The festive period has drawn to a close, meaning many of us are returning to work, healthy-eating, money-saving and generally re-introducing the moderations and self-control which allows us to function as adults.

For a lot of people, the break was a very welcome one and brought with it much-needed respite from meetings, deadlines and the sometimes dreaded conference call. With all the mistakes which people continue to frequently make when teleconferencing, it’s not a wonder that some of us can hardly help but roll our eyes when we hear of one being scheduled.

But we have a lot to thank the trusty teleconference for, especially around this time of year. After all, how else would you be able to strike a balance between your work commitments and the festivities which take place throughout December? Without being able to dial into a voice meeting every now and then, think of all the sunny escapes or primary school productions that might have been missed!

That’s not all that conference calling did to keep the Christmas spirit alive as 2017 drew to a close. In fact, this simple staple of telecommunication technology actually allowed ill children to get to chat with Father Christmas himself. At the Erie Shriners Ambulatory Surgery Center and Outpatient Specialty Care Center in Pennsylvania, USA, a special video-link was set up so that young patients would be able to give the man their lists first-hand.

The technology was present at the medical centre, as it is already embracing the growing practice of allowing patients to meet with doctors remotely , meaning no important medical funds had to be set aside to give the kids a chance to chinwag with the man in the red suit. Hopefully, the hospital was also able to secure genuinely free conference calls, like those provided by WHYPAY? – nobody would want to be the company forcing a hospital to pay unecessarily for unwell children to make Christmas memories!

This time, the teleconferencing equipment at the medical centre was put to use a little differently than to conduct remote consultations and help ascertain diognoses; in a room specially decorated to evoke a real-life Santa’s Grotto, with a Christmas tree and wrapped presents – one of which each child got to receive after talking to Father Christmas – it connected young children with Santa Clause. Thanks to this move, around 20 children who were not well enough to get out and meet Santa elsewhere were able to have this festive experience. In an ideal world, the hospital will have also been able to make use of conference call recording, the simple tool with countless benefits (which, incidentally, is also free through the teleconferencing bridge WHYPAY?!), to allow the children and their families to treasure this wonderful memory for years to come.

Telecommunications have made further contributions to Christmas this year, such as the innovative app, Message from Santa! which allowed children to call, text and track Father Christmas in the run up to Christmas Day. Users receive updates from St Nick and his elves as they work on creating lots of presents in their North Pole workshops. And now that Christmas is over again, parents can still make great use of the app with its integrated Naughty and Nice List providing great incentive for kids to be good all year round.

So although getting away from the daily demands of professional telecommunications might be one of the things you like about the festive period, don’t underestimate just how much the industry is giving back in adding to the Christmas cheer and the magic that surrounds this time of year – as well as allowing the grown ups to take part in it all!