Did you think the coal mined itself? For every disappointed child who receives a lump of coal on Christmas morning there is a team of coal mining elves that endured a year in the frozen mines of the North Pole. Most of these elves are born into the life and are never even given a chance to make a toy or candy cane. The North Pole is not rich in natural resources so finding coal there is like finding a needle in a frozen haystack. With tiny organs, elves are especially susceptible to black lung and cannot use canaries in the mines because the bird would freeze. The elves risk life and limb every day all so Santa can be a prick to any child he deems naughty.
What's scarier than a bear? A giant bear that is camouflaged with its surroundings. The North Pole is pretty much an all you can eat buffet for the polar bears surrounding Santa's workshops. If an elf encounters a polar bear they have two choices: accept death or struggle before death. There is no escape. Their tiny legs make it impossible to run and their mandatory green and red uniforms make it impossible to hide in the snow. The only option for them is to grimace and wait for the polar bear to deliver release from their eternal servitude.
The North Pole's temperature varies from 32 degrees during the summer to -31 in the winter. This makes it impossible for flourishing agriculture to exist. Santa lives mostly on milk and the billions of cookies he received from children on Christmas and the elves are left to forage and fish in the bear infested wilderness. The elves diet consists mostly of seafood caught from holes in the ice. This has resulted in mass mercury poisoning for the hungriest, sushi-loving elves. These elves develop rashes and swollen extremities that make toy crafting impossible and are thrown into the mines for the remainder of their days.
Santa has a surveillance system that makes the NSA look like a seven year old playing spy. That's because Santa's system is magic. He uses his magical abilities to keep tabs on any elves that might be foolish enough to plan a revolution or dawdle while dropping a deuce. There is no running or hiding from the All Seeing Eye that is Santa's naughty or nice list. Any elf Santa thinks is guilty is punished without a trial. There are no checks and balances in the North Pole. There is only checking twice.
Many of the North Pole elves want to leave. Unfortunately there are no buses, roads, or planes that pass through the most remote place on earth. The elves are trapped. No, there aren't any walls or fences surrounding the North Pole. Only a vast, barren wasteland stretching as far as the eye can see. If an elf tries to escape they will freeze within a day or be devoured by one of the many polar bears roaming the outskirts of the village. The only way out is on a sleigh pulled by eight flying reindeer and that method is reserved for Pharaoh Santa Claus.