying steadily despite the wind and snow. »I don’t believe it!« thought Santa. »What kind of a sleigh can do that in this snowstorm?«

The red object had a smooth, round body and four arms each with a rotor attached. On the side it said: »md4-1000«. Rudolph carefully flew up to the  object and gave it a quick once-over. Then suddenly it made a gentle downward motion and floated down to the ground. Rudolph followed the object but not without keeping a respectful space between himself and the four-armed stranger. Then Santa Claus saw in the distance a young man wearing a baseball cap. He held a remote control in his hand and appeared to be controlling the red object.

»Hey, what are you doing?« Santa asked. The man with the cap thought for a while, cocked his head, and replied, »I am trying out my microdrone in extreme weather conditions. We used it a couple of years ago to cross the Alps and maybe we’ll do the Himalayas next. And you? You look worried. Do you have a problem?«

»Yes, unfortunately,« said Santa, sadly taking off his cap. »We won’t be able to reach some houses with our sleigh and the kids who live there will not get their well-deserved gifts this year.« The man with the cap stroked his chin. »You’re talking about these ones in the back?« He took one of the packages and looked it over. »Yes, exactly,« said Santa. »Too bad. Now I’m going to have to put all the good stuff for sale online.« »Maybe not,« said the man. »My microdrone specializes in transporting packages. It can handle it.« Santa Claus just shook his head and said: »Impossible. It’s storming and each package weighs almost two pounds. And the houses are often a few miles apart. Not wanting to say anything against your lovely machine, but …« By then, the man had already strapped a package under the md4-1000 and sent it up into the air. With breathtaking speed, the quadcopter flew high up and stood still, despite the storm. »No problem,« said the man, pressing the remote control into Santa’s hand. »I’ll show you how to fly the microdrone. And you don’t need to worry about the long distances: with GPS, we’ll get everything where it needs to go.«

The md-1000 flew through dense clouds and thin air directly to a house that stood high on a mountain and was quite snowed in. Santa controlled the small aircraft loaded with a large parcel directly onto the narrow gabled roof, a roof that he and his reindeers could barely have managed with the sleigh… But the drone gently dropped the package down the chimney and buzzed away again. And the drone continued to fly across the great sea to all of the small islands. In the end, all of the packages were delivered on time and every child in the world got their gift. Even Santa Claus was happy and started shopping for his own microdrone to have on hand for next Christmas.

And if all that were true, then it would not be a fairy tale. For our children and the child in us.