To all those who have trouble believing in Santa Claus, I ask you to read the following with a bit of humor in mind and a leniency for the truth. Many things that are mentioned have indeed happened, and the rest…well they could just as easily be true. All you have to do is indulge your imagination and follow my lead.
Santa Claus is real, and so are all of the trimmings that we associate with him. I have seen him in the mall many times, and having been fortunate enough to chat briefly with him upon a couple of occasions, I consider myself very knowledgeable about his ways. Many people have tried to tell me otherwise, but I know the truth. The truth is that there are elves at the North Pole slaving away to make children happy come Christmas morning. There are flying reindeer that pull not only Santa and his sleigh, but also his sack of gifts, which must be enormous in proportions. Thousands of kids wait patiently, all year long watching what they say and how they act, in hopes that they will receive their chosen gifts. (This includes me.) I fall into the category of believers who also believe in the Easter Bunny, angels, and miracles. Hence, in the midst of the Christmas season that is racing around us, my focus is on proving to you that Saint Nick does in fact exist.
Perhaps you have failed to notice the small clues left behind on Christmas morning by Santa himself. This makes me eager to share my findings with you, and I am interested to hear whether the great man is as messy at your houses as he is at mine. While there seems to be endless proof against his existence, I fight back with not only hard evidence I have found personally, but also by attempting to instill in you the uncontrollable feeling of belief. You surely agree with me that it is much easier to believe the most far out aspects of the Christmas tradition when there are so many happy people scurrying about. It is easier to believe when you glance out your window late at night and see the fresh snow concealing the scars left from the day. Think of Santa in this same way, as a figure that brings an overwhelming joy to our mundane lives that temporally disguises our other worries. For this one day, or for the entire Christmas season in some cases, we are allowed to believe, relax, and enjoy the wonders of winter.
Putting my recently obtained University of Michigan math skills to use, I have figured that there are about one hundred million stops Santa has to make Christmas night. There are six billion people in the world, only one third of which are children. Of these lucky two billion kids, a small fraction believe in Santa Claus. Considering the wealth of religions, I will narrow the number of eligible gift receiving, Santa believing children to approximately 100 to 200 million. If the average number of children per household is set at two, the maximum probable number of stops for Santa is 100 million.
There are millions of malls in the world, and most of them have Santas working at Christmas time. This makes for a lot of Santas. If all of these Santa disciples deliver gifts on Christmas night, the number of houses visited by each is very reasonable. If there are ten million professional Santas employed throughout December, the number of houses visited by each come Christmas Eve is a practical ten. The number of houses visited per professional Santa shrinks further to 9.9999999 when you consider that the head Santa, the one actually from the North Pole who runs the operation, delivers to more than ten children.
Delving further into the multiple Santas theory, the fact that children receive what they want is very understandable considering each Santa is only responsible for ten households. This significantly lightens the load carried by the reindeer to a realistic weight. Many of the gifts I receive on Christmas morning are suitable to my taste. Santa and his elves must do surveys throughout the year as to what my interests are, for they always find the most perfect gifts.
By evaluating the path of the head Santa on Christmas night, I will show you how real he is. Let me begin with his origin: the North Pole. This is where his operations are stationed. The headquarters are situated deep underground. It is rumored to be more secure from outsiders than the military’s most top-secret secrets. Santa and his disciples get the gifts and supplies necessary to make gifts from all over the world. Often, when you hear of stealing incidents, it is some of Santa’s doings. It is justified however, by the fact that the hot goods support a noble cause. If stealing does not satisfy demands, then he can easily produce the gifts. Being situated deep in the earth’s crust, he has access to many natural resources; mainly oil. As a last resort, if he ever needs anything last minute, as he flies around the world on Christmas morning, he can easily make a stop, e.g. – Idaho for potatoes, or France for cheese, etc.
I have never actually seen the tracks left by Santa and his reindeer on my roof because I have never been allowed to make the climb (something about putting a long ladder on an icy deck worries my parents). In spite of this, I am sure the tracks are there Christmas morning. I have a very flat roof. My house is kind of cube-shaped, which makes for a gentle landing area. I do know kids with steeply slanted roofs that say he simply lands in the yard. Also, I have recordings of the clanging of reindeer hoofs and the thump of Santa walking (he is not a lightweight guy). My mom believes the noises are raccoons playing, but I think that is silly. All the animals must be asleep by then. If they are not, Santa cannot deliver their gifts. He always seems to visit my house around three or four in the morning, which leads me to believe that he follows the same basic flight pattern every year.
Having never been on top of my roof, I have never seen the opening to the chimney. If Santa can fit down it with his sack of gifts, though, it is probably quite large. Now that may seem like a silly statement to some of you, but let me propose this; the chimney acts as a funnel. It starts out very large, and as Santa gains speed going down, it narrows. This is why he can fit through the opening in your living room, which is not huge. The results of a study that I have been conducting for five or so years have been very conclusive. I have noticed that the chimney chute is cleaner come Christmas morning. Santa wears a very resilient suit. I know this because there have never been any scraps of material left hanging in my chimney. Supposedly though, Todd, the kid around the corner found a piece of red felt like material in his chimney once, so perhaps I am just unlucky. When Santa arrives at a house without a chimney, he simply uses a window. If you wiggle them enough they open right up, and once the window is open, the screen is no problem. Having done this many times I am sure Santa is very proficient at it.
Once inside your house, Santa moves in an extremely stealth-like manner. He has only awakened me one time in my nineteen years. His major giveaway is the footprints he leaves everywhere he walks. I can trace them from the hearth, where he enters, to the tree and back. Once, I found them leading to our fridge, but nothing was disturbed (lucky for him). At first it looks like the tracks are plain snow, but after careful examination with my microscope and an inquiry to my chemistry teacher, I determined otherwise. It appears to be some sort of magical snow that never melts. It allows Santa, his reindeer, and his sleigh to fly. (I think it is applied in a similar fashion to the way deicer is sprayed on airplanes.)
As a reward for Santa’s hard work and generosity, I always leave a plate of cookies and a glass of milk by the fireplace opening. Also, some carrots and apples for the reindeer are set out. The reindeer must only like the carrots because the apples are always left untouched. What is odd is that Santa takes a bite of every single cookie. If he doesn’t plan on eating everything, he could just eat a few whole cookies and leave the rest for me to eat in the morning. Along with the food, I leave a note thanking him for everything, and wishing him a happy new year. As evidence of not only Santa’s existence, but also of his kindness and respect, he has always replied to my notes. He often says thank you for the cookies and tells me that the reindeer appreciate the snack.
Many of you anti-Santa people try to rationalize his existence away by saying that time simply does not permit him to travel to one billion plus houses in one night. To this I say you simply have to believe. The only evidence that I have of time slowing on Christmas night is the following: I am a very anxious person and after I wake up at five am on Christmas morning, I can never fall back asleep. As a rule in my house, we do not go downstairs to open gifts until seven am, at the earliest. The two hours between when I usually arise and when I can go dowstairs are the slowest two hours I experience each year. It seems they last an eternity, which is tormenting to an anxious child (me). I understand though, that these two hours are necessary, for Santa must finish delivering gifts to all of the children. Santa has planned ahead for those children who do not wait to open gifts. He knows which ones will wake early and which ones will wake latest, and delivers the presents accordingly. A friend of mine who sleeps in late has noticed very fresh tracks on his lawn. This shows that despite the fact that our houses are right next to each other’s, Santa follows his “children-waking” charts.
I use history as my final proof to you. In the 15th century there was a Saint Nicholas (hence the alternate name for Santa Claus, Saint Nick). He was renowned for his generosity toward children. The jolly Santa we are so familiar with is based upon this saint. Santa carries on the joy, generosity, and love that were exuded by St. Nicholas. After all, Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth, and Santa and Christmas allow us to experience the true spirit of giving and greatness.
I wrote this in the fall of 2000 for my freshman English class at the University of Michigan.