How does Santa do it? The Mechanics of Christmas

Across the globe there are approximately 2 billion children (persons under 18 years of age) all in need of presents at Christmas; however, since he does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist (except maybe in Japan) religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau). At an average rate of 3.5 children per household (Worldwide Census), that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

Thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out as 967.7 visits per second; this is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever treats have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the planet (which, of course, we know to be false but will accept for the purposes of these calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. This means Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second or 390,000 miles per hour, that’s over 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second (1644 miles per hour), and a conventional reindeer can run, at best, 15 miles per hour.

These figures to not take into account supernatural phenomena or the fact that Santa Claus is simply a figment of our collective imaginations.

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One Response to “How does Santa do it? The Mechanics of Christmas”

  1. John Says:

    LOVE this!!!!!! santa is magic, damn magic I tell you !!!!! xxxx

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