Headmasters don’t like shopping. This is partly a ‘man thing’ and partly an occupational condition. Shopping which to most men is a chore, loses its remaining allure when a Perse pupil is on check out duty. Rifling through the contents of the Head’s shopping basket is an awkward process for both parties, even when the items are reassuringly dull. Somehow checking the bar code on the Head’s toilet roll doesn’t feel quite right. Thankfully internet shopping makes things much easier for both Heads and students. The Head can order away from the safety of his own home, and pupils need no longer worry that their book choices will be questioned in a Waterstone’s checkout queue.
Technology has revolutionised Christmas. The queues outside the Apple Store are longer than those to see Father Christmas, and Christmas lists now consist of android tablets and iPads. Christmas lunch does not have to revolve around the Queen, now that Her Majesty is digitally preserved on iPlayer or the TiVo box.
On Christmas Eve the Elliott family will use the latest satellite technology, courtesy of the ‘North American Aerospace Defence Command’ (NORAD) to track Santa’s progress around the globe (visit www.noradsanta.org). Because of the different time zones and the rotation of the Earth, Santa has 31 hours of Christmas Eve to work with, but it is still quite a challenge and many reindeer pit stops to deliver presents to the 400 million children whose families celebrate Christmas.
If we can now track Santa he can also track us. At Santa’s request schools and families across the nation have been installing ‘Elves on the shelves’. These little people are equipped with the latest remote surveillance equipment to relay good and bad behaviour direct to Santa’s HQ in the North Pole. The system went live on the 1st December, and sources close to Santa have confirmed that the sophisticated computer system uses the latest GIS technology to match child behaviour with Christmas stocking size. With Elves on many shelves, children need to behave well in the run up to Christmas – busy mums and dads need their help.