Is There a Santa Claus?
1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer, which only Santa has ever seen.
2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. But
since Santa doesn't appear to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and
Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378
million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average
(census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million
homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.
3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the
difference time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he
travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits
per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good
children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh,
jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining
presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up
the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house.
Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed
around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false
but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now
talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million
miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once
every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc. This means that Santa's sleigh is
moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For
purposes of comparison, the fastest manmade vehicle on earth, the Ulysses
space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional
reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.
4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element.
Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (2
pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is
invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can
pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying
reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we
cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,000 reindeer. This
increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to
353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the
5) 353,000 tons traveling at 660 miles per second creates enormous air
resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as
spacecrafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer
will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short,
they will burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer
behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire
reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second.
Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times
greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim)
would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.
In conclusion - if Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's
Santa Annual State of the Pole Address:
To: All Elves, Employees, and Sleigh personnel:
From: Santa Claus, CEO
The usual large flamboyant typeface associated with the seasons
greetings has been downsized this year commensurate with the trend toward
corporate downsizing. [And the fact that SMTP does not support typeface
The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have elected to take the
early reindeer retirement package has triggered a good deal of concern
about whether they will be replaced, and about other restructuring
decisions at the North Pole.
Streamlining was appropriate in view of the reality that the North Pole no
longer dominates the season's gift distribution business. Home shopping
channels and mail order catalogues have diminished Santa's market share
and he could not sit idly by and permit further erosion of the profit
The reindeer downsizing was made possible through the purchase of a late
model Japanese sled for the CEO's annual trip. Improved productivity from
Dasher and Dancer, who summered at the Harvard Business School, is
anticipated and should take up the slack with no discernible loss of
service. Reduction in reindeer will also lessen airborne environmental
emissions for which the North Pole has been cited and received unfavorable
I am pleased to inform you and yours that Rudolph's role will not be
disturbed. Tradition still counts for something at the North Pole.
Management denies, in the strongest possible language, the earlier leak
that Rudolph's nose got that way not from the cold, but from substance
abuse. Calling Rudolph "a lush who was into the sauce and never did
pull his share of the load" was an unfortunate comment, made by one
of Santa's helpers and taken out of context at a time of year when he is
known to be under executive stress.
As a further restructuring, today's global challenges require the North
Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps. Effective
immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the
"Twelve Days of Christmas" subsidiary:
The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to be
the cash crop forecasted. It will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant,
providing considerable savings in maintenance.
The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost
effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be
condoned. The positions are therefore eliminated.
[The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the
The [four calling birds] were replaced by an automated voice mail
system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to
determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they
The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors.
Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative
implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other
precious metals as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks
appear to be in order.
The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be
afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per
goose per day is an example of the decline in productivity. Three geese
will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel
will assure management that from now on every goose it gets will be a good
The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times.
The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The
current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes and therefore
enhance their outplacement.
As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy
scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being
sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no
upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try
a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching.
Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be
phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps.
Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords plus the
expense of international air travel prompted the Compensation Committee to
suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While
leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant
because we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year.
Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the
band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on
new music and no uniforms will produce savings which will drop right down
to the bottom line.
We can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals
and other expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching
deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one
day, service levels will be improved.
Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney's association seeking
expansion to include the legal profession ("thirteen
lawyers-a-suing") action is pending.
Lastly, it is not beyond consideration that deeper cuts may be necessary
in the future to stay competitive. should that happen, the Board will
request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven
dwarfs is the right number.
A Cat's Top Ten Favorite Christmas Songs
10. Up on the Mousetop
9. Have Yourself a Furry Little Christmas
8. Joy to the Curled
7. I Saw Mommy Hiss at Santa Claus
6. The First Meow
5. Oh, Come All Ye Fishful
4. Silent Mice
3. Fluffy, the Snowman
2. Jingle Balls
1. Wreck the Halls!